St. Mark's Youth, grades 6 through 12
Youth at St. Mark's (and friends!) gather in two youth groups - one for Middle School Youth and one for High School Youth. We gather these youth groups in collaboration with Bethania Lutheran Church in Solvang - and also welcome youth from no church or faith background or from other churches. Essentially, any youth with any background and experience is welcome.
Periodically, youth are welcome (but not expected) to have conversations leading to Confirmation, using the My Faith, My Life resource and the Call On Me prayer book for young people.
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. In the words of social scientist and author Brené Brown: "Worthy of love and belonging."
“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.”
St. Mark's Youth and friends cleaned up a mountain of trash left by careless folks in the Chicken Springs area (a special Valley Clean Team project) and then enjoyed a fun taco dinner hosted by Louise and Bill Connell in their beautiful Rancho Ynecita home.