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First Youth welcomes students into an inclusive, diverse community that invites them into a transformative relationship with God, and with each other, and encourages them to become active participants in God's redemptive work in the world.  

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   Note: Click on a tab/button below to view each ministry category.

First Youth welcomes students into an inclusive, diverse community that invites them into a transformative relationship with God, and with each other, and encourages them to become active participants in God's redemptive work in the world.  

rendered

   Note: Click on a tab/button below to view each ministry category.

Weekly

 

weekly events nj

 

Sundays {8am} youth wing

Confirmation Class

Students in grades 7-8th are invited to join us for this yearlong class.  Classes start October 7th ending with Confirmation in May.

 

Sundays {9:30-10:30am} youth wing

Club 56 

This small group is for 5th and 6th grade students and is specifically designed to be a bridge between children and youth ministry.  Join us every Sunday for games, a lesson, donuts, and fellowship with students in this small group enviornment.

 

Tuesdays {7:45-9pm} @Mugs Coffee Shop on College

High School Small Group Bible Study

Grab a drink and head downstairs for a small group experience centered around going deeper into our faith in community with others.  We'll explore the Bible as the story of God and the story of us.  Friends are welcome!

 

Wednesdays {6:30-8pm} youth wing

Youth Group

Students from 6th-12th grade are invited to join us for a meal, games, a lesson, and discussion.  Friends are welcome!!

 

  

  

Middle School

Middle Schoolyouth outdoors

Middle school is full of drama, growth spurts, transitions, and bad skin.  Let us walk alongside you during this awkward time.  We'll laugh with you when your voice gets all weird and we'll encourage you as you grow both physically and spiritually. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

High School

High schoolkids youth group 2

High school is a time of preparation for the daunting (and somewhat terrifying) task of adulting.  We can help with that.  Join us in an inclusive and diverse community of fellow terrified, almost-adults.  We'll support and encourage you in your relationship with God and with others.  

 

 

 

 

Blogs from  Youth Mission Trip to Jackson, MS

(Please remember to pray for our senior high youth and their leaders as they serve in Jackson, Mississippi this week.)

DAY 1

Blofrom Megan Bean on Mission Trip with FUMC Youth

 

So mbeanuch of my life is spent rehearsing. 

 

And not just because I’m an actor. 

 

So many of us seek perfection within every intricacy of our every day lives, making lists and plans, detailing our objectives down to a T. I find myself rehearsing conversations before making a call, devising minute by minute the perfect outing with a friend, micromanaging projects and conversations. Of course, we do these things with the best of intentions. After years of being told that practice makes perfect, it seems only natural to want to maintain complete control over your life so that everyone involved can get the most out of every experience. 

 

Mission trips are some of the most formative and important experiences in the lives of young christians, so the compulsion to control can surface with a vengeance during the preparation and execution of these complex trips. It seems only logical to cram these trips full of structured work, study, and activities, creating what we feel is a fool proof plan to forcefully gain these larger abstract lessons and grow closer with God. 

 

But life can sometimes put us in a holding pattern, where we suddenly lose our agency to dictate every moment and are forced to submit, riding in the backseat without our annotated maps and schedules. Car troubles, communicate issues, and any number of things can reroute our plans far from where we expected them to go. 

 

It can be hard to find purpose in these frustrating moments that have the power to render us tired, frustrated, and defeated and harder still to see God at work in these times of annoyance. The FUMC Youth know this first hand, after expecting that doing God’s work on mission looked and felt a very specific way. The more plans we made, the more it seemed the world was out to spoil our experiences. But instead of feeling defeated, blessings seemed to abound at every turn when we remained flexible and open to the world around us. If we hadn’t have had to get our oil changed, we wouldn’t have been able to meet and talk with a very nice elderly man who needed a friend to share his joy and his story with. If our sightseeing and work schedule for the day hadn’t have fallen through, we wouldn’t have sat down for hours of healing and reflective conversation. Often times, the Holy Spirit has a plan for us that is far greater than we could have every devised for ourselves. 

 

Last Sunday, many of you heard Cynthia’s sermon that begged the question, “Are you weak enough to follow Jesus?” and to be honest, I didn’t get it at the time. My whole life I’ve focused on being a strong and powerful young woman, organizing and being responsible, foraging a path that I thought I could create for myself with planning and brute force. But when I reflect on the times when I have truly learned the most was when I relinquished control and jumped into what was REALLY happening in the world around me, responding and being flexible to what God wants me to learn from experiences. Not what I expected to get out of them. 

 

I never expected to come on a mission trip aimed at racial education and reconciliation and learn so much about womanhood, love, learning, and choices from the unique perspectives and world views I am surrounded with. 

 

Even though we are only a few days into this mission trip, I have (not expectations) but hope for the growth that this group can make together. For so long, our group of young people, and the church at large, were so stuck, only ever discussing our anger and sadness with the state of our church community. Each of us had been struggling in our own lives and ready to grow in faith, but had never been able to get passed the conversation of discontentment that couldn’t seemed to get checked of the conversation docket. But our ability as a group to organically gather and heal through didactic conversation shows me how much healing the faith community has done in the time that has past. This is the faith community I had always needed and hoped for and it brings me so much joy to see it come to fruition after so much strife and conflict. 

 

I hope as we enter our week of service and learning, we can let go of our expectations and submit to the lessons and experiences that God has planned for us, and that we can continue to reflect on our lives and gain insight and healing through honest and constructive conversation with friends new and old. 

 
Megan Bean
 
DAY 2
maggie grauberger
 
Blofrom Maggie Grauberger on Mission Trip with FUMC Youth
My morning began by walking over to John Perkins home to bring him to our home for bible study. During our walk I felt so grateful to spend one moment with a man who loves people in a way that has reconciled a social stigma and community. Dr. Perkins asked if I was Christian, I said “yes I am Methodist”, he replied “well because if you weren’t I would need to love you more”. I thought of my church family at FUMC. As a church community that loves one another, we need to love those who have not experienced Christianity a little harder in order to possibly grant them the great gift of coming to Christ. 
 
Dr. Perkins preached that being the best version of ourselves is the best gift we can give. Today we got to join the Perkins Center Day camp at a waterfall to swim. I met a little boy named Cashmere. Cashmere is four years old, he was very curious, loving and cared deeply for his friends at camp as well as their well being. Being with Cashmere made me the best version of myself, which gave me the ability to be what Cashmere needed today. To be with someone who just needed me to be there was a gift. Cashmere did not know how to swim, he needed every ounce of my attention I dropped all other cares and worries to be the best person for Cashmere.
 
So many times in my life we stretch ourselves so thin that we are no longer putting forth our best efforts. God called me today to set aside all other worries and wants to fully be the best person I could be for this child that deeply needed me. Cashmere changed me, strengthened my faith, and taught me how to love others with what you have in that moment. I thank God and the people surrounding me this week for an opportunity to connect on a deeper level. 
 
I pray that throughout this week we are intentional, love harder to show the greatness of God’s  love to others and find the best version of ourselves to share with those in our communities. 
 
Love, 
 
Maggie Grauberger
 
mission trip

 DAY 3

Blofrom Kathryn Skonning on Mission Trip with FUMC Youth        

   Today was a very educational and motivating day for me. It all started with our breakfast meeting with Mr. John Perkins. Mr. Perkins is a very empowering and motivational person in my mind. I haven’t known Mr. Perkins very long, but I feel like he has shared so much wisdom and information with this entire group. Today Mr. Perkins talked all about money, and how the Elite Upper Class members can feel satisfied with everything that they have when they have too much of everything. Mr. Perkins also talked about how while the Upper Class members feel satisfied; the poorer people live with so many doubts and questions about how they live their life.

     On this mission trip, I have experienced so many amazing things that I can’t even describe very well. I have experienced pure joy and happiness with kids and people who I don’t really know; I have experienced talking to Mr. Perkins about so many issues that our society deals with; and I have experienced a couple days in Jackson that are so unlike my normal life, and it’s amazing to understand some of the issues that Mr. Perkins talks about. As I think about my life, I feel satisfied, but at the same time I don’t feel very satisfied with what I have done to help people who have doubts and questions about their lives. It makes me feel sick to think about how the kids that I have gotten to know in the last couple of days might grow up without any of the opportunities that I have had while growing up. It makes me sick to think that I am going to go home soon to a nice home and a nice family while my new friends, the kids that I have spent the last couple of days with, might not have any of these things. I know that I have given some of my efforts and some of my resources to people who need them, but I still want to give more of my efforts and more of my resources to help everybody.

     Upon hearing Mr. Perkins talk today about the Elite Upper class members not doing enough things to help others; how the young people of today’s world can help change social issues; and how the young people of today’s world can potentially invent things that will change the world, it made me truly think about how I can change the world of the people in my community. Mr. Perkins made me think about how I want to help everyone and how I want to help change the world. When I return home, I know that I will try my hardest to give all of my effort to help people in my community, and I know that I will want to try to change the world.

Kathryn Skonning

 

Day 4

 

Blog from Grace Maher on Mission Trip with FUMC Youth

Before I begin this post I wanted to introduce myself because I do not attend First United Methodist for morning Sunday service! My name is Grace Maher and I am a 17 year old who is a member of Timberline Church. I had always struggled with the youth group at Timberline because of the lack of intimacy that seemed as a barrier from my relationship with Christ. Some of my closest friends; Maggie Grauberger, Liz Priebe and Hannah Straubingspoke to my concerns with Timberlines youth group by advocating for First United Methodist with their incredible, moving stories that they had experienced in their youth group. I was inspired and so after their invitation, I began my journey around 7 months ago with your amazing church.

blog

 

This past week our group has experienced some of the most powerful and changing conversations, moments and relationships that (although this sounds cliche) have changed me forever. Mission trips, along with 

most things in our daily life, are planned. And without planning we would live in a world of chaos, which is not something we need more in this crazy world. But with planning comes the expectations of how things will be or reactions we will have. Thoseexpectations are a natural part of any experience but with expectations that are not met, disappointment follows. Leading up to the mission trip and the past 6 days spent in Jackson, it has become extremely clear that God’s plan for this mission and us was very different from the expectations and plans we had. Months before the trip began I came in with certain preconceptions of the work we would be doing, just because of what Maggie had told me about her previous mission trip here 3 years ago. It is with these assumptions that some were disappointed and frustrated when the work being done was not what we expected it to be. But with this came the  intimate relationship we made with John Perkins, a man so hard to describe because he is unworthy of the adjectives I would normally use to describe such an extraordinary man. With this came the lifelong bonds we made with each other and the conversations had were so cherished. With this came the moving out of hearts when building relationships with the children in the John Perkins Foundation summer camp. I am so grateful for my expectations of this trip being completely different from my preconceived ideas. Because while we sat listening to Grandpa Perkins last night with another youth group, it was apparent that they had followed a strict schedule while being on their mission and I felt sorrow that they would never have the level of intimacy we had with Grandpa Perkins. These expectations and set plans can be crippling because sometimes they can inhibit the work of God that would have come from the free time found in the lack of a set schedule. To allow God to do the most work in our lives we must be open to leaving our schedules as well as expectations behind. In the Jackson, Mississippi group of summer 2018 we can attest to the amazing experiences and conversations found in doing so.

 

sam hammock

 

 Day 5

Blog from Sam Hammock on Mission Trip with FUMC Youth

Unsatisfactory, I’m walking away from this trip with a feeling of un-satisfaction, and I believe that goes with the other six that were on the trip. Leaving this life changing experience feels a little odd to walk away from. It felt like were just getting settled in and were ready to get to work, with there being so much work left to do. That is what I believe this sense of un-satisfaction uproots from. Personally walking away from this trip I felt a sense of un-satisfaction and this is why; Prejudice thought and racist rhetoric still exists in the minds of many southern peoples, and I believe no piece of legislation can be passed to redirect these racist thoughts that are rooted so deeply in the minds of the people. The generations before us had been grown up and taught to judge a person by the color of their skin instead of the content of their character. With every generation the racial barrier grew and the tension drastically increased year after year. These times of turmoil brought out leaders like Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Medgar Evers and lastly John Perkins. These men and women put their lives on the line to solve these tough problems and to escape the situation that entrapped thousands of African Americans within the south. We learned about this in the new beautifully designed civil rights museum in downtown Jackson but more importantly we learned this from the man himself, John Perkins. It felt like a dream being able to spend the majority of the week with him in an up close, personal environment and I’m walking away from this trip being able to call him my personal friend. If I were to pick one of the meaningful quotes to walk away from this trip it would be one of the most important things that John said; “I believe in the next generation.” These are the words that I needed to hear to begin my journey and fulfill my passion and they’re the words that all of this young generation needs to hear to change the world for the better and to settle the feeling of un-satisfaction.

 

 

Events

upcomingevents orig 

 

Caroling and Cookies in Old Town

 

 December 16th from 3-4:30 at the skating rink in Old Town

Help us spread Christmas cheer as we sing really loud for all to hear!!

We will also be sharing cookies and hot cocoa with holiday shoppers.

 

Forms & Downloads

Forms & Downloads

 

Confirmation Class Registration

Confirmation Student Information Sheet

 

Year-Long Registration
& Release Form

Click HERE to Download

 

Behavior Covenant

Click HERE to Download

 

 

 
 


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