Teens and Tweens

Tween Mission Trip: July 13-18

10500321_777786322266190_5731139304479561786_nFive Saint Hilary’s tweens participated in a mission trip entitled 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. The program took place in Orlando, between Sunday, July 13 and Friday, July 18. Parents Eric Jones and Christina Holman acted as chaperones.

The theme of this year’s mission is “Repair: Be A Story of Transformation.” The tween mission team first planned, bonded and prepared to be God’s story in the lives of the needy in Orlando. They readied themselves to let God transform their life stories through service. by starting here, at St. Hilary’s. The team did chores around the campus on June 29 after the services to help get in the right mindset for serving the larger community. For some of our preteens, this was their first taste of service.

Thanks to the prayers and generosity of our congregation, the team had everything it needed to travel, as well as hundreds of dollars worth of diapers, baby wipes, and other baby toiletries to share with those in need in Orlando.

Once they arrived in Orlando, the kids worked with other mission teams of preteens to set up camp at a local church, and to feed each other, clean up, pray together, and learn about God together. During the day, St. Hilary’s team was transformed by the love of God through service to elderly and disabled adults at Daybreak in Orlando (an adult daycare center). They helped lead “chair yoga,” led a rousing game of Bingo, played 20 Questions with the center’s members, did crafts with them, and got to know them over a week-long period. Chaperone Eric Jones wrote, “It is truly a blessing to see St. Hilary’s Tweens engaging on a personal level with these folks, and to watch how much joy the kids bring them. Later, we learned a new dance or two to help us in worshipping, and placed our image of ourselves on the cross, to allow Jesus to transform us into the image He has of us. The kids really have made lots of new friends, and strengthened the bonds they have with each other.” All in all the kids were transformed by the love of God as were the adults they were serving. This was an amazing opportunity to be Jesus’ heart and hands for the world.

Check out our Facebook page for tons of photos of the trip!

YOSH Teen Local Mission: July 18-19

Our older teens spent a day working on the church campus in which they organized storage, moved furniture, and planned and created for VBS.  We also helped a local man by mowing lawn, pulling weeds, cutting down trees, replacing his mail box and porch furniture and planting flowers. God’s spirit was with us! Click on photos in the gallery below to share in our day!

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 youth@sainthilarys.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 youth@sainthilarys.org 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 youth@sainthilarys.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 wild1961@gmail.com for more information.

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Recent YOSH Activities

A couple of photos from some of the fun activities YOSH participated in during this last school year:

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!