Welcome to another new program year! I hope everyone has had a (relatively) easy time getting into the swing of the new school year! As your family lines up activities for the 2017-18 year, one activity I hope you will consider building in to your family’s calendar, if it’s not there already, is Youth Group. We have an exciting year ahead and we want to have your family involved.  
          Our first meetings of the year will be this Sunday, September 17, with the Middle School group from 4:30 – 6 pm and the High School group from 6 – 8 pm.  
          We are also planning our first ever Lock-In here at FPCY! An overnight of fun – Sunday, October 8- Monday, October 9 (that’s Columbus Day weekend). Please mark your calendar! More details will be announced shortly.
           Our theme for the 2017-18 Youth Group year is “Connections”. Taking a cue from FPCY’s mission and motto, “Connecting with God, One Another, and the World”, we will focus on making our existing connections stronger as well as making new connections to our community, to our faith, and each other.  
We’ve been floating around a bunch of exciting activity ideas for the upcoming year. Here is just a sample:
  • “Grill the Pastors” – an opportunity to ask questions of our panel of Clergy
  • Joint activities with Youth from other Presbyterian congregations as well as other faith communities
  • Christmas Caroling
  • Ice-Skating
  • Cooking and baking projects to support the food ministries of our congregation
  • Movie Night
         At any Youth meeting, there is sure to be fellowship, faith, and fun.Research has found that teenagers who are involved in youth clubs, including Church Youth Groups, are less likely to engage in risky behavior, are happier, and eat fruits and vegetables more regularly (seriously, that’s in the research!). While I can’t guarantee that your child will eat more broccoli after coming to Youth Group, I can say that s/he will have many opportunities to form positive relationships with their peers and other adults in our congregation. In other words, make Connections.
       Youth Groups usually meet on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month, though sometimes this changes due to holidays and other special occasions. Our Youth activities are always open to all Youth in Middle and High School, so folks can drop in at any point throughout the year.
        Adults: see an activity or think of something that you would like to help with? Feel free to reach out and make a connection! Periodically throughout the year, we need extra help with transportation and snacks, but we also love to have adults who have expertise in a particular topic in or out of the church come help us learn something new. So connect with us this year at Youth Group! If you have any questions, call, text, email, or find me before or after church (I’m almost always in the choir loft at the 10:45 service).
Yours in Christ,
Steph Hare, Director of Youth Ministries