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 FALL 2017

September 3:   Annual Church Picnic at Penn Grove Retreat

Be an usher at our 11:00 a.m. service in the pavilion and then stay for the picnic!  Bring your whole family to enjoy fried chicken and the wide variety of sides (you may bring one, too!)  There will be a Corn Hole Tournament and BINGO!  The picnic is $5 for individuals and $10 for a family.  Sign up at the Hospitality Desk or call the church office at 637-7101.

September 10:  Ornament Fund-raiser for the National Youth Gathering

All NYG youth are asked to sign up for a time to be at the Ornament Table:  8:45 to 9:15, 9:15 to 10:00 or 10:15 to 10:45.  Youth not attending the NYG are welcome to help out as well!  The new  Rose Window ornament will be there!

September 10:  Rail Trail Bike Hike and Picnic

Pump up those bike tires and be at the church parking lot for our 1:30 p.m. departure time.  Please bring a side dish to share at the picnic at the Yeiser’s house following the bike hike.  If you don’t have a bike or would prefer to walk the trail, that is fine!  We’ll be back to church by 8:00 p.m.

September 17:  Regular Meeting in the Youth Suite

Gather with other youth in the Youth Suite (rooms 303/304 in the youth building to the rear of the church) for faith exploring and building activities.  Have fun with video-games, foosball, ping pong, Sardines or a million other ways!

September 22 through 24:  ALiVE

This is the synod’s annual middle school retreat held at Camp Nawakwa.  Registration forms and information have been sent to all 6th through 8th graders.  Please contact Jan Davis at 637-7101 or if you did not receive it.  Registrations are due Sunday, September 3.

September 23:  Church Clean-Up Day

Using the theme “God’s Work, Our Hands” all members of St. Matthew are invited to come out to do work projects for those who are unable to do them by themselves.  It might be painting a wall, pruning a tree or weeding a garden.  Let the Pecks know what time you will be available to help out.  This is another family event!




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: