Christ the Redeemer’s Youth Ministry seeks to create a safe haven for students from grades 6 to 12. This is an age of great struggle, in which we move from passive acceptance of that which is offered to us to deeply-held personal convictions.
Youth need a safe place, free from judgment or unhealthy pressure, to freely wrestle with the big questions: “What is real?” “Who am I?” “Why am I here?” “How should I live?”
What we seek to offer our youth is three-fold:
— We live in a time in which youth are incredibly isolated from the rest of society. Schools, movies, music, stores, clothing brands, even foods are offered to our youth as if they are a separate culture that runs parallel to the broader culture. It is little wonder that youth and adults are so unable to understand each other. We do not wish to feed into this unhealthy separation by creating “youth church.” Rather, we seek special, age-appropriate opportunities to help our youth to take their place in the life of the larger church. Our youth currently participate in ministry side-by-side with our adults in several ministry areas, including:
- Liturgical Ministry (Acolytes, Crucifers, Thurifers, Altar Guild, etc.)
- Children’s Liturgy of the Word
- Church Government (Youth Delegate at Synod)
Growth — Our youth are invited and encouraged to be part of our “Growth Groups.” These groups, organized by gender and/or age, meet every other week for a semester, and are facilitated by two adult leaders. Not only do we learn how to study the Bible for ourselves, but we explore the central truths of Christian faith and life, and how those truths affect each of us today. Over the course of a semester, each group will study together, pray together, serve together, and generally share life with one another.
Healthy Community — It can be so hard to find a safe, healthy, and enjoyable environment where we can be with our friends. We seek to offer this once a month in various special events. Sometimes these events are primarily with youth from Christ the Redeemer, while other times we share larger events with youth from other churches in the North Shore or in the Anglican Diocese in New England. These events could include canoe trips, picnics, weekend retreats, fasting for world hunger, holiday parties, scavenger hunts, or virtually anything else. Friends are always welcome at any of these special events.
Here are some comments from Father Brian:
"Youth ministry has had a major influence on my life. In Junior and Senior High School, I enjoyed youth pastors and volunteers who took a personal interest in my life. I knew that these people really cared about me. The relationships of trust that developed made them very influential characters as I went through those years of discovery and decision. They helped to set my life on a healthy and exciting course."
"When I graduated high school, I began volunteering to serve in youth ministry virtually immediately, and have never stopped. My hope for our entire youth ministry is that we can be a caring presence that our youth can count on, and that we can somehow help them navigate through these exciting and formative years."