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.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/ice cream party
- Christmas caroling for shut-ins
- SOUPER Bowl…collection of donations for PAL
- 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 – Winter 2017
February 18 (yes, Saturday!): Movie Night in the Youth Suite 7:00 p.m. Beverages and popcorn will add to your cinematic experience!
February 19: Bowling Meet at South Hanover Bowling Lanes at 5:30. Pick up will be 7:30. How many strikes can you get? Please bring money for snacks.
February 26 – Snow Tubing @ Heritage Hills This event is for the whole family! Meet in the church parking lot to leave at 5:00. We will return by 9:00. Youth in the 7th through 12th grade are paid for, but younger siblings, older siblings and parents will need to pay their own. Our cost will depend on our number, but it will be $22-26 per person. You must reserve your tubing spot by February 19.
March 5 and 19 will be regular meetings in the Youth Suite (rooms 303/304).
MARCH 17/18–MIDDLE SCHOOL LOCK-IN! This annual Lock-in includes our 6th graders along with 7th, 8th and 9th graders. Meet at the church at 7:00 on Friday evening and be picked up at 8:30 on Saturday morning. Please bring your sleeping bag, pillow, jammies and a snack to share. You may also bring one friend (may or may not be a member of St. Matthew!) Please contact the Pecks to let them know you are coming.
Contact info for the Pecks, our coordinators: (717)476-9977 and firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
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). https://youtu.be/PEtNkyT_wWA?list=PLD2BE6D47D7169CB5
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: https://youtu.be/f8uQvL5dG2M?list=PLD2BE6D47D7169CB5
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: https://youtu.be/BQrbE-_SChs?list=PLD2BE6D47D7169CB5
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: https://youtu.be/xVg62VaQL50?list=PLD2BE6D47D7169CB5
Sunday morning worship: https://youtu.be/i62wbryn4RQ