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Family and Youth Ministry

We're planning on going to DETROIT in 2015.

The ELCA Youth Gathering for high school-age youth takes place every three years and is about faith formation, worship, study, fellowship, service and play.

It is an opportunity for youth to engage with peers from across the United States and the world who share a common commitment and faith in Christ. The next Gathering will be held July 15-19, 2015, in Detroit, Mich.

The Gathering is a five-day event that begins on a Wednesday evening and ends with a service of communion the following Sunday morning. The opening night sets the stage for the days ahead in which young people may have an encounter with Jesus that energizes their faith and helps them discover their call to serve in the world — locally and globally.

On the days between Wednesday and Sunday, young people rotate through a variety of service learning experiences in the surrounding community. They explore and strengthen their faith by studying God’s word, serving their neighbor, sharing bread and wine in worship, participating in lively faith discussions and broadening their experience of God’s world and diverse communities through travel.

When the question “Why work so hard to gather so many young people in one place?” pops up, the response is really quite simple.

We were meant to be together, and we are a church that believes God is calling us into the world — together. So every now and then, we gather young people and adults together to share their unique stories and to experience the larger story that makes up the ELCA; we gather to be inspired, encouraged, strengthened, connected and sent out to do God’s work in the world — together! 


The theme for the 2015 ELCA Youth Gathering, Rise Up Together, was discerned by a diverse group of people including Gathering staff, representatives from the Congregational and Synodical Mission Unit, home to the ELCA Youth Gathering program staff in the churchwide organization, pastors and synodical staff from our host synod, and past Gathering leaders and participants. It was particularly important that the group intentionally reflect a diversity that mirrors the population of Detroit.

After spending time with a local historian who taught us about Detroit’s rich history, the group heard from local leaders about Detroit’s present day challenges and opportunities. Congregational and Synodical Mission executive director, the Rev. Dr. Stephen Bouman, led a Bible study on the Gospel of Mark, the text around which the 2015 ELCA Youth Gathering will be shaped, and local pastors reflected on how the Gospel’s message impacts their ministries today.

It is a core value of ELCA Youth Gathering planners to approach a new host city with a listening posture. After this listening and learning process, we commit ourselves to prayer and let the Spirit work. Eventually we commit to a theme that will help to illuminate the program development.

 You can read about the 2012 trip here: www.atonementnewlorleans.blogspot.com

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Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.  (1 Timothy 4:12)

Life Groups for Children & Youth

Youth Group: gathers twice a month (please check the church calendar), usually on the 2nd and 4th Sundays at 4:30 p.m. This group includes 6th -12th graders who meet for fun, faith and friendship as they seek to live, love and learn in the Jesus Way. Youth Group provides a safe and sacred space to express joys and concerns, questions and doubts while respecting the views and insights of all. Youth participate in a wide variety of activities including: group discussions on hot topics and timeless truths, learning many ways to pray, meditate and ponder, sharing and processing the thorns and roses in their lives, supporting and caring for one another, mining the treasures of our ancient/future faith in serious and silly ways. We believe that the journey of faith is a spiritual adventure! We believe, too, that spiritual growth happens in the context of honest, loving relationships where young people are encouraged to dig deeper into the life and love of God. Youth are guided to help discern their gifts, build life skills, grow in holiness and confidence, and seek wisdom as they become their unique and authentic selves rooted in a faith they can call their own.

Young Families: A group for families with young children. Usually meets once a month on a Sunday afternoon for a potluck dinner and fellowship. Sometimes it's informal, or it might be a book discussion, guest speaker, or family fun activities. Child care is provided when there is an adult discussion.

Acts of Love: takes seriously Jesus New Commandment for those who would be his disciples, "Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other." (John 13:34-35 The Message) Young people are invited to join in monthly opportunities for works of mercy, good deeds, and acts of love in the community. Service opportunities have included: feeding the hungry at the Asbury Dining & Caring Center (quarterly basis), raising funds for disaster relief in Haiti, volunteering at a local recycling center, helping at the Brighton Food Depot, teaching Vacation Bible School. Many more hands on opportunities for loving service are being planned and suggestions are always welcome.  Those who participate in this group (sometimes including parents) are truly seeking to Be the change they wish to see in the world. Karen Grover facilitates this group. 

Special Events & Activities Sponsored by Youth & Family Ministry

Quarterly Family Fun Days: Four family friendly outdoor field-trips are sponsored each year. These are intended to encourage families to unplug and disconnect from technology and strengthen the bonds of friendship and connection between members of our church family. Past Family Fun Days have included: Ice Skating at Manhattan Square Park (each February), Farm Day at Lollypop Farm, Rochester Red Wings Baseball, Long Acre Farms, Outdoor concert at Ontario Beach Park, Clubhouse Fun Center (miniature golf and go-carts).

 

September

New Members are received into Youth Group during worship on Rally Sunday.

Youth Group Welcome Back Party and selection of nominees for Youth Advisory Board.

 

October

Fall LYO (Lutheran Youth Organization) event - usually a visit to the Corn Maze.



Youth Fellowship Events

Youth events events are planned regularly; and have included Bowling, Game Nights, overnights, winter outings, Drive-In Movies, LYO Corn Maze and more. Check the web calendar or contact Kristin at office@atonementrochester.org for meeting dates and scheduled activities.

 
LYO Winter Weekend
This is a fun gathering of faith and fellowship for youth in 6th to 12th grades. Winter Weekend takes place in early March at Rotary Sunshine Camp in Rush.


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