St. Gabriel's Episcopal Church

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1188 Ben Franklin Highway East (Rt. 422) Douglassville, PA 19518 | +1.6103853144 | office@stgabriels.us
Office Open Monday Thru Friday

Youth Education/Formation

Grades 6 - 12

Current News
See the latest newsletter by clicking the "News" tab and scrolling down.

Our J2A youth and adults went on a

Pilgrimage to Ireland in July of 2016!

We take youth seriously...and have some serious fun in the process!...


      At St. Gabriel’s Episcopal Church, we take seriously a life long journey of Christian Formation. Starting in Pre-School children are introduced to Bible Study, Worship, and Fellowship. When they reach Middle and High School teens are placed into a peer community with mentors from the congregation who work, pray, worship, teach, and serve with them. 


Evolving St. Gabe’s Youth Program for the New Millennium


     The objective of St. Gabe’s youth ministry is to encourage our teens to explore and experience “Learning and Doing the Work of Jesus” in order for them to grow into their individual and corporate calling as Christians. As society continues to evolve around us, we’ve begun to experience some challenges with our current approach, including:


  • Staffing classes and events with the appropriate amount of adult leaders
  • Youth attendance on Sunday mornings/Keeping the youth engaged in church amidst multiple competing priorities
  • Cost of overseas pilgrimages – extensive fundraising interfering with true spiritual formation


     To address these challenges, the Youth Ministry Team has spent the last year prayerfully considering how to evolve the program. To discern the Spirit’s direction for the program, we’ve gathered feedback from the youth, parents, long time Youth Ministry Team members, and piloted new things.  Based on what we learned, we will be:


  • Moving to a two-class approach, Junior High (grades 6-8) and Senior High (grades 9-12).
  • Incorporating more time for Christian Fellowship into Sunday mornings to encourage bonding between our teens and ensure that our time together is viewed as a “safe place” in a challenging adolescent world.
  • Incorporating more real-life experiences into our activities in order for our youth to explore their own calling in doing Jesus work.
  • Continuing to leverage the J2A curriculum for classroom discussions and activities. (See below fro J2A info)
  • Leveraging existing diocesan and national church activities as a means of providing opportunities for spiritual retreat, mission, and pilgrimage, as opposed to taking on the daunting and financially challenging task of developing our own parish specific activities.
  • Continuing to be self-supporting ministry while tithing back to the church from our earnings. This will involve fundraising; however, leveraging the existing diocesan and national church activities mentioned above, will reduce the fundraising burden on youth families and the parish at large, while creating the opportunity to offset some of the costs for attending these events, making them accessible to all.


      Please come out to the Sunday School kick-off on September 17th to learn more about this exciting evolution!


J2A Info...

Rite 13 where youth learn that all men and women are made in the image of God, that procreation is a gift freely given and where we celebrate the gifts of manhood and womanhood (When a youth turns 13 they are celebrated in the Church with a special service- similar to a Bar/ Bat Mitzvah).
 
J2A where the lessons learned in Rite 13 are expanded to allow for discussions about Self, Spirituality, Sexuality and Society. The J2A portion of the curriculum includes a weekend “Urban Adventure” where youth find their way around an urban location with silent chaperones.

Other cool youth stuff...
Spiritual Retreats - Our youth ministry encourage the youth to participate in spiritual retreats with other youth. There are 2 Diocesan Retreats a year - one in the fall and one in the spring. In June each year we travel with at least twelve youth and adult chaperones to North Carolina to attend Youth Week at Kanuga Conference Center.


Outreach
We have participated in a variety of mission work ranging from gathering needed supplies to rebuilding houses destroyed by a hurricane. Annually our youth have opportunities to participate in local missions such as Crop Walk, serving a meal at Opportunity House, etc.. We encourage our youth to attend and participate in weekly worship on Saturday evenings or Sunday Morning, their Sunday Christian Formation class, and youth group events.