Grace UMC loves students!
There are all kinds of ways for youth, 6th-12th grade, to make friends, have fun and grow in their faith through the ministries here, and we invite students in our congregation and community to come check it out. Our main youth event is the weekly Youth Group gathering (Sunday evenings from 6-8:15pm during the school year). In the summers, we have special events each week…check the calendar
Youth Group is different each week, but always includes a snack supper—your first visit is on us, but after that, please bring $3 for dinner if you can. Some weeks at Youth Group we serve our neighbors with projects around the community to make life better for other people, and some weeks we have a program and discussion about important life topics and how a relationship with God matters in real lilfe. Other weeks we have Youth Worship, led by different grades throughout the year and accompanied by our rocking Got Hymn? youth band
. Sometimes we just have fun together!
A few times each year, the students go on youth retreats for Middle School and High School for spiritual growth and fun times.
In addition to Youth Group, many students participate in the Wesley Singers youth choir
who sing regularly in worship as well as for concerts and special events. Each summer, the Wesley Singers go on tour, singing for other churches and visiting children’s homes, nursing homes, and other people who need an extra measure of grace! Wesley Singers meets Sunday afternoons before Youth Group, from 4:45-6pm, and Director Lynn Jost is glad to welcome all students, throughout the year, regardless of previous musical experience.
Youth Missions are a huge part of youth ministry at Grace!
As United Methodists, we believe that personal and social holiness always go together, and we work to build mission skills and spark mission passion in the students. In addition to Sunday night Youth Group mission projects, our youth lead evenings of service in the food pantry at the SERVE community shelter every month on the third Wednesdays, starting at 6pm. Each year, the group leads the church in fasting through the 30 Hour Famine during Lent, raising money and spiritual awareness about issues of hunger and justice. Special events like a “Box City” to learn about homelessness also round out the special events for youth missions during the school year.
Summertime at Grace means youth Summer Mission Trips! Middle schoolers, especially our 6th graders, are invited to participate in the Westview on the James mission weekend in August, and there is an opportunity for older middle school students to be a part of the Jeremiah Project. Both of these ministries offer a chance for younger students to explore their faith as they serve others through home repair ministries. Every year, these missions are great experiences for students to expand their horizons in service and spirituality!
The Senior High Mission Trip is an adventure every year! Each year, we work to find a different type of mission—urban, cross-cultural, rural, etc.—for senior high students to grow and serve. In recent years, we have participated in the Pittsburgh Project, Carolina Cross Connection, Future Without Poverty (Mexico), and with the Pee Dee Indian Reservation in South Carolina. Senior high students are also invited to participate in whole-church intergenerational missions. Many students in 2010 went on the church Holy Week Mission Trip to New Orleans to do home repair, and five of our graduating seniors joined the church’s Ukraine Mission Team to do campus ministry and lead a Vacation Bible School in L’viv with our covenant missionaries .
All of this youth ministry happens because of great student and adult leaders! Director of Youth Ministries Emily Foster and our adult small group leaders are passionate about young people's faith lives. The students on Youth Council work with staff and adult Youth Leaders to plan great events that help young people in the community and the church grow in their faith.
Youth Council 2010-11
Co-Presidents: Caiti Costello and Steven Field
Co-Vice Presidents: Leigh Rohrbach and Brittany Scharek
Secretary: Amy Vancampen
Worship Co-Chairs: Cayla Costello and Carley Wilson, Jr. Chair: Minh Kieu, Team Members: Sam Elston, Corinne Fear, Laura Kline, Kyle West
Mission Co-Chairs: Shelby Foor and Brian Vetal, Jr. Chair: Caelan Ryberg, Team Members: Charlie Bolling, Brandon Cali, Kathryn Morison
Education Co-Chairs: John Sims and Cailyn West, Jr. Chair: Haylee Foor, Team Members: Matt Goodie, Jordane Metenou, Alyssa Ryberg, Anna Wisch
Outreach Co-Chairs: Michelle Hettmann and Molly Levine, Jr. Chair: Chad Rohrbach, Team Members: Kellsey Scharek, Katie Thompson, Kenny Williamson
Youth Leaders 2010-11
6th Grade: Terri Costello and Jeff Wisch
7th/8th Grade: Doug Glysson and Debbie Cali
7th/8th Grade: Anil Kakar and Kristen Runaldue
9th Grade: Brad Costello and Anne Ellis
10th Grade: Dale Rohrbach and Sandy Weidman
11th Grade: Cyndee Sirk and Dan Vetal
12th Grade: Dave Boyer and Peggy Foor