By Debbie Foster
Foothills Presbytery youth ministry have had quite a month of March!
Mini-Montreat, the annual high school spring retreat was a smashing success. Over 120 participants gathered in North Carolina March 17-19th for weekend of faith and fellowship. The group explored the idea of life as a balancing act as keynote speaker Andy Casto-Waters encouraged participants to recognize that a Life of faith is a balanced life, to seek those around who can show us how, while remembering that sometimes we need to take some risks.
One story in particular captures the weekend: On Saturday night, four PYC seniors had a chance to tell their stories as they responded to questions like, “How has serving on PYC helped you grow in your faith?” The high school youth, volunteers, and leaders listened as each senior shared how much of an impact PYC has had on his or her life. “It has become a second youth group,” one senior said. Another spoke of how much he has learned about church leadership and public speaking. It was a powerful moment when youth across the presbytery got to see how serving the church as Christ’s disciples can take shape in amazing and unexpected ways.
That same weekend, Ministry Architects was invited to complete a youth ministry assessment, providing the Presbytery with a clear picture of its current ministry and detailed recommendations for how the Presbytery might move strategically toward its desired future. Over 140 youth, volunteers, youth workers, clergy and presbytery staff met with Ministry Architects to share their hopes and dreams about presbytery youth ministry.
Ministry Architects presented their findings to the Committee on Shared Ministry, the Youth Ministry Task Force and members of the Youth Ministry Roundtable. The report is available online here https://foothillspresbytery.org/events/youth-ministry-assessment-session/ All are encouraged to read this initial assessment of the presbytery’s unique assets and challenges, along with key recommendations for the shaping of the next expressions of youth ministry in and through the presbytery.
The Foothills Youth Ministry Coaching Cohort also continues to meet. Each youth worker in this group of eight has selected a project to undertake for the year as they gather to learn, practice, and process ministry together.
As reflect on the great things God has done in our presbytery youth ministry in these past weeks we look towards the future with eager anticipation. We hope you’ll join us in jubilant celebration and prayerful eagerness for the years to come.