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Each week, the Parent Email sends out a quick list of upcoming events, features one ministry or gathering for kids and youth, and one helpful resource for parents. George and Allison keep it short and sweet, and it's the #1 best way to stay informed for parents of kids and youth. Sign Up Here.
Our Vision of Youth Ministry at Saint John's
Through years of research and experience, our family minister, George, has learned that our young people need to live as part of our whole church community, rather than separate from it. Teens who develop meaningful relationships with adults in church other than their parents are far more likely to participate in church as an active adult than those who are walled off from "adult" church. Never again in their life will they have a large church ministry dedicated to their independent needs, as youth ministry sometimes is run, and it's a poor way to teach them about purposeful, participatory life in Christian community. So instead of isolation and parallel offerings, the youth of our church are welcomed as full participants in our services, at any of our classes or Christian Formation offerings, fellowship dinners, retreat weekends, etc.
This doesn't mean we don't have fun together or have offerings targeted at the social, emotional, and spiritual development of our teens. We offer a teens Sunday School, service and mission work, and regular youth community activities. Read more below.
Each week we study together in Sunday School. Sunday School lessons are a mixture of spiritual formation, practical theology, and life applications. We embed scripture in all lessons. These are at 9:15 on Sunday mornings in the Youth Room on the second floor of the Parish Life Center.** (While construction is ongoing in the PLC, this class meets in the Retreat House adjacent to the back parking lot.)
EYC stands for Episcopal Youth Community. Once a month we get together for a fellowship event. These are a great way for our teens to get to know each other, and to bring friends. These are announced through the parent email. See subscription information above.
More than a Meal
Every second Sunday we participate along with Grace-Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church in More than a Meal, during which we serve dinner to some of the underserved population in Memphis. These are from 3:30 – 5:30pm on Sunday afternoons.
Several times during the year we will join other teens in the Episcopal Diocese of West Tennessee for several events. Sometimes these events are for spiritual formation, and other are just for fun. These events connect them with other teens from throughout the region, and show them a broader Christian community.
Probably the most important Diocesan event, Happening is a spiritual formation retreat for 10th-12th graders. For some, it offers a powerful spiritual experience; for others, it is a great way to share in fellowship and love with their peers from across West Tennessee. The Diocese holds two of these events each year. Saint John’s has a long history in participation and leadership in this event.
So many times church becomes a place that splits families apart instead of bringing them together. At Saint John’s we do our best to involve parents in all activities, and plan events specifically for entire families. Things like the Super Bowl Party, Family Worship Events and a Family Retreat are specifically planned to bring our families closer together in serving in the Kingdom.
Each summer we will be taking part in a Summer Mission Trip. This will be a way to introduce our students to their mission, give them a chance to explore their spiritual gifts, and introduce them to a world beyond their realm of experience.
For 2017, we had an in-town Mission in Memphis. Contact george [at] stjohnsmemphis [dot] org for more info.