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 life aware of the many blessings given to you from God, and helping to make a difference in our world.Confirmation Retreat 2015 005The 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/ice cream party
  • 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,  Stop Hunger Now Meal Packaging, the annual picnic, and the annual Easter Egg Hunt. The adults even seem to enjoy having us around! In July 2015, our senior high youth attended the National Youth Gathering in Detroit.  (See below for highlight videos!)  A few of us traveled to Mexico as part of the church’s mission trip in 2014, and we regularly participate in Synod-sponsored events such as the WinterFest.

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 SPRING 2018


MARCH 11:  Paint Night Fundraiser, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. in Fellowship Hall    Grab a paintbrush and paint and make a new creation on a canvas!  Not a fantastic artist?  It’s OK–our resident artist will help you every step of the way to a beautiful picture.  Cost is $25 with all proceeds funding our National Youth Gathering trip.  Family and friends are welcome to attend!

MARCH 18:  Regular Meeting in the Youth Suite, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

MARCH 25:  Palm Sunday Easter Egg Hunt       Help our confirmation class fill the plastic eggs with treats.  After lunch (be sure to sign up in the Gathering Place for you and your family!), we’ll hide the eggs for the younger kids.

APRIL 1:  No Youth Group tonight.  Celebrate Easter by watching Jesus Christ Superstar on NBC!

APRIL 15: No Youth Group – Join the celebration of our 275th year  YOU are now part of the history of St. Matthew!  Come on out to worship this morning at 10:00  for a huge celebration of our past, present and our future.  You add so much to our ministry here–we want to see you as part of our worship family this morning!

APRIL 21: PSU Blue-White Game   for the whole family!  Have an awesome time tail-gating and then cheer at the game.  Details about departure and return times will be coming soon.  We’ll be looking for parents who can help us with transportation!

May 6: Regular Youth Group 6:00-8:00pm

Sat., May 12: CAR WASH Fundraiser  While this is to benefit those attending the NYG this summer, all youth are invited to wash some cars this day!  We’ll be at the car wash by Jiffy Lube.  Come hold a sign, soap up a car or rinse one off.  Lots to do so come ready for anything–including getting wet!

Friday, May 18: 6th, 7th & 8th LOCK-IN   An amazing “Escape Room” experience is being planned by our older youth for this event!  We’ll welcome next fall’s 7th graders while they are still in 6th grade.  We’re looking forward to more awesome kids joining in our group!

Sun., May 20: CONFIRMATION DAY  Our 8th graders will be confirmed at the 10:45 a.m. service.  There will be a time to remember our friend, Bryan, during this service.  While we always hope for our youth to come out to worship and to support our new confirmands on Confirmation  Day, we especially hope that youth will attend this service.

Keep your eyes open for further information in the bulletin, the Messenger, the youth group Facebook page and texts from the Pecks!
















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

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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: