Connecting in New Ways During This Season
Rising 6th Grade Transition Sunday Drive Through
Sunday August 16th
Moving from Children’s Ministries to Youth Ministries is a big deal and is one we want to celebrate with you and your youth. During this season of Covid-19 we will be offering a drive up service. On Sunday, August 16th, we will celebrate transitions – especially the transition from children to youth.
Please sign-up to come to the church between 1-4 on Sunday August 16th and drive through the back alley near the youth building for a special blessing from the youth team and pastors. You can choose from several 15 minute time-slots. We will also be giving out parent handbooks and a special treat to our rising 6th graders. We will be wearing masks and encourage you to do the same.
We will be creating a video of this to share with the church wide congregation on August 23rd. If you have any questions, please reach out to us at
August 3, 2020
Dear MPUMC Families & Youth,
Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
We were not sure how to start this letter to all of our awesome youth and families. We are still living in the uncertain chaos of Covid-19. Luckily, there is scripture that sums up our feelings (funny how the Bible has provided that many times in our lives). We are living through a time together when it would be easy to let our worries get the best of us. But instead let’s pray about everything. And it would be easy to cry out, “But I don’t understand any of this! Why is it happening?” But instead, let’s experience God’s peace. And allow that peace to guard our hearts and minds as we strive to live in Christ Jesus.
Our fall plan for youth ministry will be different from any previous year. But if we pray...if we experience God’s peace in new ways...if we stay together, even if it is only virtually, we can get through this and continue to grow as a youth ministry family.
We have addressed many questions below, but please understand that the pandemic requires that we are flexible and open to change from week to week. Also, if a question affects your particular grade, we will be following up with more information in the coming days and weeks. This is a general overview for all grades 6-12, but more details will be sent to your grade soon.
Will we have youth Sunday school? We will not be having in person Sunday School this Fall, but encourage all families to watch one of the Livestream services the church offers at 8:30 a.m., 9:45 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. The great thing for youth is they can either watch them via Livestream https://www.myersparkumc.org/worship-with-us/watch-live/ or go on later in the day or week to watch a service. You can also watch on the church Facebook page.
What will Sunday Youth Group look like going into the Fall? We plan to do a 3-week rotation between YouTube, Zoom and Instagram Live on Sunday nights. One Sunday we will post a YouTube video to our channel that can be viewed any time during the week. One Sunday we will have age-appropriate middle and high school Zooms, so we can connect face-to-face, and one Sunday we will do an Instagram Live, which will be a hybrid of watching and participating. Our team will send out a monthly postcard to communicate the schedule and theme.
The purpose behind using a different platform every week is to reach as many youth as possible who may have limited access to certain social media, as well as to keep our virtual presence engaging, creative and lively. Help us create ministry content that speaks to YOU by completing this 3-minute questionnaire: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2FLYYQW
We are also planning some fun virtual surprises and challenges along the way. Stay tuned!
What about Fall Retreats?
Unfortunately, we will not be able to have any Fall Retreats this year. We are really disappointed too - they are some of our favorite times. But don’t worry, we hope to be able to do these in the Spring and will keep everyone posted.
What will High School Small Groups look like going into the Fall?
New 9th grade small groups will be formed and start after Christmas. This is subject to change, but we feel like the vulnerability and honesty that is required for a successful small group would be hard to start virtually. Jason will be in touch with freshman families about special zooms only for these 9th graders that will be “small group-like” and have older high schoolers and other special guests involved to share about their lives. We want to make sure our new High Schoolers feel connected.
10th and 11th grade small groups will continue to meet virtually like last Spring. Your small group leaders will reach out to you about when you will start.
Senior small groups will be allowed to meet in-person at church with significant Covid restrictions. We have shared this information with small group leaders and seniors, and will continue to monitor how in-person meetings are going. Seniors, if you are not in a small group and would like to start a new one, email Jason@mpumc.org.
Will we have CHAMP?
There will not be an in-person, after-school CHAMP at Dilworth Latta or the Brookhill Resource Center for now. However, we are in communication with Dilworth Latta and Marie G. Davis, along with our missions team about providing some type of tutoring program. There are a lot of factors to consider, but we will stay in touch with high school mentors and their families about how this unfolds.
What will Confirmation look like this Fall? What are the requirements for Confirmation if we have virtual worship?
Confirmation will begin virtually on Sept. 13. We will only meet every other week on Zoom on Sunday evenings from 5-6 pm. During the first half of each meeting, we will be together as a large group, but during the latter half, youth will go to breakout rooms to spend time with their small group and mentors. A new schedule with dates will be mailed. We are hoping that this prevents virtual burnout but also maintains the integrity of Confirmation and its commitment to discipleship. Since we will meet less frequently, that makes our time together more precious, so we ask that youth miss no more than 4 confirmation meetings across the span of the year.
As far as other requirements for the year, we are asking youth to still complete 4 service projects (i.e. donating school supplies, writing a letter or card to retirement community, picking up trash around neighborhood, taking cookies to fire station, writing thank you note to health care workers - get creative), and to write 10 sermon summaries in their Confirmation journal, which can be watched anytime online. With worship being virtual, we have decided to waive the worship leadership requirement (i.e. acolyting, ushering) but encourage youth to participate in prayer videos if asked. For more questions, please email Sarah Simmons at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is Middle School Wednesday Night Game Night?
Starting September 9th, every Wednesday night from 6:30-7:30pm, Sarah Simmons will host a virtual game night on Zoom to promote fellowship and fun. This is an easy way for rising 6th graders to get plugged in to get to know other youth, and a great way for returning youth to connect with us and with one another. Games will include but are not limited to: Escape Rooms, Quiplash, At-Home Scavenger Hunts, Pictionary, etc.
Church-League Youth Basketball
We have decided to not register teams through our church this season. We have been in contact with the Impact League and if any of our players would like to be placed on another team, or move their teams to another church to participate, let us know and we will put you in contact with the league officials.
How long is this going to last?
It is our hope as well as yours that we will be in person sooner rather than later. We are trusting church leadership and our medical advisory team to guide us safely during this time. As we said above, the pandemic requires that we are flexible and open to change week to week.
We are grateful for your understanding and patience. Please reach out if you have any further questions. If you are not signed up for the weekly youth yak that goes out, please sign-up HERE.
Youth Ministry Team
Jason, Sarah and Ellen