Grade 6 - 12
Our youth ministry program is designed to help young people grow in their faith and their commitment to reaching out to those in need in our community and the world. The youth hear advisors and church leaders express the need to "be the hands and feet of Christ to put faith in action to help heal a broken world." Creating experiences for the youth to do just that is what OPPC strives to do.
Youth in grades 6-12 are involved from September through May in community service projects in the church as well as the local community. Food Drives, baking cookies and serving at Friends of Night People, Craft & Chat with Fox Run residents, Great Lakes Beach Sweep, playing with children when OPPC hosts Family Promise and the yearly "Souper Bowl of Caring Service Blitz" are just some examples of their outreach activities. Youth provide leadership to younger children during church wide activities after worship service on Sunday mornings, as well as other times during the year.
Upon completion of the Confirmation Class, youth are invited to use their newly identified Spiritual Gifts and they serve in the nursery, church school classes or as elders or deacons. Many wait with eager anticipation the yearly summer week long mission trip!
OPPC has an almost 40 year history of providing high school age youth with the chance to experience of week of service by going on a mission trip. Every year the destination is different, but every summer, youth and now college students put their faith into action by learning how to be the hands and feet of Christ. Traveling in 12-passenger vans, sleeping on the floor, packing lunches and learning how to build, paint or talk to folks in need is a simplified explanation of what work camp looks like. Many lives change forever as youth work alongside adults who care about them and folks they've never met who have a need. The Workcamp 2015 video is featured below. It "tells the story" in pictures! The team leads "Workcamp Worship" on a Sunday after they return and the video - this year created by college student Jessica McMahon - is played with the music used during devotions each evening. The best way to sum up Workcamp 2015 is this - "And all the people said Amen."
Confirmation Class is usually offered for Senior High age youth, freshman and older, sometime during the program year which parallels the local school district program year. The next class will be scheduled for after the holidays in January of 2017 as we are taking a "Gap Year". Beginning in January 2016 we will be taking youth in grades 6-12 for field trips to visit other religious houses of worship which will prepare those wishing to be confirmed in 2017 for a better conversation about being a Presbyterian! Once the class commences the youth meet over the course of several months and includes sessions on The Bible, World Religions, Reformed Theology, Spiritual Practices and Gifts and what it means to be Presbyterian. OPPC presents the youth with a Study Bible at the beginning of their faith journey. Adults from the congregation, called Covenant Partners, are assigned to the youth and act as guides on their spiritual path. A service project with their Covenant Partner, and often times the entire class, is an important piece of the class requirements. Completed medical forms and permission slips are required for participation in Confirmation.
If you have questions or would like more information about our youth ministry programs, please contact Linda Babcock, Director of Education and Mission.