God is Still Speaking Youth Group
A key focus of our middle school and high school youth ministry is to create a community that supports us in recognizing the many ways that God is calling, advising, challenging and loving us every day.
At Pilgrim we know that God is still speaking - to all of us - sometimes directly but often in ways we least expect it and saying things that surprise us.
There are the 4 themes that guide our youth ministry programming:
- Connect – building community with each other and the wider church
- Explore – beliefs and traditions at Pilgrim, within UCC and beyond
- Grow – sharing our faith and nurturing a personal relationship with God
- Serve – leveraging our spiritual gifts by putting our faith into action
Throughout the year there are a wide variety of ways in which we engage on these themes. For example, Monday@the Movies, a monthly event during which we meet for dinner, watch a Disney Pixar movie and then discuss the social and gospel themes subtly woven throughout. Celebrating Advent together at Brookfield Zoo's Holiday Magic. Blowing off steam at Sky Zone. Serving and learning at Feed Our Starving Children. Participating with other UCC youth at association, national and local church events.
One of the highlights each year is our High School Mission trip. Like all of our youth ministry activities, this event is open to Pilgrim youth and friends - all are welcome who want to explore and grow in faith through action. The one week trip typically takes place during the 2nd half of July, and we have partnered with a variety of organizations - YouthWorks, DOOR, Appalachian Service Project. We participate in a mix of urban, rural and even international mission experiences as we seek to hear the voice and see the face of God all around us.
In addition to youth-centered activities, we also lead and participate in several all-church events. Some of these are related to fund-raising for our annual mission trip, like the Annual Mission Trip dinner which is designed, prepared, hosted and served by our youth. Some are worship-centered, like our Annual Mother's Day Youth Sunday service, which is designed and led by our youth. And some are just plain old fun, like All Church Bowling, which was inspired by our youth.
We are open and affirming, diverse and inclusive, welcoming and challenging, thoughtful and silly. Together we listen for the many ways that God is still speaking to us, and in community seek to discern the implications for each of us - at this very moment where we are on our individual faith journeys.
Curious? Come join us. All are welcome!