At Second Presbyterian Church we believe that youth are not just the future of the church, they are the church along with believers of all ages. The Mission of the Middle and High School Youth is to:
- To further nurture spiritual growth
- To do the mission of the church
- To participate in the worship of the church
- To embrace leadership roles in the church
- And to have fun doing it!
To further nurture spiritual growth
Sunday School - Middle School students meet with Mr. Rick Rushworth upstairs in the newly dedicated Middle School Room. During middle school the class focuses on deepening its understandings of the core stories of the Bible: Creation and the story of Abraham; the Exodus: the Exile; the time of the kings; the birth of Jesus, the Easter story and more.
High School students meet with Mrs. Suzanne Rushworth in the Jimmy Dobbs Youth Room. High school studies often focus on the intersection of faith and life and seeking understanding of the plans which God has for each of us.
VISITORS ALWAYS WELCOME!
Mr. and Mrs. Rushworth are experienced educators and sincerely enjoy leading the Sunday School hour.
Confirmation – During middle school, our youth have the opportunity to undertake a confirmation program which leads to their public profession of faith as they become members of the church. This decision is an important one which is made in conjunction with the parents of our youth, our parish associate for youth ministry and the Sunday School teacher. Customarily, this opportunity for spiritual growth and commitment is offered in the sixth or seventh grade. Last year six youth entered the confirmation program which culminated in a beautiful service on Pentecost. If a youth has not been baptized as an infant, s/he is baptized at that time.
Camp John Knox – Summer experiences at Camp John Knox, a ministry of the Presbytery of East Tennessee, offered our youth wonderful opportunities to enjoy God’s beautiful creation in an environment dedicated to helping them grow in faith as well as in appreciation of nature. They have opportunities to meet youth from the many churches in our presbytery and beyond. Bible Study, small groups, crafts, archery, swimming, boating, and water skiing are among the many activities. The church offers scholarships for these camps; speak to the parish associate for youth ministry for more information. Click the link below to watch a video of the fun our kids (and many others) had at camp in 2016!
Wonderful Wednesdays – Many in the congregation gather for a meal, fellowship and study on Wednesday evenings. Youth are invited to participate in intergenerational studies and sometimes gather separately for study and some fun activities. School schedules are very hectic for our youth these and they attend a variety of schools, far and near. So, Wednesdays evenings are relaxed and we proceed with those who are able to attend.
To do the mission of the church
Souper Bowl Sunday – Traditionally, our youth have participated in the nation-wide Souper Bowl Sunday which is celebrated around Super Bowl Sunday. The mission of the event is to collect funds to help combat hunger in America or around the world. Youth lead the offering for that day and along with the Mission Committee decide how the funds are to be used to carry out the stated mission. Some years the money is given locally; other years internationally. Last year the offering was combined with that of Northminster Presbyterian and the youth and a number of adults packed meals for Stop Hunger Now!
More missions – In September 2014 the youth spearheaded an intergenerational mission event. More than 50 “Seconders” participated in a meal packing event at the Chattanooga Convention and Trade Center to assist the program Feed My Starving Children.
Our youth are always welcome to participate in any of the mission events sponsored by the congregation.
To participate in the worship of the church
Mother’s Day/Youth Sunday – On this Sunday our youth plan and implement a worship service. In ways that are appropriate for worship our youth seek to honor those who have nurtured and cared for them from infancy. This day is planned in conjunction with the pastor and parish associate for youth ministry.
Other times – At other times our youth may participate in ways such as original art work for the bulletin, adorning the church at the Hanging of the Greens, offering their musical talents, and acting as liturgist reading the Scripture for the day,
To embrace leadership roles in the church
From the above descriptions, one can see that our youth have an opportunity to participate fully in the life of the church.
Advent Devotional booklet - One way that the youth offered their talents and leadership in 2014 was in their preparation of the Advent Devotional booklet for the members and friends of the congregation. They offered original art work and reflections for the booklet and their skills in assembling the books.
And to have fun doing it!
Third Sundays – After worship on the third Sunday of the month, youth are invited to participate in a variety of awesome activities – oftentimes fun! Examples are lunch at Community Pie (where we also played Lenten trivia!) and a high school only lunch at Lupi’s where we honored our senior heading off to college, offered her “advice” and received great wisdom from her about succeeding in high school. Third Sundays also are used to support the other goals of our mission statement such as preparing art work and reflections for the Advent booklet.
Special Events – At least once each quarter youth ministry sponsors special events – some mission oriented as described above, others just plain fun! Some examples are:
Christmas Dinner and movies
Fun day at church with tie dying, mini-tennis, ping pong tournament, and crafts galore!
Lake/pool party – lots of food, fellowship and water sports of all kinds – swimming, paddle boarding, kayaking, and canoeing!
Art Camp – Younger youth are offered an opportunity to participate in the Art Camp sponsored by neighbor, St. Paul’s Episcopal.
OUR YOUTH ARE VALUED AND OUR CONGREGATION TAKES SERIOUSLY OUR BAPTISMAL VOWS TO NURTURE EACH OF OUR YOUTH IN FAITH AND SPIRITUAL GROWTH. ONE OF THE WAYS WE DO SO IS THROUGH THE GUARDIAN ANGEL PROGRAM. Every middle and high school student is assigned a Guardian Angel. This person encourages his/her youth in many ways throughout the year. In May, at a special event, the Guardian Angels’ identities are made know to the youth!
COMMUNICATION IS IMPORTANT!
Youth receive a monthly newsletter called “Take a Second Look.” It is distributed to their email addresses (and those of their parents) and sent by snail mail. Event reminders go out through our Second Presbyterian of Chattanooga Facebook page and through text messages for those who have cell phones. In addition, youth news is sent out via the church newsletter.
Second Presbyterian is committed to the wonderful ministry of John Knox Center's summer camp program. In fact, we consider it so important in the spiritual development of our youth that we pay for any youth church member who wishes to enjoy summer camp. This video includes some familiar faces of the youth at Second!
John Knox Center, a ministry of the Presbytery of East Tennessee is a year round camp and conference center. Check out their website at jwww.johnknoxcenter.org.