The St. Mark’s congregation is very supportive of its youth. The youth are welcomed into the church family and nurtured through Christian education, fellowship and opportunities for service and mission. To ensure that we do our best to provide a sacred and safe environment for all who participate in St. Mark’s programs, we have established a Safe Sanctuaries policy. A minimum of two teachers, chaperones, etc. are required to be with youth and have been background-checked or download/print a background authorization form.
St. Mark’s is committed to providing quality Christian education programs for our youth. Classes for youth are held each Sunday morning from 9:45 – 10:45 in the Wesley House. There’s a class for grades 6-8, and another for grades 9-12. You are welcome to join us any Sunday! The curriculum for youth Sunday School is filled with ice breakers, learning games, discussions and participatory skits to help kids really get into the Bible.
Confirmation is open to young people in grades 8-12. The class meets every Sunday morning through the traditional school year. It concentrates on the Bible, history of Christianity and United Methodism, and exploring church membership. Students meet various people on the church staff and have the opportunity to spend time with each of our pastors. In addition, there are field trips to churches of other faiths and denominations.
Fellowship (Youth Group)
Youth Group is open to all students in grades 6-12. Most often held on Sunday evenings from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m., it is a time of fun, games, fellowship and Christian caring for one another. Specific events and activities can be found in Wass Up?, the bi-weekly youth newsletter.
Soon after the school year ends, St. Mark’s serves as host for the South District Middle School Mission. This is a four-day youth mission experience for young people who have completed grades 6-8 by the end of the school year, which allows students to serve in a variety of ways throughout the local community.
During mid-summer, high-school-age volunteers have the opportunity to participate in the Sierra Service Project. This is a week-long youth mission trip to assist in the repair of homes in urban communities or on Native American reservations in the Southwest.
St. Mark’s youth are also involved in other mission projects during the year. Each December, the youth members prepare and serve dinner for approximately 120 men at the Primavera Homeless Shelter.
The St. Mark’s Youth Council consists of the elected youth officers (including youth representatives to various church committees), a young adult rep and a parent rep. Youth Council meets on the 2nd Sunday of each month at 3:00 p.m. Anyone is welcome to attend, but only the officers can vote. At the meetings, the young people discuss youth issues, vote on disbursement of some designated funds, and make plans for programs. Youth Council is responsible for planning, advertising and implementing one program per month, as well as planning all summer UMYF activities.