Youth Educational Program (Junior & Senior High School)
Various fun and engaging programs are provided to help youth to become competent adult Christians. As part of the effort, they are recognized during a “Rite 13” ceremony around the time of their 13th birthdays. Activities include bible study and discussion of issues important to the challenges of growing up Christian as well as yearly retreats and many fun activities. Confirmation classes are included in the program and students receive a special blessing and gift upon graduation from high school.
The youth program we use is called Journey to Adulthood. It is being released to Episcopal churches nation-wide, and has been shown to be very effective in keeping young people active in the church during their teenage years. The six year program is divided into two year segments.
The program begins with a two-year course called Rite 13. This class focuses on Bible stories. The first year they will cover Old Testament stories, the second year they will cover New Testament stories. At the end of the first year they go on “The Beginnings Retreat” which includes a discussion of the creation story followed by a fossil hunt. At the end of the second year they go on “Suburban Adventure” and have to use public transportation to make their way around Santa Clarita accomplishing certain tasks. During the two years in this class each student will have the opportunity to participate in a Rite 13 Ceremony which honors their thirteenth birthday and marks the transition from childhood and the beginning of their journey toward adulthood.
The second two-year course is call Journey to Adulthood (J2A). This class focuses on spiritual, social, and moral issues. The first year the group works on “Self” and “Society,” the second year they cover “Sexuality” and “Spirituality.” At the end of the first year they go on their “Urban Adventure” as they travel to another city and have to find their way to six different locations using public transportation and the maps and limited information they are given. At the end of the adventure, they face judgement and are held accountable for their decisions. At the end of the second year they go on a spiritual retreat “In Search of God.”
The third part of the course lasts two more years and is called Young Adults in the Church (YAC). These young adults focus on life skills, Bible Study, and explore their options as they begin to plan for their adult lives. They are encouraged to take on a ministry within the church. One of them will be asked to serve as a youth member of the Bishop’s Committee. Each year they go on a winter retreat.
This is a wonderfully insightful and stimulating program that speaks to the needs of young people in a way that has been shown to help them through some of the most challenging stages of life. We believe that this program will not only keep more of our young people active in church through their teenage years, but will also attract many more young people to our youth programs.
Youth Group’s Sunday Morning Meeting Schedule
All youth groups meet at 8:45 am on Sunday mornings for breakfast, socializing, opening prayers, and announcements. At 9:00, the groups will move to their classrooms for the lesson and discussion.
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