Youth Programs: May & June

Family Church-at-home-together Continues! Here’s an update on current plans!

  • Young People’s Choir & Band begins Mondays, May 24, 4pm via Zoom.
    • Choir director & musician Billy Carleton will meet virtually with young people who want to participate in weekly music-making.
    • The goal will be to record songs every 4-6 weeks to share during worship.
    • Voices and instruments welcome.
    • At the first session, Billy will work with music-makers to decide on songs and ways to integrate some instruments as well.
    • Note: Young people’s Zoom sessions are only open to young people and their family/guardians (if their adults wish to attend), but is closed to other community members for the safety of the young participants, except by invitation of the choir director or music team. The Zoom link will be circulated in a closed email group for participants and leaders only. Please RSVP if your family has under-18 members who want to join us, and you haven’t already received communication about this group.
    • Note that Billy Carleton teaches for SAU9, so he is familiar with teaching and working with younger singers as well as adults.
  • Leaders-in-Training (L-I-T) Program Starts in June
    • Engaging older youth to continue last summer’s L-I-T experience.
    • Should be 7th grade and older
    • You will help create educational and entertaining challenges that invite younger participants outside in safe and creative ways (with their adult family/guardian members participation)
    • Together we’ll create some physical/virtual challenges such as letterbox kits on-site around Jackson/Bartlett, design scavenger hunts for summer recrreation and other ways to have physical engagement outside, with prompts designed and facilitated by our Leaders-in-Training
    • RSVP if you want to be part of the Leader=in-Training initiative (7th grade and older)
    • Letter-boxing/geo-caching challenge designs
    • Scavenger hunt design
    • Extended game design
    • Mystery game / live puzzle design
  • Puppets and Story-telling:
    • Expect a delivery of make-your-own puppet kits to families and “church at home” kits.
    • We’ll create live-action puppet skits of sacred stories, filmed via Zoom or other ways, to share with the church once-a-month during worship!
    • Young people who want to participate may pick characters for their puppets and tell the story in your own words, your own way! With your own puppet, that you make!
    • You will choose the stories we tell also.
    • Unless your family doesn’t want such a kit, we’ll plan to deliver one to all of our families as soon as the materials arrive (we hope to have them this week).
    • We’ll schedule Zoom times to explore stories and work out skits, unless we can gather safely outside in small groups, with appropriate social distance precautions (to be determined as circumstances unfold)
  • Church-at-home kits:
    • We’ll deliver church-at-home kits with devotionals and art pages to your families for some quiet, contemplative activity options
  • Prayer flags:
    • We’d love to fly your flags!
    • We’ll provide prayer flag materials, and we invite you to make ones to use at home
    • We also want to share one of your prayer flags in a display outside the church.
  • Prayer Fence:
    • The chalkboard fence will be re-painted white and ready for public use by the end of May.
    • Painting the fence has been adopted as a service project by one of our families.
  • Community Care cards:
    • We would love to include handmade cards or artwork from our young people in care packages that we’re continuing to distribute in the community.
    • If you make cards, we’ll provide a safe place at church for you to return them, for redistribution to members, friends and neighbors who need your cheer & care
    • Messaging is your choice, but we suggest cheerful, inspirational and optimistic messages with universal themes (these won’t be addressed to specific individuals or specific issues) like “thinking of you”, “have a nice day”, “smile”, “friendship”,”peace”, “hope”, “love” and/or “sending you prayers and good thoughts”
  • Adopt-a-friend:
    • As an extension of the Community Care card initiative, we have a small list of vulnerable community members who are lonely or isolated for different reasons. If we have an expression of interest among our younger families, we’d like to match families with some of these neighbors to create some inter-generational communication and relationship-building
    • You can explore how to activate this connection might work.
      • Occasional phone or zoom calls might work with some people, although hearing loss and technology challenges can make this a case-by-case option.
      • Cards and mail are excellent ways to connect.
      • Care package drop-offs are also excellent ways to connect(with social distance precautions)
      • Social-distance visits to wave and chat are possible in some instances, if health isn’t an issue, but we should discuss case-by-case
  • Youth Day(s) in Worship
    • We’ll aim for youth-led worship at least every quarter, every 9-12 weeks with youth-led reflections, readings and music
    • The first such worship session will take place toward the end of June – after graduation activities have concluded (more info to come) – integrating whatever contributions we can provide by that time
  • Scripture readers: 
  • Graduate Recognition:
    • Please RSVP if you have a pending graduate!
    • Please share bios/photos of your graduates, whether they’re finishing high school, college (any level), professional certification programs/training or other educational milestones that we may not have named here
    • In June, we’ll celebrate these young people in the church newsletter and other communication platforms (though not to social media unless we have permission to do so)
    • We want to include all Jackson-based youth plus any local youth (Bartlett, Conway, etc) connected as friends or members of our faith community
    • We welcome updates on other young people connected to our friends and members as extended family such as grandchildren (even if they live in other locations)
  • Music & Art contributions: 
    • If you are a musician or singer or artist, we continue to want to share your special music!
    • The contributions of several families have already made worship and other gatherings a richer, deeper experience, and more such offerings are welcome if and when you’re able to share them
    • Sacred and/or secular music selections are both welcome
    • Pre-recorded audio-only or video performances are best for now
  • Open-ended Outdoor Summer Challenges
    • With the help of Leaders-in-Training, we’ll offer a variety of active outdoor engagements that are educational and entertaining, and can be completed on the family’s schedule, such as scavenger hunts, letterboxing exploration, and more
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