Youth Groups at Advent do all of the same things that most church youth groups do: fun, fellowship events, parties, Bible study, service and mission work, and youth led worship services.
But that’s not all we do. Our ministry to youth is built around special events that we acknowledge and celebrate together as a congregation. These events are not just rites of passage; they are also significant markers along a young person’s spiritual journey. We call them Milestones. With each of our children and youth, we joyfully celebrate many Milestones of their faith journey: Baptism, entering Sunday School, starting Kindergarten, receiving the Holy Scriptures, joining the church family in Holy Communion, experiencing Mission & Service, Confirmation of one’s faith, and High School Graduation.
Our Milestone Ministry is based on our belief that nurturing faith in children and youth requires a strong partnership between the congregation and the family. Our parents are very involved in developing the faith of their children in the home as well as in the church setting. Our youth groups are led by parents and other committed adults from the congregation who seek to support families as they raise their children to experience the presence of Christ in all of life. Milestone Ministry is a key way our congregation helps parents to live out the promises made at their children’s baptisms.
Our youth groups for K-5th graders usually meet on the first Sunday of the month for lunch and activities. • This year Kids 4 Christ (K-2nd) is asking the question "Where in the World is Jesus?". They will host guest speakers from Advent church mission groups who will help them see how Jesus is at work all over the place! For more information see Laura Torrence or Andrea Miller.
• Our Mustard Seeds group (3rd-5th graders) meets to do a variety of service projects. They advertise the CROP walk, prepare the Angel Tree for the congregation and provide several events at Plaza Place shelter. The Mustard Seeds also take a few road trips--to Youth Quake in the fall and BYG camp in the spring. Highlight of this past year was a family putt putt golf adventure! For more information see Kim Voelker, Tracy Heberlig or Andrew Goerke.
• Rt 67, our youth group, for 6th and 7th graders, actively joins together for a summer mission trip and a weekend of Witness and Service in the fall of the year. They also produce the "Advent Has Heart" bags for our congregation and engage in a variety of service work all year long. They often meet on Sundays for fellowship and food! Please see Jennie Henderson for more information. • 812is our youth group for 8th-12th graders. They schedule special events throughout the month. This group loves to play kickball and dodgeball and go to Christian concerts together. Sometimes they just hang out around a fire circle or go bowling or to a movie. The 812 group works closely with the Room in the Inn program to provide weekly worship services for our guests. They also work with the Free Store on North Caldwell Street to provide monthly fellowship events.
Our 812 youth are involved in the Teens Encounter Christ movement and take a summer mission trip together each summer. In summer 2016 they will travel to Cincinnati, Ohio and in summer 2017 to Toronto, Canada. For more information please see Caroline Grubb, Rebecca Sabo or Don Hagerman. • On the First Friday of each month our 6th-12th grade youth gather from 7-10pm for an evening of fellowship, service, learning and worship. Each month has its own unique theme. • We also have a youth group for our youngest members! Little Lambs is a fellowship group for preschoolers and their parents. Little Lambs offers quarterly special events including a Christmas storytelling time (think pageant costumes!), an Easter egg hunt, and family dinners and picnics. The goals of Little Lambs include providing opportunities for friendships to form and resources to help parents live out the promises they made at their children's baptisms. Please see Brooke Summerour for more information.