YOSH Merry Christmas: Sunday, December 8, noon
Come celebrate Christmas with your YOSH (Youth of Saint Hilary’s) friends on Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013, 12:00 p.m. at the Kearns’ House. There will be ping-pong, games, trivia and tacos. Bring a $5 gift for a fun gift exchange. Invite your friends. For more information or directions, contact Anne Kearns at firstname.lastname@example.org or 340-9937
Christmas Cookies and Hot Chocolate: December 22
During the coffee hours after the 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. services, join Youth and Families to decorate Christmas cookies, which will be delivered to our neighbors at the The Palms of Fort Myers Retirement Community. Contact Karin Winter at email@example.com for more information.
Christmas Eve Bell Service: December 24, 5 p.m.
Tween Mission Trip: RSVP Needed
Believe it or not, it’s time to start planning for your tween’s summer vacation. Instead of another week of camp or watching TV, why not consider traveling with other St. Hilary’s tweens on a Week of Hope?
This is a service mission trip specifically designed for 10-12 year olds, which challenges them to “live as Jesus did,” preparing and serving meals to the homeless, working with disabled children, or sharing stories and games with nursing home residents.
I’ve always felt it is important for kids of all ages to feel connected to others, both within and outside of their own age group, social circle, or socioeconomic level. What better way to experience this, and share God’s love, than to participate in a group mission trip! Week of Hope is a very affordable, structured program geared specifically to the needs of 10-12 year old kids, and this summer’s program is being held in Orlando. We plan on leaving Fort Myers on Sunday, July 13 and returning Friday, July 18; depending on the number of kids involved, we’ll either be driving a rental van or riding in my mini-van. I’ll be serving as the male chaperone, and there will be a female chaperone as well (TBA).
The fee for each participant is $229, which includes meals and lodging. Our church is responsible for travel to and from Orlando, meals while traveling, and the cost of one fun night out during the week. The cost of the trip has been partially funded by money left from fundraising and a diocesan grant we received in 2013, but there will be some easy fundraising involved this year: a Post-It wish list, similar to the one used so successfully by the VBS team; an M&Ms for Mission project, where empty tubes of candy are returned with donations; and other easy, non-labor intensive projects.
What we need from you now is prayer. Will your child be one of those involved? The initial payment is due by March 15, so we need to start planning and organizing NOW! The organizers require a $50 per person deposit to hold our place, so if you’re interested in your tween attending (or if you’re interested in chaperoning!) let me know. I need to hear from you regarding your interest. I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have. No child will be left out regardless of ability to pay for the trip, so please do not let the cost deter your interest.
I know Libby and I are looking forward to going, and I hope your child will too.
Yours in Christ,
Fall YOSH Activities
YOSH (Youth of St Hilary’s)
YOSH is an active group of middle and high schoolers who have regular programs, activities, and service throughout the year around our community and throughout the state, and beyond. Besides sometimes meeting together, the middle and the high school youth groups also separate for age-appropriate spiritual, learning, social and service programs.
Currently, the middle schoolers meet monthly for social fun, including backyard games, scavenger hunts, putt-putt golf and more. For more information on middle school activities, contact Karin Winter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
High school youth focus on life learning and fun activities including trips to baseball stadiums, car dealerships, camp grounds and more. For more information on how to get involved contact Rusty Whitley at 239-691-9778.
Check our parish calendar for YOSH meeting times and dates.
Youth are also a very visible and integral part of our worship as acolytes, lectors, intercessors, eucharistic ministers, ushers, and greeters. Youth are welcome to participate in any ministry that interests them! Contact email@example.com for more information.
YOSH Sunday School
Middle schoolers participate in Weaving God’s Promises for Youth, an Episcopal Sunday School program that acknowledges the advancing development of middle-school youth and allows greater room for questioning and outlets for self-expression. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Teens in grades 9-12 are invited to participate in our Learn and Teach program in which teens are student aids in our elementary Sunday School classrooms. This provides an important opportunity for teens to act as role models for our younger kids. Contact Sunday School Superintendent Bestey Lunsford at email@example.com for more information.
YOSH Mission Trip: June 9-16, 2013
Saint Hilary’s teens and chaperones traveled to South Carolina with TEAMeffort June 9-16, 2013. Please click here to learn more about this non-profit, interdenominational Christian youth mission organization.
After a 12 hour drive of sleeping, electronic gadget sharing and silly stories and games, the team arrived in Conway, SC to discover they were the only youth group participating in this first week of camp, as most southern schools had just let out for the summer. The chaperones first thought was ”Disaster!” — but it really turned out great. Five twenty-somethings acted as overseers, guides, spiritual explorers and playmates who our group didn’t have to share with 60 other teens. Our group spent the night in an Episcopal church very similar in many ways to St. Hilary’s.
For more than three days our YOSH mission trip group worked in mud, rain and humid heat (so nothing new) at Willy and Mary’s trailer, clearing bushes, bagging years of accumulated items, banking dirt for waterproofing and building two exit landings and stairs. Our “city teens” who had hardly ever handled a hammer were taught and mastered power saws, measuring, leveling, nailing, post hole digging and cementing. TEAMeffort, the non-profit company that sponsored the trip, planned all the projects, hired a contractor, ordered and delivered building supplies and worked with the homeowners to guide the work to be done.
Talking and eating lunch with Willy and Mary and their neighborhood of grandkids was also a big part of the experience. Willy said, “I hope I’ll see you all again in this life but I KNOW I’ll see you in heaven.”
Rev. Kelsey organized all the meals, extra activities, driving and directions, kept detailed records and led the evening discussions outlined by TEAMeffort. Each night the team lead a simple worship service with a reading, a game and songs focused on “building a strong foundation on Christ.” After the service small group discussions were held. The two college students led the way showing how they could openly talk about their faith and struggles without caring too much what their peers thought. The chaperones from St. Hilary’s felt that those non-church attending teens who joined the teens from St. Hilary’s really had their eyes opened to what it could mean to be a Christian and still be “cool.”
Our group talked, laughed, played jokes and games for seven days straight without stopping or driving each other crazy. They all had so much fun and brought a lot of fun to the TEAMeffort team who normally doesn’t get to interact as much with the larger groups. Spoons, Uno, slap, cups, 31, finger darts, matt jumping and so much more filled the evenings.
Our donations requests, car wash and service days fulfilled our fund raising goal of $5,800 (original $7000 was to help the tween mission group get a van for their week.) Rev. Kelsey had budgeted high for the three days of meals we needed to purchase and the one fun day activity, so we came in under budget and will have seed money for next year’s missions.
Thank you for supporting this trip — it was money, time and prayers well spent!