We are the youth ministry of Messiah Episcopal Church, serving students from grades six through 12. We’re all about helping kids come to Christ and Christian kids become Christian adults. Led by Youth Director Bobbie Booth, We do this by supporting families as they raise their children in the Christian faith. Our students serve the church as acolytes, lectors, working with Children’s Ministries, Healing team, and through our Youth worship band.
Why We Do What We Do
It’s a lot more than just messing up the Church!
The teenage years can be some of the most complex and confusing times in the life of an individual. There are so many different influences that can lead youth away from the path of life. Messiah’s Youth exists to bring kids to Christ and see Christian kids become Christian adults.
From a biblical and theological perspective, the primary responsibility for nurturing faith in Messiah’s kids lives lies with the child’s household (Acts 16:25-34). When a child is baptized or dedicated, the parents pledge the following:
Will you be responsible for seeing that the child you present is brought up in the Christian faith and life?
Will you by your prayers and witness help this child to grow into the full stature of Christ? (Book of Common Prayer, page 302)
Yet parents, especially today, need help from the church to fulfill their commitment to their children. We also see some of Messiah’s youth who have no parents in the church. With this in mind it is the church itself, the ‘household of faith,’ that needs to come along side the family and students. As a congregation, we have responsibility for all our members’ faith. When a child is baptized or dedicated, the congregation pledges the following:
Will you who witness these vows do all in your power to support these persons in their life in Christ? (Book of Common Prayer, page 303)
We believe, whether present or not at baptism, we all as a community have a responsibility for the faith of others (Proverbs 22:6, James 5:16). Youth especially need guidance and wisdom to navigate the culture they live in. Because of Messiah’s Youth our teens find community. They find a place where they have authentic friendships, where they are accepted, where they can goof around. They have a place to encounter God and grow in their faith. Where they are challenged to live out the light, God has put inside them.
What we Value:
- Families integrated into the life of the church:
We value families. We do this by supporting families as they raise their children in the Christian faith. We value seeing teens integrated into the church. We see them volunteering in ministries throughout the church with their families.
We value the Bible. We do this through biblical teaching at Sunday school, confirmation and Wednesday youth night.
- Relational ministry:
We value relational ministry. We do this with a gifted team of adult and peer leaders, who support students in their daily life. Through meeting individually with students and encouraging them in their faith.
We do this through our special events. We attend an evangelism conference in the fall, participate in the 30-Hour Famine in the spring, and have a senior high mission trip in the summer.
We value leadership. We do this through our 412 program, where youth become student leaders. We do this through equipping our leaders with the tools to improve their leadership skills.
We value a life of worship. We do this through having our students join in with their families on Sunday mornings. We do this through offering a variety of worship experiences on Wednesday nights.
We value communication. We do this through our family handbook, Sunday bulletin, the Pillar of Youth announcement space (located in the Gathering Space on the main level), Messiah’s Youth Facebook group, monthly email newsletter/flyer.
- Being welcoming:
We value being welcoming. We see this by creating an environment in all our ministries, where new people can fit right in. We see this by our students inviting their friends to YouthNite or special events.
M.Y. Junior High Sunday School
For sixth through eighth graders, this class applies scripture to the issues of everyday junior high life and meets Sundays at 10 a.m. in the Junior High Room on the third floor. This year Junior High Sunday School has been actively getting involved studying the books of Paul’s Missionary Journeys.
M.Y. Senior High Sunday school
For ninth through 12th graders, this class tackles Christian apologetics in a conversational way. The class meets Sundays at 10 a.m. in the Senior High Room on the third floor. This class regularly studies the books of Romans, Isaiah, Revelation and John.
For mature 8th graders and up. The class is taught primarily by Barb Olson with help from members of the congregation. Confirmation at Messiah is a 16-month experience of learning and doing. Class stretches from Lent through to Pentecost of the following year. From Lent through Epiphany students are in Sunday school and youth night together. Class content includes: sacraments, Scripture, creeds, nature of Christ, prayer book, church history, spiritual gifts, and Messiah ministries. Confirmants spend the Lent and Easter seasons in ministry internships, as they explore their spiritual gifts. Confirmation is in June.
Our midweek program on Wednesday’s from 6:30-8 p.m., where students grades six through 12 come to learn and discuss topics that effect their lives. Topics we have covered include music, trusting God, godly leadership, social justice, relationships & sex, and body image. We engage in worship with our Youth Band twice a month. Our students love active learning, we incorporate a lot of games and skits into our time together. This is also a place where students get to connect with their friends and leaders in small groups.
M.Y. Special Events
Events may include: Monster Lock-In, Fat Tuesday Pancake Supper, All Saints Festival and Retreat, Mission’s Dinner, Graduation Celebration, Youth and Family Fall Retreat, Guys night/Girls Night. Thanks to all those who pray, chaperone, transport, feed, and help in any way with our special events.
By God’s grace and Messiah members’ support, we are blessed to have quality staff interns for summer ministries. Interns plan a full summer of weekly Bible studies, Fun Friday’s and service events, and make weekly contact with students. They also serve our children by leading Children’s Chapel and organizing the strong youth presence at our vacation bible school for children, Great Adventure Days.
Summer Special Events
We have a number of foundational events, where students build life-long relationships with God and with each other. Junior high and the Confirmation students are invited to Adventure Camp at beautiful Camp CrossWoods, a Messiah tradition for 15 years. Our senior high goes on our annual summer mission’s trip, to such places as Winnipeg, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Denver.