It was awesome to see all of you who joined us for the Youth Parent Meeting and our Volunteer Orientation! We loved getting to see all of you in the Justin again and we cannot wait to see what this year holds for us and for your families! Just in case you missed it or if you want to keep this info around, here’s a brief recap of everything we covered!
What We’re All About
FUMCFW Youth Ministries is here to help shape the faith lives of people during the period of life where they are most likely to make a decision about whether they will be religious for the rest of their lives – we play for keeps. They are asking hard questions about faith, about life, about who they are and about who God is, and we’re here to walk alongside them while they discover their answers.
Our goal is to dig deeply into the most core needs of teenagers – to be seen, known and loved, to know they belong, and to do something that matters – and to help them meet Christ right in the middle of all of it.
We have two big ideas behind how we do that, both of which might require some extra explanation: “Framily” and Healthy Plate Discipleship.
“Framily” is the combination of “friends” and “family” or friends that are like family. Framily is a deep, loving community that is built on our understanding of each other as inherently loved by and made in the image of God. It is a community of shared experience, of laughing until your side hurts, of eating together and worshipping together, of shared hugs and tears. Many people make friends in youth group that are their friends for the rest of their life, and we think helping your teenagers build those life-giving connections is one of the most important roles we can play in the faith life of your child. You can read more about Framily here!
Healthy Plate Discipleship is our church’s discipleship program. It is based on John Wesley’s means of Grace, or how sanctifying grace does its work on our lives, through 6 main categories: worship, learning, serving, giving, praying, and playing. The basic idea is that Christian life isn’t just about Sunday morning worship or a bible study, it’s about a whole life transformed by Christ. It’s about understanding your whole life in view of the gospel. Our hope is that by experiencing each of these different parts of Healthy Plate Discipleship during programming, trips and events, youth will build a foundation and understanding of what a Christian life can look like. You will see things color-coded by Healthy Plate Category throughout all of our youth ministry’s communications!
Together, these two ideas establish all of our why – We show young people what it means to live a life in pursuit of Christ, and we help them find people to do it with. So, if you wonder why we’re doing something, like messy games, or prayer stations, or dodgeball, trust that it is about these two things – none of this is an accident.
What We’re Doing
Confirmation (6th Grade) meets on the 2nd Floor of the Justin, where our Confirmands will spend some of each time as a “Class” (all 60+ of them together) and some as a “Cohort” (a set group of 10). The time as a class will involve teaching and large group activities, while their time as cohorts will involve intentional check-ins, application activities, and group bonding. Our Confirmation program uses Healthy Plate Discipleship as a framework for their experience and the seven vows of confirmation as its core content. The vows, found in the United Methodist Church’s Book of Discipline, represent the beliefs and knowledge that our denomination has historically held as the defining core of our community. The vows include beliefs about Jesus, scripture, faith, service and more! Our deepest desire is that when your young person gets asked, in front of God, friends and family these vows of membership, they know what they are saying “yes” to and that they cannot wait to see what comes next in their journey of faith.
Middle School Sunday School (7th & 8th Grade) meets on the 3rd Floor of the Justin for a time of games, worship, learning, small group discussion and activities! They will be talking through a whole bunch of theological questions, including ones about what it means to be the church, what they think about the Bible, who God is to them and more!
High School Sunday School (9th-12th Grade) meets on the 1st Floor of the Justin for worship before breaking out into three different elective classes: Faith in 3D, where students discuss where faith and culture intersect; Soul Care, where students learn different spiritual disciplines and prayer practices; Worship Planning 101, where students will plan Youth Sunday for later this fall from the ground up; and Fail->Safe, where students will participate in programming that encourages them to try new things, even if they’re bad at it!
Students in 7th-12th Grade are invited to join us in the Justin Youth Building every Sunday evening from 5:30-7:30 pm for our Sunday evening gathering called The Refuge! This is a time for youth to recharge and to hang out together. We begin each Refuge with a shared meal, but every week is different, so we’ll rotate between opportunities for service, worship, learning and fun!
All of our events will be kept up to date on our Youth Ministries Google Calendar. You can add this calendar to any of your other calendars so you can keep track of everything we have going on, and we’ll make sure to keep it updated with details as we have them.
We are so excited to be launching into this school year and we cannot wait to see what this year holds for your teenagers, for your families and for our ministry! If you have any questions about any of our programming, policies or you want to volunteer, please reach out to me (email@example.com), I’m always happy to talk!
Director of Youth Ministries