SJE Youth

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Interested in helping out? Find out more online here.

You can view the schedule for our Story-tellers, Teachers, and Second Adults at Sunday School and Youth Group online here.

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All Middle and High schoolers are invited to join SJE Youth! We meet every Sunday morning for Faith Formation as well as every other Sunday afternoon for a variety of exciting events. Each meeting happens in the newly ReVamped Youth Room (room 5 downstairs), though our events sometimes take us offsite. Our program is based upon Journey to Adulthood (J2A).

The Journey to Adulthood (J2A) is a complete youth ministry program of spiritual formation for 6th-12th grades. It encourages relational ministry and uses Bible study, prayer, rites of passage, outreach ministries and both serious and playful activities to underscore the two guiding principles of the program: 1) Manhood and womanhood are free gifts from God; and 2) Adulthood must be earned. It includes in-depth exploration of Self, Spirituality, Sexuality and Society. 

The first two years of the program are “Rite 13,” taken from the name of the liturgical rite of passage that celebrates young people around their 13th birthday (similar to a bar/bat-mitvah, and which assists young people as they begin to take the first steps of independence from their families into their own lives. During these two years, the community acknowledges the gift of gender, celebrates the amazing creative power and potential of these young people, and creates a safe haven in which to explore new ideas, new interests and new abilities.

The next segment (Grades 8-9 or 9-10) helps teens create and understand the importance of Christian community as they develop critical thinking and other skills they will need in adulthood. During the J2A phase, teens learn and practice six basic skills for adulthood: Active listening, Negotiation, Assertion, Research and information management, Partnership, Leadership. The end of J2A is marked with a spiritual pilgrimage that is often a life-changing experience for the group.

Young Adults in the Church (YAC): This mentor-based program helps older teens (11th and 12th graders) discern and carry out a ministry within their church or in the larger community. Vocation and development of a personal credo are also emphasized.

Below is a video example of one church’s J2A Pilgrimage experience.

SJE Youth would love to have you join us anytime! If you are new to St. John’s or would just like more information, please contact Children & Youth Coordinator Reyna Masko at 616-842-6260, ext. 28 or rmasko@stjohnsepiscopal.com.

The SJE Youth Commission

Statement of Purpose: The Youth Commission is the backbone of SJE Youth Ministry, a team of adults who commit to building relationships with the youth of St. John’s. They are consistently present as mentors, friends, small group leaders in faith formation, helpers at youth events, and partners to the Youth Coordinator.

Goals:

  1. To encourage involvement among current teenagers at St. John’s and also to cultivate those now in Sunday School into a cohesive group that will be the SJE Youth in the future.
  2. To give the youth a space and time where they can explore and deepen their faith—particularly through ecumenical and multi-cultural experiences—where they can ask questions freely and be heard, where they can they can realize how great God’s love is for them and continue to form their identity in Christ
  3. To give the youth a space and time where they can further form their community and figure out how to integrate that into the larger church and Christian community.
  4. To ensure that our youth know they are valued by the church, not just by the person paid to hang out with them. To that end, the Commission is involved in the life of the youth so that the whole church is part of guiding them as they build their life in Christ, just as we promised at their baptisms.

Membership: This is ministry is overseen by the Rector and his delegated staff member— our Youth Coordinator, assisted by the Youth Commission The Youth Commission is comprised of adults of all ages who not only help to make decisions about the program, but who enter into relationship with the youth, who form pieces of the constellation of adults who surround and support the youth of St. John’s. All who work in this ministry are certified by Safeguarding God’s Children.

 

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