A new season of youth and young adult ministry has begun, so we want to give you an update on where we’re at and what’s coming for our 4th/5th grade, middle school, high school, and 1935 young adult ministries.
Our Student Ministry Leadership Team has made a few plans and changes for this fall. The team consists of both Pastor Kristin and Pastor Chuck, as well as, our ministry volunteer leaders (in no particular order): Jo Kincanon, Meghan McClellan, Katy Travis, Ben Teninty, Victor Quesada, Courtney FitzSimons, Ben Waninger, and Nate Waninger. We meet each month to plan, pray, and dream up new ideas for what we can do for the students.
It was this team that prayed and discerned this year’s plan to add middle school to our youth group nights on Wednesday. Doors open to the Life Center at 6pm for students to come early and hang out in the re-designed Rec Room. We begin all together at 6:30pm in the huddle with a light snack and a time for sharing and connecting over our week. We then move into a game time with everyone together for about 40 minutes. And then at about 7:25 we split into middle and high school groups for our small group discussion time.
For this year, our small group time is using a curriculum called Echo: The Story from Spark House media. Echo is a 36-week series that will span the entire school year, and the purpose of the series is simply to share the story of the bible that (as they say) has been echoed from generation to generation. The idea takes a next step from last years theme about “what is Christian Community”, and it draws us all into a creative and imaginative retelling of the whole story of the bible. The story doesn’t dive deep into theology and exegetical discoveries, and more so focuses on helping the students see the big picture and overarching themes of scripture that reveal God’s universal character and hope of restoration for His human creation (us). Please join us in praying throughout the year, that students may come to know God and His word in new and profound ways this year.
Outside of our regular Youth Group Nights, our Fourth and Fifth grade students will once again gather on the second Sunday of every month after the worship service. Additionally, we have a few events planned for the fall that include a corn maze trip for middle school students on September 30, an Escape Room trip on October 14, and a Christmas Party to end the semester on Wednesday, December 20.
Additionally, our High School students will begin preparing for our summer trip in 2024! We are excited that the Covenant’s triennial High School summer trip called Unite (formerly known as CHIC) has returned after it was cancelled due to Covid in 2021. Our high school students will join with their peers from around the eastern side of the country for this life-changing event in July 2024. New this time around… Unite is being advertised as “one event, two locations”, as there will be a Unite East that we attend at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, that will go alongside Unite West that takes place in San Diego. While there is a LOT more info to figure out, including finances, we are currently planning our first Unite Fundraiser. After it’s popularity last February, we are planning the re-named “Harvest Soup Luncheon and Dessert Auction” on Sunday, November 19 after the Harvest Ingathering worship service that morning. All will be invited to join us for a “by-donation” lunch consisting of several varieties of delicious homemade soups, as well as, samplings of desserts donated by students that will be live-auctioned afterward. This means, there’s a chance you could take-home a delicious dessert to serve at your family’s thanksgiving meal the following week! Look for more details as we get closer.
When it comes to our 1935 Young Adult ministry, our first gathering of the year took place this past Sunday. Because of the variety of ages and seasons of life and busyness for our young adults, we are taking 1935 gatherings one step at a time; opening the conversation to those that attend to help plan and determine what all were wanting to do together next. As this ministry grows and develops, we welcome new ideas and volunteers to host events and gatherings for our young adults to get together and connect throughout the year. Please continue to pray for our young adults, whether they are young and in their formational college years, or working on advancing their early career, or even taking care of their young families… pray that God meets them where they are and that God help us as a church to provide a place for them to grow deeper in faith, become stronger in relationship and community with one another, and find a home as a part of ECC.
As always, please continue praying for me as I seek God’s wisdom and plans for all these ministry initiatives. Please pray for our students and young adults, that they find a sense of encouragement, inspiration, community, and hope as they draw closer to God through these ministries. And thank you for your continued support and investment in the next generations of our church through these ministries!
--Pastor Chuck Potts