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:
Talking to God at least once a day and committed to service, we aspire to grow in our spiritual practices. We choose to be an inclusive and safe community. Individually and as a group, we’ll seek and foster the God in others.
Church School begins at 9:50 a.m. on the 4th floor for all youth.
- September - We ease into the new school year by brushing up on all things Presbyterian.
- October - May - The youth are encouraged to take part in one of two classes: Confirmation or Discipleship Journey.
Youth choir is for all youth in grades 6-12, regardless of musical experience. It begins in September and ends each May. The choir prepares choral music in a variety of musical styles during their weekly rehearsal from 9:00 - 9:45 a.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-April) Youth from grades 6 through 12 are encouraged to participate in Presbyterian Youth Connection (PYC) from noon to 2:30 p.m. This 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. A head boy and head girl are chosen to support each flock as well.
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 in Byrd Hall. Emcees and acts audition in advance. Other youth help with hosting and tech responsibilities.
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 6th, 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 6th 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.
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. Youth and sponsored volunteered at the Blackwater Integrated College in Downpatrick, 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 2019.
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 Youth Committee
The youth committee has oversight of all youth work, as a subcommittee of the Education Council. 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.
(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.
Calendar and Forms
Camilla Ballard, Director of Youth Ministries | x231 | email