Mentoring our young people to lead a faith-based Christian life is among our highest priorities, as it can lead to adults who have a more fulfilling spiritual life. Especially for high school students, an active, engaged Youth Group is an important part of their personal development and spiritual growth, and is therefore actively supported by our entire congregation.
The high school youth join together every Sunday morning at 9:15 AM during the school year, in their own Youth Room, for High School Faith Discussions. All high school students are welcome to drop in and join the group at any time. This year we will be using the popular re:form series starting with the question, “Who wrote the Bible, God or humans?” You can see the rest of the series by clicking on this link: http://www.augsburgfortress.org/media/downloads/TOC_LG.pdf
Additionally, the Youth Group meets on the last Sunday evening of each month from 6:30 – 8:30 PM for social activities, to play games, plan upcoming events, and just have fun!
Students gathered in October to kick off the youth group with a Taco Bar Dinner. After sharing a delicioso meal, brainstorming began to plan this year’s activities.
Activities planned (some listed above) include fundraisers, service projects, and “just for the fun of it”. A wacky game of Pictionary ended the evening with smiles and laughter all around.
Each summer the youth embark on a week-long mission trip to a destination of their choosing. This year is no different. We are in the early planning stages for our Summer 2017 Mission Trip. In doing so, we will be hosting our main fundraising event, our 4th Annual Chili Cook-Off and Silent Auction (date TBD – late winter 2017). We will open the sign up for chili entrants – 12 entries only – on a first come, first served basis. Ticket prices are $10/adults and $5.00/child (4-11) . We will be having some great items up for bid at our Silent Auction and would like to invite you to come check it out and take a chance at outbidding your neighbor for the Pool Party or Babysitter or Painting or other items up on the auction block.
In the past few years, our trips have included Louisville, Kentucky (2015), Benton Harbor, Michigan (2014), and Taylorsville, North Carolina (2013), with earlier trips to Minneapolis, Toronto, and American Indian Reservations in the Dakotas. Every three years, the youth opt to participate in the ELCA’s Youth Gathering, an event that brings 30,000 Lutheran youth together for a week of worship, praise, music, service and Christian fellowship. In July 2015, the youth spent a week in Detroit for this event; in 2012, they spent a week in New Orleans, giving the city a much-needed economic boost after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. In 2015, the 7 youth and 2 adults were forever changed by their experiences helping boost the economy and helping the City of Detroit rise up and move ahead.
In addition to mission trips, our busy youth group participates in a variety of service projects and social activities. Recent service activities include volunteering at Cary Main Street Festival, sponsoring a Parent’s Night Out (babysitting service for parents), hosting Family Movie Nights in our Family Life Center, volunteering at Feed My Starving Children, and collecting items to assemble and send in care packages for our out-of-town college students during their final exams. Socially, the group has gathered for indoor rock climbing, pizza dinners, beach and pool parties, all night lock-ins at church, bowling, and an annual early morning Thanksgiving Day walk at The Hollows.
All high school youth and their friends are welcome to join in any of our service opportunities and social activities, but we do require completion of a Registration Form (which includes parental consent) prior to participation. Parents and their high school age youth who are members of the congregation and/or Youth Group are invited to visit and join the The JC Crew on Facebook, our Youth Group’s own page. Please contact Julie Wyatt at email@example.com to be added to this closed group.
All of our youth’s activities are made possible through the support of our congregation as well as the Youth Group’s fundraising efforts such as candle sales, bake sales, Babysitting Nights, Culver’s Nights and, especially our Annual “Chili Cook Off” competition/dinner and silent auction, held each winter. We are collecting food and supplies for the College Kids of the congregation so we can send College Care Packages of goodies to our friends who have gone off to college. Around Valentine’s Day weekend, we will be hosting another “Babysitting Night” to allow parents a “date night”. Last year it was successful and we have been asked to do it again.