A Closer Look at Youth Formation at The Redeemer
By Melissa Wilcox
The youth ministry at Redeemer is designed to create many opportunities for youth to find a place within the community of the church that uses their talents and spiritual gifts as well as providing an environment of comfort, learning, and spiritual development. The primary objective is to teach our youth ecclesial ethics; meaning that rather than spending time on decisive or circumstantial decisions, we present a ministry that holistically prepares youth by continuously challenging them to actively be a part of the body of Christ through our practices and rituals believing that the Holy Spirit will help develop the roots (Jer.17:8) they need in order to continue to be a part of the community of the church beyond high school and to participate in the life of the church as an adult.
Why does The Redeemer put so much emphasis on Sunday Formation Programs?
We emphasize our Sunday morning programs because the foundation of the Christian life--and habit--is worship. We understand that families realistically only have a certain amount of time to devote to church life and so we grab them on Sunday mornings so that our youth will become "habitual' worshipers at Redeemer. And, eventually, not just at Redeemer, but at the churches they choose to attend when they have graduated. Our Sunday morning programs are led by Charles Amis, Bill Susskind, and David Randolph.
How can my young person become involved in Sunday morning programs?
Please contact Michael Diorio to join the choir, Bob Mikrut to join the acolyte program, David Romanik to become a lector, Pat Sharpe to help with the nursery or assist in children's chapel, or Melissa Wilcox to join the Rite 13 programs and the Redeemer Youth program.
Does Redeemer have any fellowship programs for our Middle School and High School youth?
Yes. We believe that both age groups should spend time together and learn what it means to live in Christian community. The Middle School has Sabbath Time, and this year we are adding an evening fellowship program coordinated by Rebecca Northington. New leaders include Carter Williams, Alexis Stefan, and Bailey Sperry.
Does Redeemer offer a Confirmation Program?
Yes, youth in eighth grade and above prepared for 14 weeks for the Sacrament of Confirmation last year. Each confirmand wrote a letter to the bishop explaining why they want to be confirmed. We await a bishop's visit in spring 2017.
Are there any unique events offered for our youth outside the parish?
Yes, we are offering a fall retreat at the Diocesan Retreat center in Maryland, known as Wapiti. Our youth and leaders will gather for an overnight of fun, and deepening fellowship.
Does Redeemer ever take a group of kids away for Mission Trips?
Yes, last year we participated as volunteers in City Camp run by the Diocese. Our youth and adults provided support for a day camp in the Olney neighborhood of Philadelphia. This program was based out of St. Gabriel's Episcopal Church with whom we have a relationship. This year we will be putting together a steering committee of youth and leaders to plan this summer's mission trip.