The Youth Ministry at Ascension & Holy Trinity nurtures the younger generation as they grow in their journeys with God and provides them with connection and support as valued members of the church community.
If you, your child, or a young person you know wish to participate in the Youth Ministry or have any questions, please contact Connor Wilkinson, Youth Minster at email@example.com.
Middle School Youth Group
High School Youth Group
and other events!
Connor Wilkinson | Youth Minister
What does Youth Ministry mean to me?
I’ve shared before that I grew up in a very conservative church that believed all children and youth should be seen and not heard, which impacted how I felt about God and my value as part of the church. I strongly believe that youth ministry exists to connect the younger generation to the greater church community and mission. This is why I am so thankful for our Sunday School teachers and other volunteers who work endlessly to build relationships with our youth as they grow, reinforcing the idea that they are important and valued members of God’s community.
How has Youth Ministry changed during the pandemic?
The most obvious change is a disruption in our ability to meet in person. We were previously meeting for Sunday School with our elementary, middle, and high school students each Sunday morning and then with our middle and high school students on Sunday evenings for youth group. We would also meet for the annual fundraiser, volunteer opportunities, and the mission trip. The pandemic forced us to move things online and cancel any events, which came with several speed bumps. We are all, youth and parents included, overwhelmed and “Zoom-ed out.” There is also a level of connectedness previously present in all of our events that is impeded to some degree when virtual. It is a wonderful gift to be able to reach people geographically separated from us. However, I am grateful that we are slowly being able to come back together. High School Sunday School meetings and Middle School Youth Group have returned and we hope to continue moving towards more in-person events as long as precautions allow. I do anticipate, though, continuing to offer an online or hybrid option so those who are unable to come can still participate.
How have we used funding for Youth Ministry in the last year?
In the last year, the majority of funding has gone to items that help the kids feel reached. Some of these are cards, small gifts, and food and drink when we’re able to come together in person. It also has helped with our Download Youth Ministry membership which has a ton of content, games, and other tools we use in Sunday School and Youth Group. In 2019, similar to what a more typical year would look like, we also utilized Youth Ministry funding for our mission trip to Asheville, NC where our students learned about homelessness and the housing first model, gentrification, systemic racism, and food insecurity.
Are there any constraints now?
As we finish this program year and begin to think about the fall, we can always use adult volunteers. Our volunteers are AMAZING and help keep the Sunday School program running, and I am so so thankful for all of you. I want to start building up our teaching team again now so that we are ready and prepared for Sunday School in the fall. As part of that, I’d love to have technology available to stream our Sunday School lessons so that those who are unable to attend in person can still be present with us. When talking to the youth about projects they’d be interested in participating in, they all agreed that they’d most enjoy ministry opportunities that help other kids in our community. With that in mind, it would be wonderful to partner with some of the adults in our congregation to help facilitate these experiences for our youth. I have connections to the foster care world and can help set up opportunities in that space, but if there are other organizations that anyone is passionate about, I would love to work out options for our youth to participate there as well. By doing this, we’re not only opening their eyes and giving them the opportunity to share God’s love with others, but we’d also be helping them build relationships with the adults in our church so that they feel more connected and supported.