A message from Pastor Steve:
Wow! What a week (or almost two now!) it’s been for all of us! We realize that your lives and routines have probably changed dramatically over the past few days… our prayer is that it hasn’t overwhelmed or exhausted you. As we follow our youth online, and hear bits and pieces of the conversation, we hear that this has been a tough time for them as well.
It’s hard and lonely not to be able to connect with friends and peers like you’re accustomed to (youth are pretty reliant on their friends and peers.) It’s stressful when you don’t have instant or easy access to teachers and school suddenly becomes more confusing and overwhelming. Motivation is hard when you feel like you’re flying solo, or when you’re uncertain what the result of this year will be. Thoughts like, “Will I graduate?” “Will I have to repeat classes?” and “Am I meeting the expectations?” are running though our youth’s heads. While we’re certain life will return to normal, we understand that our youth’s life experience probably hasn’t yet convinced them… this is a great time for building into that important life lesson!
Over the past week we’ve been planning and connecting with our awesome youth leadership team discussing how we might be able to restore just a small sense of normalcy to your youth’s lives. Our goal is to start doing youth ONLINE THIS WEEK! Please be patient with us… this is new for everyone and we haven’t got all the kinks worked out… so we may have glitches. Some leaders don’t have access to technology and internet that is sufficient yet… but we don’t want to delay. Here’s our current plan:
1. Regularly release VIDEOS – Levi, Steve and members of the team will be working hard in the next weeks to post regular video messages for your youth to think about. You’ll find them on our YouTube channel (along with live-streamed Sunday worship services if you would like to join us). We encourage you to subscribe to our channel to get notifications of new releases. Find it here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9u-vqGf-40QTpWcw24QYAQ
2. Host ONLINE GROUPS – Small groups will be meeting at regular youth times: 7:00pm on Monday for Junior Youth and 7:30pm on Wednesday for Senior Youth (unless otherwise communicated by your youth’s small group leader). Most of our groups will be using the “Zoom” app for these meetings and will send your youth a link.
3. There are tons of great resources for spiritual growth online. If you would like a FREE ACCOUNT with RightNow Media (the world’s largest online library of video Bible study and training resources) please let us know. We would love give you free access to this resource. Just let us know! All we need is a confirmation and the email address you’d like to associate with the account.
4. We are still here for your youth. Call, text, message, video conference… We often hesitate because we think our pastors are too busy. Truth be told, we’re a little stir crazy too. Sometimes connecting for a couple minutes is just the interruption we need in a day.
Please rest assured that our prayers are with you and we’re here to support you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if there is anything at all that we can help with!
WHAT DO WE DO ON A WEDNESDAY NIGHT?
Typically we begin the evening with an informal time of connection and just hanging out. Once everyone has arrived we often move into the sanctuary (our main meeting room) to worship and connect with God. Youth are encouraged to do this however the feel most comfortable whether that be joining us at the front to sing, unwinding quietly in your own space or connecting with a youth leader in the foyer. We believe God is ready to connect with you as you are… so, we want to help you do that. After the music stops a member of the speaking team typically shares an inspirational message from the Bible and their own life experience. When that is finished we meet in smaller groups to connect, hang out and talk more personally. These times are led by members of our carefully selected, screened and trained volunteer team led by Pastor Steve, Levi (Youth Ministry Intern) and Program Director Cynthia.
NEED A LITTLE MORE?
Our team is passionate about connecting with you outside the standard “youth times.” You’ll often find us at Lighthouse (NPC on Tuesdays) or Stonehouse (GVC on Fridays) and we are always open to connecting with you for coffee and one on one connection.
Parents! We know your “high school experience” can be challenging too. We're here for you too! Please don’t hesitate to contact us!