Youth Ministry (Koinonia)
Koinonia offers a variety of programs to help our youth (and their parents) engage their faith on a daily basis, and the opportunity to experience God's love as they learn how they can spread it to the community and the world.
What opportunities for involvement in the youth ministry are there at WPC?
Sunday School7th-12th graders* will NOT meet for Sunday School on Sunday mornings until the new youth space is ready for us to use (which will most likely be in late March). However, there are plenty of opportunities to be involved in the youth ministry outside of Sunday mornings! 7th & 8th graders will meet on Sunday nights for Confirmation class from 6:05pm-7:30pm. This Confirmation class will be during what was Junior High Youth Group time, so it will still include dinner and games, but the Bible study portion will cover material from Confirmation. 9th – 12th grade students are invited to participate in a Youth Small Group, and Senior High Youth Group. See more information about Youth Small Groups, Junior & Senior High Youth Groups, and information for 6th graders below.
6th graders continue to meet in Room E-385 at 9:45am in the morning for Sunday School. Their curriculum throughout the year is an overview of the New Testament.
High School Sunday School is issue-based, and focuses on topics of relevance for high school students. As part of Sunday School, the Bible is often juxtaposed with items from popular culture, including television shows and movie clips. Until our new youth space is complete, 9th – 12th grade students are invited to participate in a Youth Small Group and Senior High Youth Group.
7th graders begin their two-year Confirmation process with an overview of the Bible. Central to this year is beginning to understand the concept of grace, or God's unconditional love. 7th graders will meet on Sunday nights for Confirmation class from 6:05pm-7:30pm. At the end of this year, all 7th graders participate in a retreat at NaCoMe (see below), during which they have the opportunity to explore the notion of God's grace, recap important Biblical stories, and fellowship with one another.
8th graders learn about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the church, and sacraments during the second half of their confirmation process. As a part of these five units, scripture is examined and the beliefs of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) are discussed and explained. 8th graders will meet on Sunday nights for Confirmation class from 6:05pm-7:30pm. At the end of this year, all 8th graders participate in a confirmation retreat at NaCoMe (see below), during which they write a class creed and create a banner that symbolizes their beliefs.
Other Awesome Opportunities
Each Sunday evening, beginning in the fall, we'll meet from 6:05 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. for dinner, Bible study, games, and fellowship. Junior High (7th and 8th grades in the fall; 6th grade joins beginning in January) meets in M-110. Senior High youth (9th-12th grades) meet off campus at a different location each week. 9th & 10th graders one week, and 11th & 12th graders meet the week after.
Senior High Small Groups Schedule
We are excited about the opportunity for every high school youth (9th-12th grades) to participate in a Koinonia Youth Ministry Small Group throughout the school year! Small Groups have already started meeting, but if you are interested in signing up for a Small Group, please contact someone on the Youth Staff. We have Small Groups meeting at a variety of times throughout the week. Some Small Groups are for girls, some are for guys, and some are co-ed. If you have questions, would like to suggest a different time for a Small Group to meet, or would like to suggest a different type of Small Group (girls’ basketball, for example), please let us know. We will try our best to take these suggestions under consideration. We think this is a great opportunity to grow closer to God and to other members of the youth ministry, so please, sign up right away!
Lenten Small Group
Maybe you’re interested in joining a Small Group, but you’re intimidated by the semester-long commitment, we have an option for you, too! Try a group just for the season of Lent — just 5 weeks! That will get started on March 5 and wrap up after Easter (April 16), with a week off for Spring Break. This is a great way to try it out and see how you like being in a Small Group without making a bigger commitment up front. Let Claire know if you are interested.
6th graders were welcomed into the Koinonia Youth Ministry back in January, and are invited to participate in Junior High Youth Group, Youth Council, BIG Wednesday Nights, visits to Preston Taylor Ministries, visits to Room In The Inn’s downtown campus, class events, the NaCoMe retreat in April, and this summer’s Junior High Mission Trip to Asheville. All 6th graders are partnered with an 8th grade buddy to ensure that they are welcomed!
Youth Council is a leadership committee available to 6th-12th grade youth to provide feedback, to communicate opportunities to other youth, to be a welcoming presence to all youth, and to present the youth ministry with new and exciting ideas. The positions include a moderator and a representative for every grade. Youth must run for these positions, and be voted for by other youth.
Once a semester, youth are invited to a fellowship event that is specifically for a particular grade. This event could be dinner or an activity, and is always a time for everyone to catch up and have fun!
BIG Wednesday Nights
All 6th-12th grade youth from WPC, St. George’s, and Preston Taylor Ministries join together a couple Wednesday nights each semester for food, games, and worship!
Churchball (Church Basketball)
The 2016-2017 Churchball season is currently wrapping up. Churchball games take place on Saturdays against other churches in the West End Sertoma League. Stay tuned for eventual information on the 2017-2018 season.
Preston Taylor Ministries
Preston Taylor Ministries (PTM) [link to PTM] was founded in 1998 to confront many of the problems present in the Preston Taylor public housing area, like drug use, gang involvement, teenage pregnancy, illiteracy, poor school performance and crime. In order to provide hope for children and families living in this environment, PTM sponsors several avenues for building life-changing relationships. At PTM, it's about relationships. The Koinonia Youth Ministry partners with PTM to build relationships between youth who are active at WPC and youth who are active at PTM. Once a month, WPC youth either goes to PTM to read, play games, and have fun with the children and youth there or we host a holiday party at WPC.
Serving at Room In The Inn’s Downtown Campus
Room In The Inn [link to Room In The Inn] is a well-oiled machine that has been fine-tuning their Winter Shelter program for over 30 years. From November to March, T.J., who used to work at Room In The Inn, is inviting two youth at a time (7th-12th grade) to accompany him on Monday evenings at the downtown campus to learn about this program and to engage with good people who are experiencing homelessness. Room In The Inn creates a space that allows for youth to experience the Holy Spirit on the move, and to see interfaith community-building at its finest. Please contact T.J. if you are interested or have any questions about this opportunity.
Confirmation/Junior High NaCoMe Retreat (6th-8th Graders)
Please mark your calendars for Saturday, April 22—Sunday, April 23 at NaCoMe! This is a great weekend of fun, cinnamon rolls, s'mores, hanging out with friends, and learning about your faith. During this retreat, 6th graders will bond over nature, Bible lessons, and games. 7th graders will have the opportunity to explore the notion of God's grace, recap important Biblical stories, and engage in fellowship with one another. Throughout confirmation, 8th graders take on the task of competing their class creed and creating a video that elaborates on their beliefs.
Annual Ski Trip
Our annual weekend ski trip to Banner Elk, North Carolina normally occurs in January over MLK weekend. Stay tuned for eventual information about the 2018 ski trip!
Junior High Mission Trip to Asheville, North Carolina
Completed 6th, 7th, & 8th graders are invited to join us for a week of serving God with Asheville Youth Mission July 9-14, 2017! The deadline for this trip has already passed, but if you are interested, please contact the Youth Staff asap and let them know!
Montreat Youth Conference
Completed 8th-12th graders are invited to join us for Montreat Youth Conference Week V July 23-29, 2017! View the flyer here! The deadline for this trip has already passed, but if you are interested, please contact the Youth Staff asap and let them know!
Senior High Mission Trip to Belfast, Northern Ireland
Completed 9th-12th graders are invited to join us for our senior high mission trip to Belfast, Northern Ireland June 2-10, 2017! Unfortunately, the deadline for this trip has already passed and we are no longer accepting additional participants.
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Westminster Presbyterian Church's Youth Ministry seeks to provide youth the opportunity to gather in order to create, sustain, and nurture their relationship with God, with other youth, and members of the community and world.
What is Koinonia?
Koinonia is a Greek word found throughout the New Testament. Koinonia is the word used when the disciples break bread together and share communion. The connotation of the word Koinonia is a sense of community, of sharing all things in common, and of welcoming everyone to Christ's table.
We have chosen the theme of Koinonia for our youth ministry at Westminster Presbyterian Church (WPC) because it is our hope that we are constantly working towards embodying Koinonia within our youth ministry, our congregation, and our larger community.
If you missed the latest announcements for the Youth Department, please click here to find out what's happening and where.
Koinonia is led by Claire Harris, Keith McCord, Whitney Booth Lockard, and T.J.Piccolo. They love working with young people and their families. Read their bios here; email them by clicking their name:
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