In a continuing effort to share a better understanding of the church’s financial strengths and needs among all church members, the Session is undertaking a series of newsletter articles about how our boards and committees work together to define the mission and program of the church, and how the program is funded and managed through the operating budget. This second installment explains the work of the Youth Council.

The Youth budget is composed of a few main categories:

  • Youth Programming
  • Youth Trips/Conferences/Retreats
  • College Programming
  • Scholarships

Youth ministry is not just a siloed ministry of children in middle and high school, but instead spans across several generations, families, and sections of our congregation. Below is information about some of the activities that are covered by our budget categories:

Programming: The Youth Group is busy! We serve about 100 youth from 6th-12th grade. This budget bucket includes support for many programs:

  • Lovefeast, a continued intergenerational tradition that binds the youth to the church in a beautiful way. The youth are able to offer Lovefeast as a thanksgiving back to WPC, which supports them in their walk of faith.
  • At least four times/program year, youth and youth leaders engage in a local mission project, allowing us to live into our call to do justice and granting us the opportunity to be more attentive neighbors.
  • Faith formation programs, including Confirmation class, are necessary to facilitate building relationships in youth ministry. To embody faith formation, which can be an abstract goal, we need concrete items to make it happen: funds for speakers for youth group, curriculum for Confirmation, the random supplies we’ll need for a mission project like Ziploc bags or granola bars, literature to facilitate education and faith formation among all youth leaders and youth, etc.
  • We are blessed to have 20 youth sponsors. We support our wonderful volunteer leaders by hosting fellowship events where they can spend time growing in relationship together and finding ways to better to support our youth.
  • Food and supplies: this bucket covers some of our food costs! Food brings people together. Christ taught us this. And youth are hungry, hungry people! We need supplies, as well, to make all of the above happen.

Trips/Conferences/Retreats: There is no doubt that trips to Montreat and Massanetta forge a group unlike Sunday night programming ever can. Being able to travel away, in a retreat setting, where we are removed and thus bound together in a common week with a common goal, allows our ministry to deepen. We are confident that our ministry continues to grow because of the bonds we make on trips like this. When youth return from a retreat or a conference, their faith is stronger and their commitment to Christ and thus, WPC, is evident. Ask any college student who has gone to Montreat and Massanetta what some of their most profound youth group moments were – the ones that really developed their faith – and they will say going to a conference with their youth group. There is something Holy Spirit-filled about Montreat and Massanetta that cannot be replicated elsewhere.

College Programming: When youth go away to college, their ties with the church, at best, are minimal. Such is the nature of college. However, being able to go to Montreat with their home congregation rekindles that community feeling. Every time we’re at Montreat with our college students, we hear memories and stories being shared and connections being re-formed. We are committed to the faith formation of all age groups, even if we only see the college students while they’re on break. Montreat provides an ideal way to continue the faith formation that they began here.

Scholarships: The cost of our trips can sometimes be prohibitive and we want to make space for all to participate, regardless of station in life. Providing financial assistance gives space for all to be welcomed into the community. When youth are able to go on a youth trip, their faith formation is made a priority. All youth should be made a priority, not just the ones who can afford it.

If you have any questions about the youth budget, we would love to answer them. Please contact Holly Cullen or Taylor Lewis Guthrie Hartman!