Our youth have been busy since our mission trip to Cayey in June!  Here are some of the activities we’ve done:

Youth and children work together to "build the church"

Youth and children work together to “build the church”

On the Week of July 13, St. Mark’s youth gathered to help Pastor Emily and Alex lead Vacation Bible School.  This year’s theme was “Under Construction,” which Habitat for Humanity puts together.  Our youth helped lead our children in songs, games, music, and crafts as they explored stories of construction in the Bible.  Our big takeaway was about how God builds up the church through us.

On July 25, our youth welcomed in youth from St. John’s Lutheran in Winter Park, who stayed at St. Mark’s while on their way to Lutheridge.  We had a great time preparing and serving dinner and playing a couple of games together.

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Getting to know our neighbors at McCreesh Place

On July 30 we teamed with youth from Morning Star Lutheran in Matthews, NC.  They came to St. Mark’s to help us serve in the Soup Kitchen, and then we went over to McCreesh Place, a permanent home for homeless men with disabilities.  We chatted with the residents as we played bingo and Pictionary and handed out prizes.

On August 13, we teamed up with Morning Star Lutheran again for another service day.  We went to Morning Star to make 800 sandwiches for Charlotte’s Urban Ministry Center and to put together school kits for Lutheran World Relief.  Afterwards we drove to the Matthews HELP Center, where we helped organize clothes and school supplies for their thrift shop.  We love collaborating with Morning Star!

On August 15 we enjoyed a swim party at the Rama Swim Club to kick off the upcoming school year, and on August 23, our older youth helped teach our younger youth how to serve as acolytes and crucifers.  In addition to serving as acolytes and crucifers, youth at St. Mark’s take on other vital roles during the worship service like serving as lectors, prayer assistants, communion assistants, ushers, greeters, and sound machine operations.  We are grateful for their service!

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Youth and their parents discuss their faith

On August 30, we held a Youth and Parent Meeting.  We ate lunch together, and then our families had an activity to help them explore their faith together.  We also talked about our upcoming activities and our expectations for youth.  Our parents are very supportive of the youth ministry at St. Mark’s, and they take seriously their charge to pass faith on to their children.

On September 13, in conjunction with the ELCA’s God’s Work, Our Hands Sunday, our youth and children joined forces to make 800 sandwiches to donate to the Urban Ministry Center.  We finished in about 45 minutes, which I believe is a record for us!

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Our youth make sandwiches for our neighbors at the Urban Ministry Center

On September 20, our Confirmation Class met with their mentors.  Each confirmand (grades 6-8) is paired with an adult mentor, and they meet periodically throughout the school year.  The Confirmation Mentor program has been a big success at St. Mark’s due to our dedicated mentors!IMG_1784

On September 27, our youth met for lunch, to make 42 placemats for the Kairos prison ministry, and to root the Panthers on the victory.

As you can see, our youth ministry encompasses lots of fun and service-oriented activities.  Thanks for reading! If you have any questions about our youth ministry, please contact our Director of Youth Ministry, Alex English, at dymalexenglish@gmail.com.