Beginning in the 6th Grade, our young people become a part of the Youth Program. There are five components to our program: Sunday classes, Wednesday evening programs, adventure trips, outreach projects, and leading worship.
On Sunday mornings, from 10:20 a.m. till 11:10 a.m., two age groups meet separately: 6-8th grades, and 9-12th grades. In each group, youth begin to learn skills necessary for becoming adult Christians, by exploring what the stories of the Bible teach us about how to live.
On Wednesday evenings the entire youth group meets together — for dinner, singing, fellowship and the sharing of concerns and wishes. We meet on the first, third and fifth (if there is one) Wednesday night of the month, starting at 6 pm.
Adventure trips bring us closer together. We build a community of mutual support and positive influence. Youth participate fully in planning these trips, and adults vie for the chance to come along as chaperones. Past excursions have included ski trips, rafting trips, and trips to New York City.
Outreach projects also take the youth group out into the community. These experiences build community and also grow the hearts and spirits of each youth. Local projects have included things like building a wheelchair ramp. Youth have also ventured much further on mission trips.
Leading worship provides another opportunity for service. Youth are encouraged to serve as acolytes, readers, chalice bearers or to help in any way they are able.
Confirmation: At between 16 and 18 years of age, if they are ready, our youth are confirmed. Confirmation is the time when they take the responsibility for their own spiritual nurture and growth, and they become adults in the church.
Where does the money come from? Youth projects often require funds beyond the amount originally budgeted by the vestry. The annual youth-led spaghetti dinner has become a Grace-Calvary tradition. Youth plan additional fundraising projects as needed, and the parish as a whole has always come through with generous support for youth initiatives.