The Youth Ministry at FPC provides an array of activities and events to help develop the faith life of students.
From Confirmation classes to weekly Presbyterian Youth Fellowship (PYC), Service Corps Dinner to camps and conferences, there are many opportunities for worship, service, study, and fellowship. As youth and adults, we respond to God’s call through the Holy Spirit to be connected to each other, the church, and the world so that our lives proclaim with joy that Jesus Christ is Lord!
Each year, the youth group ascribes to a covenant that guides their life together:
As disciples of Jesus Christ we will welcome each other by name, include and respect each other as well as ourselves. As faithful members of this congregation we will share in its worship and ministry through our prayers, gifts, study and service.
We understand that our inclusive participation brings the party. Our leaders can expect us to be respectful, listen and appreciate them and the time they give. In turn, we expect our adult leaders to lead by example, be fair, understanding and appreciate us.
Church School begins at 9:30 a.m. for all youth, with a time of celebrations and concerns in the Great Room on the fourth floor.
- September - We ease into the new school year by brushing up on all things Presbyterian.
- October-May - Younger youth will begin the year with a exploration of discipleship. Older youth will focus on THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS by C.S. Lewis.
- June-August - Summer 2017 TBA
Youth choir is for all youth in grades 7-12, regardless of musical experience. The choir prepares choral music in a variety of musical styles during their weekly rehearsal from 3:00-4:00 p.m. Members provide musical leadership for the 10:50 a.m. service at least once per month and engage in special services and events throughout the year. The youth choir is a great place for our busy young people to develop basic choral singing skills that will serve them for a lifetime of enjoyment in choral singing.
Youth with instrumental music skills can find a place in the church’s instrumental ensembles including a brass group, periodic woodwind groups, and a newly formed string ensemble. The church owns an extensive collection of percussion instruments as well.
(August through April) Youth from grades 7 through 12 are encouraged to participate in Presbyterian Youth Connection (PYC) from 4:00-6:00 p.m. - The evening time together focuses on opportunities for worship, service and recreation.
PYC Sorting Ceremnony and Dinner
Each year, youth are divided into flocks with two Adult Shepherds. Each flock is named for significant Presbyterian leaders. Those attending the dinner are invited to come in costume.
The Service Corps Dinner and Celebration
The Service Corps honors FPC youth who have volunteered 35 or more hours in the past year for their church, school, or community. Hours must be turned in on a quarterly basis and ten of a candidate's hours must be given to the church.
During the church-school hour, younger youth are invited to learn more about our Christian and Presbyterian history as well as Reformed beliefs, in preparation for full membership in the church. In October the class begins selecting and organizing the service project they will carry out. November and December classes help youth explore scriptures they will later memorize. The four months of formal study begin with a Saturday kick-off class in January. During the spring, confirmands meet with the Session and lead Evening Prayer.
This intergenerational variety and talent show is held annually on a Sunday evening in Byrd Hall. Emcees and acts audition in advance. Other youth prepare publicity or help with the dessert and coffee portion of the evening.
High-school graduates are recognized during worship the first Sunday in May and honored with a gala luncheon and program in Byrd Hall.
Conferences and Retreats
SHYC (Senior High Youth Connection)
The mid-winter yearly retreat is held in Sherman, Texas, at Austin College for all 9-12th graders in Grace Presbytery. The weekend includes leadership opportunities in drama, music, and recreation as well as small group gatherings, group building, worship, and a variety of Saturday afternoon workshops of interest to the youth.
A fall weekend event for all 7th and 8th graders in Grace Presbytery at Camp Gilmont. The time together focuses on worship, small group opportunities, recreation and group building.
Junior High Jubilee and Senior High Youth Celebration
Each summer, rising 7th graders through graduated high school seniors have the opportunity to attend Synod-wide youth conferences at Mo-Ranch in the hill country of Texas. Opportunities for community building through small group experiences, recreation, energizers, and the closing outdoor worship and communion service provide a rich experience that has become a must on all the calendars of those who have attended.
Mini Mission Project
This weekend of local service in June is open to all youth who have completed the 7th-12th grades.
Major Mission Project
Every three years, the youth and their sponsors embark on an extended mission project. Previous work has included scraping, painting, landscaping, and hosting a neighborhood block party with Mountain View Presbyterian Church in Seattle, Washington; In 2009 youth helped prepare Camp Westminster in Michigan for their summer program. In June 2012, youth and sponsored volunteered at the Blackwater Integrated College in Downpatrick, Northern Ireland. In 2015, youth helped establish a camp which brought Catholic and Protestant children and youth together at Lagan College in Northern Ireland.
Montreat Youth Conferences
Every summer, excluding major mission project years, youth who have completed the 8th-12th grades are eligible to attend the Montreat Youth Conference held at Montreat, North Carolina. Youth from across the country gather for a week of worship, recreation, and small group connections. Senior high youth will next attend in 2017.
Every three years the PC(USA) hosts an international youth conference at Purdue University. Youth in grades 9-12 apply and interview for the opportunity to be part of the Grace Presbytery delegation. The next conference will be in 2019.
The Youth Committee
The youth committee has oversight of all youth work, as a subcommittee of education and fellowship. Ten youth are elected to a one-year term with an option for a second. Adult leaders are asked to serve a two-year term. The committee meets on the second Sunday of each month at noon following worship.
This program, a part of PYC, offers an opportunity for youth to stay more connected to each other and to provide peer support. Flocks send cards, update youth information, and make personal contacts throughout the year.
(see weekly activities)
Christmas Eve Candlelighters
Youth attend one practice in preparation to serve as candle lighters in the 7:00 p.m. service.
In addition, youth may help with the Advent Festival, Journey through Holy Week, Senior Sunday prep, Vacation Church School, and more. Contact Camilla Ballard at ext. 231 for further information.
Calendar and Forms
Camilla Ballard, Director of Youth Ministries | x231 | email
Emily Hill, Coordinator for Education | x226 | email