St. Mark's Youth, grades 7 through 12
Faith formation for youth has two key components and additional worthwhile options.
One is an informal youth group gathering for St. Mark’s youth and their friends, initially planned to be at least twice a month (may be weekly, based on interest) during the school year. This group will be led by adults; including the Rector, our Christian Formation Coordinator, and other volunteers. This group also shares with Bethania Lutheran Church and Pastor Chris Brown.
Our youth group will have an open format of food, conversation, and casual worship with the aim of nurturing youth in a questioning and testing phase of their faith development while also making spiritual practice available and serving as a base for compassionate service in the wider world. Friends of youth are always welcome.
Part of the openness of youth group is to offer a place for real questions and being able to discuss the actual challenges of life in school and social circles without fear of judgment.
The second component of faith formation for youth is a confirmation program for those who wish (using the Confirm, Not Conform program), a more in-depth and specific formation experience that will be approximately twenty sessions scheduled over a year.
Other options for youth in the faith community include involvement in leading worship and engagement in the array of activities of the whole parish including serving as acolytes, readers, Altar Guild, greeters, ushers and in service projects. A gift of participation in a faith community is being known and loved outside of one's family group. These relationships transcend any formal "program," but allow youth to understand themselves as valued, gifted, and recognized individuals in the wider community.
“Even with a heightened sense of personal autonomy, even in these times when ‘believing and belonging’ for many Americans means something individual, expressive, and non-institutional, religious traditions attract and hold teens in new and powerful ways.”