The youth programming of our congregation is vital. Youth today need a place where they belong, where they know they are accepted, and where they can make a difference. We offer fun activities for youth in grades 6 through 12.
The Youth Ministry Program includes activities in many different areas of the life of the Church. Our prayer is that all of our youth will find a place to be connected with one another and to the congregation. We have an advisory board that helps to get to know and support our youth along with planning and implementing programs. We traditionally have two groups, Junior Pilgrim Fellowship (JPF) and Senior Pilgrim Fellowship (SPF), middle school and high school respectively. The JPF groups meet approximately every other Sunday night in our youth room. The high school students meet after church once a month for "Message Mania" where we check in with one another and have a lesson for the day. All the youth are welcome to take part in service projects including a Halloween party for the children of the Church, leaf raking, Christmas caroling, and sleep out for the homeless. Social activities help develop a sense of community among our young people and include bowling, laser tag, pool party, scavenger hunts, and fun and games running around our Church building.
Youth who have completed 9th grade and are at least 15 years old are welcome to participate in the Appalachia Service Project, a weeklong home repair service project, which our Church supports, each summer.
Periodically throughout the year, our youth are invited to come together to sing for worship.
The PF group is the youth ministry program of the United Church of Christ. Its purpose is to provide a program for middle and high school students to practice basic Christian values. Activities focus on opportunities for socialization, community service, and spiritual growth. We meet both in small groups and in a larger group. All youth are invited to attend any and all of our activities.
We offer a yearlong course for youth in 8th grade through high school to learn and explore the teachings of God and what it means to be a Christian. We engage the youth and help to prepare them to become members of the Church. Beginning in September, the confirmation class meets each Monday from 3:45 p.m.-5:00 p.m. The class is taught by the two pastors and explores the Bible, church history, the sacraments, the mission of the Church, and how they relate to each student. The youth are invited to explore their beliefs and their relationship to God. Each student is matched with a "mentor" from the congregation and we have four "mentor dinners" for the students and the adults to get to know one another better. We celebrate our confirmations in May during our Confirmation Service, when these youth become official members of the church.
The Church encourages young people from fourth grade through high school to participate in the summer camping program at Silver Lake Conference Center in Sharon, Connecticut. Many youth have had their spiritual lives shaped by these experiences. Some financial assistance for camp is available through the Board of Christian Education.
Many of our youth help with the Church school program as teachers or assistants, while others usher or read scripture during the worship service.