Youth Group — Serving in Jesus’ Name

Simply by being a part of our congregation and in the 7th through 12th grades, you are considered to be one of our group! Even if you have never attended a youth group event, we welcome YOU! It is a safe place

to join other Christian youth, and be supported in leading a lifConfirmation Retreat 2015 005e aware of the many blessings given to you from God, and helping to make a difference in our world.

The Youth Group typically gathers twice monthly on the first and third Sundays in their remodeled space, rooms 303 & 304. During the summer, meeting days and/or times may change, and special family activities are added.

Below is a sampling of the kinds of things we do:

  • CROP Walk
  • Christmas caroling for shut-ins
  • SOUPER Bowl…collection of donations for PAL
  • Lock-in’s
  • Pool Party
  • Pole Steeple  hike (Caledonia)
  • Christmas Party
  • Softball game
  • Youth Group Retreat at Camp Nawakwa

In addition, we offer significant help with events in and around our congregation. We help to serve, set up, and clean up at church dinners. We participate in activities such as Hanging of the Greens,  Rise Against Hunger Meal Packaging, the annual picnic, and the annual Easter Egg Hunt. The adults even seem to enjoy having us around!

Details about the youth schedule are announced in the Church Messenger, the weekly Sunday Bulletin, our Facebook Page, and right here on the church’s website.  Check frequently so you don’t miss anything!!

Our Current Calendar FALL/WINTER 2018

Sept. 2 – Annual outdoor worship service followed by church picnic – – NO evening YG

Youth are needed to help usher and then to help run carnival themed games. You will still have plenty of opportunity to play cornhole and other things the picnic has to offer.

Let us know by Sept. 1stif you will be attending and how much of the day.

Sept. 9 – Rally Day 9:15 in Fellowship Hall – Theme: Life in 1743!  Youth may experience life in Colonial Times in our 2’s through 6th grade Sunday School rooms or watch a movie about life in 1776 (as close to 1743 as we could get!) in Fellowship Hall.

Tuesday, Sept. 11th – Mercy Me concert at The York Fair – If you preordered tickets last year, drop your $28.50 per ticket in the Youth Drop Box in the Gathering Space by the Hospitality Desk soon and we’ll get the tickets to you. Please plan your own transportation, but let us know if you need to make other arrangements.

Sept. 16 – YG 6-8:00pm –

In addition to returning to our evening routine, we will learn how to make bracelets that those on the trip to Guatemala made with the children. In early October we will then teach our children during Sunday School hour to make enough to hand out to during a Children’s Sermon on October 21st.

Sept. 23 – 9:15-10:15am during Sunday School hour in Fellowship Hall

National Youth Gathering Thank-you to the congregation and supporters. Come and see what they experienced and how “This Changes Everything!”

Sept. 28, 29, 30 – ALIVE – Synod event at Camp Nawakwa (6,7,8th Graders) – Check your mail for the Registrations. Let Tim (717-476-9920) know if you haven’t received one. Raven will be the adult attending with Tim joining depending on the number registered. Return registrations to the Youth Drop Box in the Gathering Space by SEPTEMBER 2!

Oct. 7 – Serve Senior Dinner & Pole Steeple Hike – No evening YG

Following late worship, the youth will serve the seniors in our congregation dinner, eat, begin clean-up, then depart by 2:00pm to hike. Bring $$ for ice cream on the way home. Pick-up in the church lot is estimated as before 7:00pm. So we can plan transportation let us know by October 1st that you are attending.

Oct. 21 – YG 6-8:00pm

This is also CROP Walk day — look for announcements to the congregation on joining this event with your family.  You can register on-line at  Search for St. Matthew Lutheran and click on our Hanover Walk to register.  You may also register at the Walk if you are with the Youth Group or with a parent.  Sign-in/Registration begins at South Western High School at 12:30.  The Walk begins at 1:00.

Oct. 28 – 275th Anniversary of St. Matthew with Bishop Dunlop preaching

Monday, Oct. 29 – Trunk-or-Treat – More details to come as we prepare to host this annual fundraiser for Ruth’s Harvest.

Saturday, Nov. 3 – Meal Packing Event – two sessions available from 10am-Noon & 1:00-3:00pm.

Nov. 4 – YG 6-8:00pm

Nov. 16, 17, 18 – Youth Group Retreat at Camp Nawakwa (7th through 12th Grades) – No evening YG on the 18th

Dec. 2 – YG 6-8:00pm

Dec. 8 & 9 – WINTERFEST – Synod event at The Nook (High Schoolers)

Dec. 16 – YG 6-8:00pm – Christmas Party – with annual photo to brighten the season for our shut-ins

















All of our off-site activities require a permission slip to participate.  You may print one from the above link or pick up a copy in the Youth Suite.


Contact info for the Pecks, our Youth Leaders: (717)476-9977 and or

Youth service 5.17.15 010Youth service 5.17.15 014

VIDEOS FROM THE NATIONAL YOUTH GATHERING EVENING PROGRAMS are now available on YouTube.  We’ve attached links for each evening’s full program so that you can share in the excitement, sing along with the music and hear the speakers!  Shorter videos of each speaker and many others of Gathering highlights are available on YouTube.  Type in “ELCA Youth Gathering” in the YouTube search for more videos.

Music for Wednesday, the first evening, was by Lost and Found, Larry Callahan and Selected of God, Agape, and Royal Tailor.  Speakers were Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, Mikka McCracken from ELCA World Hunger, and the Rev. Dr. Luke Powery from Duke. (Note:  the first video has sound problems at the beginning–sound should begin around 8-10 minutes in).

Thursday evening featured Karis Ailabouni, who spent a year in Madagascar as a YAGM (Young Adult in Global Mission).  Also speaking were Eric Barreto, professor at Luther Seminary, and Pastor Alexia Salvatierra, a national leader in areas of poverty and immagration.  Music was by Bobby Seigfried and Blanca. The video from Thursday evening follows:

Speakers on Friday were Rani Abdulmasih, pastor to one of the only Arabic speaking congregations in the U.S.; Sarah Funkhouser, YAGM in Jerusalem and the West Bank; Steve Jerbi, a pastor at All People’s Church and advocate for the environment; and Emily Scott, founding pastor of St. Lydia’s, a dinner church in Brooklyn. Rachel Kurtz’s music was great, but the highlight had to be a performance by Motown greats!  Friday evening program:

Music on Saturday was by Trip Lee, rapper and pastor, and Skillet (not shown).  Kyle Larson, YAGM in Mexico City, Veronika Scott, the founder and CEO of the Empowerment Plan in Detroit, Rozella White, ELCA Program Director for Young Adult Ministry, and Marian Wright Edelman, founder and President of the Children’s Defense Fund, spoke at the Saturday evening program:

Sunday morning worship: