For middle and high schoolers
Middle school (6th-8th grade) at 9:00 am on Sundays
We offer a three-year rotation for youth in middle school. Two of the years the youth examine confirmation topics such as the Bible as Story, the teachings, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, the early church and early followers of Christ and their ability to live from a Spirit of forgiveness, inclusion and non-violence. We study the civil rights movement and Martin Luther King, Jr’s spiritual leadership of nonviolence and justice.
We include activities and experiences that help youth learn about our Christian history, tradition and heritage. We also include a unit called Co-exist where we study six major religions—Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, Sikhism, and Christianity and spend a weekend in Milwaukee experiencing some of these religions and their practices.
One year of our middle school programming is devoted to teaching OWL (Our Whole Lives) which is a comprehensive sexuality program based on the following values: sexual health, inclusivity and justice, self-worth, and responsibility. Some of the topics that are covered include: healthy relationships, dating, relationship skills, sexual orientation, gender identity, body image, values, anatomy and physiology, responsible sexual behavior, lovemaking, consent, sexuality, social media and internet, and sexual decision making.
The rite of Confirmation
We offer the rite of Confirmation to 8th graders and high school youth, and meet with them apart from the Sunday School hour for three 90-minute gatherings. During these gatherings we go through the Phoenix Affirmations, the confirmation vows, learn more about the UCC—local and national information, and also the many ways to be involved in church leadership as members. This is similar to how we help people become new members of our church. In spring, we celebrate in worship those youth who want to be confirmed and become members of the church.
High School Youth
We invite High School youth to provide leadership during the 9:00 Sunday School hour and/or during Music Connections that occurs during 10:00 worship. This involves assisting in Sunday School for younger children, and assisting our Children’s Music Director with the music program for kids. Many of our youth are involved in Tru Function, our youth rock band. They rehearse every Sunday during the school year.
We do have occasional youth gatherings for fundraising purposes or for social and celebratory events.
Youth Mission Trip (for youth going into 8th grade and older)
Every summer youth are invited to a weeklong mission trip for work, service, and learning. In years past we have gone to Greensboro, NC, Birmingham, AL, Roanoke, VA, Orland, ME, Philadelphia, PA, Santa Fe, NM, and Alamosa, CO. On these trips youth participate in all sorts of work projects including painting, river clean-up, animal care, sorting clothes, cooking, gardening, and providing care for children. Once every five years we offer a Civil Rights Learning and Service trip spending one day in Memphis, Tennessee and then a week of service and learning in Birmingham, Alabama.