If you were at the 11:00 am traditional service this Sunday, you heard Dr. Bruster launch our church sermon series on Healthy Plate Discipleship. The first week was on an element of Healthy Plate uniquely close to the heart of our Youth Ministries: “Learn.” We over at the Justin love to give youth opportunities to learn about God, about their communities, and about themselves. Our Sunday School program in particular is all about learning. At 9:30 am on Sunday mornings, the Justin is teeming with teenagers who split off into four different classes all aimed at teaching them about their faith in ways that engage, challenge, and stretch them.
Actually, let me walk you through the Justin at 10:00 am on any given Sunday. You come in the Big Room, our main space, and two high school seniors are leading dozens of 7th and 8th-grade students in a silly game. You scoot around the loud, energetic chaos and walk toward the stairs. As you do, you pass a room tucked back into the corner, lit only by lanterns and candles, and filled with soft music. A group of students are sitting on floor pillows and practicing ancient monastic prayers to themselves. You quietly slip past them and head up to the 3rd floor where you see a classroom, split into two sides. The students are having a formal debate on predestination and prevenient grace. Last but not least, you can hear movie clips coming from the next room over and pop your head in. Students are lounging on couches picking out the story of David and Solomon in clips from the movie “Mean Girls” projected onto the wall. And that tour doesn’t even cover the 40 confirmands on the 2nd floor with Casey!
We are all about learning, but we like to keep things interesting. Learning isn’t just about study or reading new books — it’s about critical engagement in Scripture, tradition, and with each other, that constantly challenges us and makes us see the world a little differently every time we learn something new. Come learn with us, and ask the youth in your life what they’ve been learning (and how they’ve been learning it) over at the Justin!