A MESSAGE FROM REV. J.C. AUSTIN: Youth in Action
“What’s going on with youth ministry these days?” I’ve heard several versions of this question recently, and this is a good time to answer it!
Over the past few months, we’ve been living into the experiment that our hard-working Design Team created as part of the Log College Project through the Institute of Youth Ministry at Princeton Theological Seminary.
As you may know, we were chosen as one of 12 congregations nationwide from a range of denominations and traditions to participate in this project to create new models of youth ministry. Our model centers around gathering on the second Sunday of the month and using cooking as a means for creating community, serving others, and exploring faith. Most recently, we baked Valentine’s Day cookies and delivered them to Kirkland Village, along with Valentine’s Day cards, to express love to our neighbors there. (see the photos on our Facebook page)
Beyond the Log College Project, there are two other youth ministries that I want to hold up. The first is a gathering for faith conversations during the 10:30 a.m. Sunday School hour. That is also happening once a month, on the third Sunday of the month. This is a chance for middle school and high school age students to explore issues of life and faith more deeply together, in a “brave space” where people are encouraged to ask questions, express concerns, and wrestle with challenges together.
The second ministry I want to point out is the upcoming Youth Inquirers Class. This is an Inquirers Class specifically for teens that will take place from noon – 1:30 p.m. on three Sundays in March: March 1, 15, and 29. The class itself will focus on essential elements of Christian faith, the Reformed tradition, and First Presbyterian in particular.
Those who attend all three weeks can then join the church as full and active members on May 31, following a period of conversations with a mentor from the congregation. If you want to sign up (to attend the class or to serve as a mentor) and haven’t already, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know!
So: there is a lot going on with youth ministry these days! Please continue to keep our youth and these ministries in your prayers as they all continue to grow.
Grace and Peace,