One component of ministry to and with youth at South Church is Youth Mission. Youth Mission is a year long program for youth grades 7-12 which culminates in a week long mission trip in June. There are monthly opportunities to do local service projects, participate in fundraisers, and enjoy fellowship activities such as church lock-ins. Every student who would like to go on the week long mission trip must complete two service projects and two fundraisers. Many students who are not able to attend the mission trip still choose to participate in Youth Mission during the year.
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Goals for Youth Mission
Enrich our youth with experiences of Christian community and service.
Engage our youth in meaningful experiences of being called into the world.
Engage our youth in meaningful exploration of their own gifts.
Provide fellowship opportunities.
Who Can Participate?
Each year we form three YM teams composed of youth, lead advisors, and adult advisors.
Grades 7 & 8: Middle School Youth Mission – Jane DeMaio, lead advisor
Grades 9 & 10: Face-to-face Youth Mission – Pam Reale, lead advisor
Grades 11 & 12: Bricks-and-mortar Youth Mission – Paul DeMaio, lead advisor
A number of adults will work with youth leaders on each team. Depending upon the number of students participating, we have needed as many as 24 adult advisors to attend the mission trips as well as dozens of additional parent volunteers throughout the year. The program is focused on the youth, but it takes the participation of all parents and families to make it a successful year. Youth do not need to be members of South Church, but everyone must complete their 2+2 (see above) and participate in Mission Meetings throughout the year. In addition, it is strongly encouraged that youth and their parents attend worship and get involved at South Church. We often find that the more connected families are, the more youth are able to get our of our programs.
Why Service Learning?
We feel that having students engage in service learning will give our youth real and valuable experiences of putting their faith into action– discipleship! Throughout the year, students will be stretched to use their own skills and gifts in a variety of ways and share the love we are called to offer the world in the model of Jesus Christ. They will be challenged and enriched as they meet others in life circumstances very different from their own. At times, we will challenge them to stretch themselves beyond their own comfort zones.
Desire or Require
Students who have the desire to be a part of the mission trip will be asked to demonstrate that desire by their actions. They will be expected to covenant with their respective Y.M. team to participate fully. Parents will be asked to support their youth in planning fundraising activities, working as chaperones on various service projects or assist in other ways. All youth will be expected to attend meetings and to lend their support to at least two fundraisers and two service learning projects during the year. We set these minimum standards not as requirements, but as a way to determine a student’s desire to be a part of the program.