Throughout this year, the youth will be using “Rite-13,” part of a program called “Journey to Adulthood.” The lessons are grouped into several topical sections: on Prayer, Images of God, Life Decisions, Compassion and Mercy, and Faith and Trust. Over the course of these studies, youth are invited to engage deeply with questions of identity, exploring how they fit into God’s story by reflection on some of the fundamental aspects of Christian belief and practice. While these lessons include conversation starters on some serious issues, Rite-13 encourages activity and play as part of the learning experience. Familiarity with the scriptural narrative is fundamental to Rite-13’s approach, and lessons utilize it to illuminate the topical areas of discussion in such a way as to make it relevant. An important feature of Rite-13 is its connection to real-life issues that teenagers must address: issues of purpose, place, relationships, responsibility, society, spirituality, and ultimately God. This program invites youth to ask questions, and through a thoughtful, imagina- tive exploration of the basics of Christian faith, come to a deeper appreciation of how their place in God’s story and God’s kingdom equips them for the questions and dilemmas they will face as they enter adulthood.

Through the spring and into summer it is my hope to get the youth engaged in meaningful work within the church community and in the wider community as they connect with other groups. We have a couple of spring events planned (that members of the congregation are welcome to join in on!) and are looking forward to Passport camp over the summer. Here’s to a great year full of new opportunities for engaging our youth in the life of our congregation, for growing and learning together in the faith, and for having fun!

– Cade Jarrell