Spiritual Formation means learning by engaging in Christian practices and then reflecting on them afterwards. This doing and reflecting helps us to form young people in the faith.
- We SERVE instead of just talking about Christian service
- We PRAY instead of teaching about prayer
- We actively and intentionally work to BUILD community
instead of only sharing about Christian Community
- We SHOW our young people how special they are through special
liturgical celebrations instead of simply telling them
- We TRAVEL on Pilgrimage together instead of merely talking about Christian journey
Helping Our Youth into Adulthood
At St. Andrew's we believe it is important to equip young people with the tools they need to grow into the full stature of Christ and to fully live into their Baptismal vows as adults. Some of our tools include:
Learning through Social and Service Activities
We use the nationally renowned youth program, Journey to Adulthood, for students in grades 6 through 12. This program incorporates both the learning opportunities of church school and the social and service activities of traditional youth ministry. Additionally, several special liturgical events and rites of passage celebrate adolescent milestones.
Encouraging Participation and Leadership
Young people are welcome to assist in worship as acolytes, lectors, readers, and ushers. Opportunities to exercise leadership and sharing of gifts in our programs for children; Vacation Bible School, Faith Explorers, and the Church School as well as engage in the various ministries of the church as assistant teachers, childcare, choir, Altar Guild and more.
Special Events with other Episcopal Youth
The Journey to Adulthood curriculum consists of three phases in two-year cycles. As the Episcopal tenets of scripture, tradition and reason infuse life and energy into these concepts so do they infuse life and energy into these young teens.
Rite 13 - Grades 7 & 8
The first two years in Rite 13 assists young people, in a fun manner, as they take the first steps of passage into their adult lives, creating a safe haven to explore new ideas and abilities. It builds self-esteem in the context of the Christian community, working together to establish a framework that focuses on the gifts of gender God has given us, affirms our creative energy to effect change in the world and explores the principles of freedom, responsibility and friendship. The entire congregation honors the teens around their 13th birthday with the Rite 13 Ceremony, a springtime rite of passage marking the transition from childhood to manhood or womanhood.
J2A - Grades 9 & 10
During the second two year phase, known as J2A, not to be confused with the Journey to Adulthood program name, the focus is placed on the acquisition of skills which prepare and empower the young person to participate in the adult community. The majority of the work within the Journey to Adulthood program is accomplished within these years. Teens learn and practice the adult skills of active listening, negotiation, assertion, research & information management, partnership and leadership. They apply this in classroom lessons, social outings, outreach activities and fundraising. The end of the second year of J2A is the occasion for the group to design and travel on a Holy Pilgrimage.
YAC - Grades 11 & 12
The last two years of the Journey to Adulthood program are referred to as YAC, which stands for "Young Adults in Church". YAC students are encouraged to accept more adult responsibilities and to contribute their time, talent and treasure in support of the ongoing work of the church. Teens write a personal credo of beliefs and rely on their trusted peers as they explore their faith more deeply and struggle with the details of transitioning from teenager to young adult in today's world.
The final phase includes preparation for Confirmation. Participation in Confirmation becomes a mature decision, made by spiritually equipped young adults. It places Confirmation in its proper context not as a rite of passage, but as a declaration of their understanding and a willingness in their journey of faith to continue with that which was said for them and to them at their Baptism.
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