First Mennonite Church has a long and vibrant history of ministry to and with youth. The goal of this ministry is to engage, encourage, equip, and empower youth as they discover their giftedness and respond to God’s call in their lives.
Leadership is provided by Tammy Duvanel Unruh (Interim Pastor of Youth and Young Adults) and an energetic group of Youth Ministers (Dwight and Janet Regier, Carol Entz, Isaac Entz, Melody Enns, and Mason Unruh). Youth also participate in providing leadership through the group, and are given opportunities to actively participate in many aspects of this ministry as possible including brainstorming, planning, and leading.
Senior High Activities
Here is a breakdown of the varied youth ministry happenings that are geared to allow youth to enter where they are and be encouraged and challenged to grow with others in their journey with God:
Student Action Leadership Team (S.A.L.T.)
This group consists of Youth Ministers and the youth leaders that will lead the Youth Council teams. This team will meet prior to Youth Council to discuss schedule and provide direction and plan upcoming events.
Youth Council meets on the 1st Sunday of the month (noon to 2:00)
The Youth Council is divided into three groups (Community, Mission, and Worship). Each group is in-charge of planning one Wednesday night a month. All youth are welcome to serve on youth council; however, each council member needs to be committed to remaining on task and contributing towards the planning and implementing of the planned night.
Wednesday nights at 6:45-8:15 pm
The Youth Group is where the Youth Council groups put their plans into action. Tammy leads the first Wednesday night while the youth provide leadership for the following Wednesdays that will focus on their areas (Community, Mission, and Worship). Ministers and seniors would be available to provide transportation as needed. Also, if we leave the building, we will post information and if we will be back later then normal, parents will be contacted prior to Wednesday night.
Sunday at 9:15 am in the Youth Rooms
This is where the youth will get a broader focus of The Story. Through the four years of high school, youth cover the main Bible themes. Some kind of light breakfast will be provided when youth/parents sign up to bring it.
Bible Study/Small Group
Meets on the 4th Sunday of the month in various homes
Faspa (food) will be served at 6:06 pm. Then promptly at 6:32 we will have a time of worship (singing, scripture reading, etc.). Then there is a “deeper” Bible Study and discussion in which group participation is strongly encouraged. The final part of the evening is spent in small group for discussion, sharing, and prayer. (Oh, then we have more food!). All youth are welcome!
Monthly Service/Mission Events
Each month, youth will have an opportunity to participate in a service/mission event such as serving a meal in a shelter, working at the Kansas Food Bank, assembling school or refugee kits at the MCC Center or something similar. These are optional but very impactful events.
Additional FMC Youth Ministries
Generally scheduled over Labor Day Weekend. This retreat is a significant group bonding time and kicking off the year. It will usually introduce the theme for the year and offer a challenge for the youth as they enter into a new school year.
All youth are expected to participate in all fund-raisers. Most years we hold several annual annual fundraisers: a Turkey Dinner (Nov.) and Pork Roast (March), plus a garage sale and auction.
All youth are strongly encouraged to participate in Catechism at some time during their Senior High years. Catechism is time of journeying together in the exploration of faith and discernment of baptism. Baptism needs to be based on the discernment and decision of each youth. With the scheduling challenges in the past years, Catechism may begin in the fall and meet once a month instead of weekly in the spring as we have in the past.
This “cool” retreat usually occurs in January or February and is a boost to finishing the year strong. It allows the group to recommit and be challenged at a mid point. This is a significant time of growth and challenge and a whole lot of fun thrown in!
Each summer, the youth group takes a Mission Trip OR once every four years attends the Mennonite Youth Convention. The Mission Trip is a way of putting our faith into action and being the God’s hands and feet in the world. The Mission Trip becomes a major focus throughout the year as a lot of planning, fund-raising, and focus goes into this week. The Mennonite Youth Convention is an opportunity for youth to experience the wider Mennonite Church in worship, service, and conversation.