Youth have to try pretty hard to find an excuse not to get involved and connected at St. Mary’s. Activities range from Sunday morning forums to special Sunday evening development programs to mid-week activities centered on fellowship, prayer and outreach.
We engage our youth in grades 6-12 in Christian education through a Junior High Forum and a Senior High Forum on Sunday mornings during the school year at 10:15 a.m. Forums explore the Christian tradition as well as contemporary issues—everything from newspaper headlines to what happened at school last week. We hold regular Sunday evening events for youth twice a month: Second Sundays@6, as the name implies, is every second Sunday and focuses on outreach and service learning. Pizza with a Purpose runs the fourth Sunday of the month and gives our youth a chance to gather as a single group. Wednesday night gatherings are alternated between Junior High and Senior High with boys and girls meeting in their own groups.
A quarterly youth-led worship service, summer mission trips and outreach camps, lock-ins, diocesan events and Shrine Mont gatherings round out our busy youth calendar. A full-time youth minister is supported by clergy and adult volunteers, including youth forum leaders, Wednesday night adult leaders and chaperones and drivers for events. Adult volunteers are always welcome — whether you have a child at St. Mary’s, are an empty-nester or have no children of your own.
We take our responsibility to raise God’s children seriously, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have fun. Stop by a Wednesday night gathering of teenage boys at Wing Night or bake cookies and listen to our junior high or senior high girls share their stories in a safe space, and you’ll see what we mean.
Youth Programs: For information on youth programs contact Sue Cromer
Second Sundays @6
Second Sundays @6 is held every second Sunday of the month at 6:00 p.m. for Junior and Senior High Youth. It focuses on Outreach and Service Learning. Each program has guest speakers from local agencies we sponsor and work alongside. Youth also engage in a hands-on service project that evening with the agencies. Dinner is provided.
Pizza with a Purpose
Junior and Senior High Youth will meet the fourth Sunday of the month for Youth group programming. Some months will be social, some will be programmatic. We will begin with dinner at 6:00 p.m. Some fourth Sundays, this will follow the Casual Youth & Family Eucharist in Paca Hall at 5:00 p.m.
Mid-week Small Groups
Small groups for youth (divided by age and gender) meet twice a month. Junior High Guys meet the first and third Wednesdays of the month for Wing Night at 7:30 p.m. Junior High Girls meet the first and third Wednesday of the month at 7:30 p.m. in someone’s home for programs, crafts, worship and fellowship. Senior High Girls meet the first and third Tuesdays of the month in someone’s home at 7:30 p.m. for fellowship, Bible study and chocolate. Senior High Guys meet the second and fourth Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. for Wing Night. In these gatherings, youth have an opportunity to get to know one another better, for fellowship, Bible study, Outreach and prayer.
Sunday Morning Youth Forums
For Youth in 6th – 12th Grades, 10-:15 a.m., mid-September – May.
Junior High Youth Forums are for those in 6th-7th grades to explore the Christian tradition as well as contemporary issues. This group meets each Sunday in the Vestry room.
Senior High Youth Forums are for grades 8 – 12 to explore their faith, big questions, scripture and real life issues from a faith perspective. Senior High Forums meet each Sunday in the Youth Loft.
4th and 5th Grade gatherings
As our children transition for Elementary school to Junior High or Middle School, we want to help them transition from Church school to the Junior High ministry. Throughout the year, we hold gatherings designed to be fun and help our 4th and 5th graders prepare to take part in the Junior High ministry at St. Mary’s.
Youth Mission Trips
Summer Mission Trips are offered for Senior High Youth and have included trips to New York to engage in Hurricane Sandy Relief with Habitat for Humanity, to Mississippi for Hurricane Katrina relief, a week in Washington DC working with the homeless and a week in Appalachia working with the poor.
Junior High Youth are invited to an Outreach Day camp the last week of August that provides opportunities for direct service to the community in Arlington, Washington DC and the surrounding area.
Youth Confirmation is available for youth in 8th grade and up. Youth will begin with a couple of short meetings in the spring, a weekend-long retreat at Shrine Mont in the fall and classes on Tuesday evenings through the fall and winter. They are confirmed the day of the Bishop’s visitation (February or March)
The Youth Council, a leadership group comprised of youth grades 6-12, meets the first Sunday of the month at 12:30 p.m. for lunch and a meeting. They help to direct the program, come up with ideas and serve as leaders among their peers.
Choirs for Boys and Girls
In the Treble Choir, boys and girls from kindergarten through third grade make a joyful noise while learning about the singing voice, breath and musical notation. Older children and teens in the Boys and Girls Choir develop their skills as young musicians and leaders of the 9:00 a.m. liturgy and other services through the training program of the Royal School of Church Music and with yearly choir trips.
To join these choirs contact Dr. Gregory Hooker