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Youth Group News!

October 12, 2017


Here is an update on some of the upcoming youth activities that we discussed at our kickoff picnic last month.  More events may develop over the next month.

An important reminder:  Next Saturday, October 21 we will be going to Huston’s Haunted Hollow and return to the church for a lock-in.  We plan to carpool from the church, leaving at 6:30pm.  We’ll meet in the parking lot.  Feel free to bring your sleeping gear and any lock-in items and drop them off in Fellowship Hall before we leave for Huston’s.  The youth group will pick up half of your admission to Huston’s, so please bring $8 to give to Pastor Matt and spending money for the concession stand.  There is also a mission component to our lock-in, as we will be bagging pet food for the mobile food pantry.  So, if you are in need of community service hours for school, this would be a great opportunity to help yourself as you help others!

After the lock-in, we will go to church together and host Pause for Persons.  Friends are welcome to attend!

We also need some parents to help with the carpool to Huston’s and to help chaperon the lock-in.  Perhaps we could schedule shifts so that folks don’t have to stay all night.  Please let me know if you’re willing to help.

Please mark your calendars!

November’s events:  

Tuesday, November 21st:  Salvation Army Thanksgiving Dinner Prep:  1:30pm in the church kitchen.

Saturday, November 25th:  Salvation Army Kettle Bell Ringing at Walmart.  A sign-up sheet will be available shortly!

We need to come up with a date & place for a breakfast in November. Dates that work for me are November 9, 14, 15, 16.  Please let Pastor Matt know your preferences.

December’s events:

Sunday, December 3rd:  Christmas shopping for children in need (the Salvation Army Angel Tree program), following worship.  We will depart from the Edgewood Ave. Narthex.

Summer of 2018:  July 19-22 is the Regional Youth Event, California University of PA.  The estimated cost of the event is $375 per person and is open to youth in grades 7-12.  More details to come!  We’ll need to start fundraising for RYE this fall.

Unresolved Issue: Candy Making.  The youth group candy sale is one of our biggest fundraisers each year.  Over the years a number of parents and youth have helped to make it a big success.  This year we are in need of a family or families to coordinate the event.  While the results of the fundraiser are sweet, it also take a lot of hard work to make it a success, so even if we do get a coordinator, ALL of us will have to pitch in to make it happen!  Please contact Pastor Matt if you’d like to be the coordinator.  The candy is typically sold starting in late November and throughout December in time for Christmas.

Many thanks goes out to the Waggle, Hainzer, and Harris families for organizing past candy making fundraisers over the past decade.



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Rally Day: September 7th:  Let Your Light Shine!

September 4, 2014


Consider giving Sunday School a WHIRL this year as we join in fun, fellowship, and service.  WHIRL is the brand new program we are using with our grade-school classes.  Children are accompanied on their faith journey by a number of funny, kid-relatable cartoon characters.  Together, they encounter Bible stories and are encouraged to ask questions about God and the church that we often hesitate to ask!

Sunday School fun isn’t just for the kids.  St. Paul’s has classes for all ages.  

Junior High (grades 7 & 8).  Teacher:  Sue Geary.  The Junior High Youth will be exploring their faith journey in light of major themes in the Bible using Sparkhouse’s Echo the Story.  The Junior High class meets in the Library Extension.

Senior High (grades 9-12).  Teacher:  Rev. Matt Deal.  Youth members will go deeper in their reflection of how God is working in their lives using Echo the Story for Youth.  Senior High students will meet in the Pastor’s Office.

The Adult Class.  Teacher:  Craig Weaver.  Learners engage scripture, theology, and church tradition in a stimulating discussion of current events.  This class meets in the back of Fellowship Hall

The Young at Heart Class.  Team Taught by:  Carole Wilson, Max Ankney, Lyn Shellenberger, and Gary Cameron.  The Young at Hearts will be studying Ecclesiastes and will meet in Salem Chapel.

Graded Classes (Children’s Classrooms are on the main floor in the education wing.  Each classroom door is clearly marked.)

3 year-old–Kindergarten:  Teachers:  Isabel Shumaker and Kim Keim

1–3 grade:  Teachers:  Suzy Housley and Christy Schneck

4–6 grade:  Teachers:  Kristen Mumau and John Harris

Come grow with us as we let our light shine for Jesus!

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Youth Group Members attend Mid-Atlantic Youth Event

July 11, 2014


Four members from St. Paul’s and one member from Trinity UCC in Berlin, PA departed on Wednesday for the United Church of Christ’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Youth Event.  Attending the event are: Becca Gary, Anna Geary, Colby Keim, Katelyn Matthews (Trinity UCC, Berlin), and Adam Yeckley.  Susan Geary and Westley Conn are the group’s chaperones.

Participants will be engaging in 5 days of high energy worship, fellowship, fun, and mission.  The youth event’s mission project this year is the local back-to-school program.  Youth members from Somerset County took with them donations of pens, pencils, notebooks, crayons, and rulers in support of the mission project.  St. Paul’s & Trinity Youth thank their church family for supporting them and this important mission!

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Youth Group Mission Trip Retrospective

June 1, 2013


Each day started with chores.  The animals needed fed:  alpacas, chickens, llamas, rabbits, not to mention the running of the sheep and goats!  Each day ended with chores and our youth made them happen.  “Here, sheep, sheep, sheep!  Here, goat, goat, goat!”  Was the call issued forth from the youth member leading the sheep and goats to and from their pasture.  The sheep were fairly easy, but often, the goats led us to pasture!

The animals were unbearably cute and much time was spent with them.  One of our youth was even observed singing to a favorite goat as he scratched behind the goat’s ears.  Cute animals are only part of the story.  Our youth learned about where food really comes from.  They gave their time and energy caring for the one acre garden, stacked fire wood, and built fence for two very big hogs in a new piece of pasture.

Most importantly, our youth learned about the life-changing work of Heifer International.  The 18 hours spent in a simulated global village helped to drive home the importance of food and health.  The youth who “lived” in Tibet and Ghana learned a lot about themselves and the culture in which they lived.  They worked hard to make meals from scratch and had to share resources with one another in order to survive.  They also learned some tough lessons about life when each group’s “baby” died.  The baby was only a water balloon, but meant a lot to the youth as they took turns caring for the little one, willing it to survive.  The Ghanian group brought flowers to the Tibetans as they silently mourned.  Both groups made memorials for their departed child.

Youth and adult participants brought home with them not only great memories and some good pictures, but a renewed sense of purpose and mission in our own ministry.  Over the next year, they plan on carrying out four projects within the community:  Serving a cross-cultural luncheon for the church, organizing a youth lock-in for the community, hosting a movie viewing festival for children, youth, and adults, and organizing a mini-mission outing to Ronald McDonald house in Pittsburgh.

We are thankful for the support of our church family and are grateful for the nurture and care we received from our mission partners at Overlook Farms.  This trip would not have been possible without your love and support!

With Gratitude,

Overlook Farms Mission Team

Youth:  Bethany Bailey, Mya Cameron, Anna Geary, Kolby Glessner, Nathan Hainzer, Tiereni Hitechew (United Church, Shellsburg), Becca Gary, Carly & Matty Stutzman, Megan Wertz (United Church, Shellsburg), and Hunter Younkin (Unity UCC)

Chaperones:  Wes Conn, Susan Geary, Amanda & Matt Deal

Living Life High on the Hog!

Living Life High on the Hog!

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