District Youth Ministry
Upcoming district youth events in 2013:
Click here for upcoming youth events sponsored by our REACH team
District Youth Retreat at Occohannock on the Bay Camp and Retreat Center is coming October 18-20, 2013. More info soon!
Click here for Safe Sanctuaries Training Materials for Child Protection in your church
R.E.A.C.H Program is coming to the Eastern Shore. To read about this amazing program and the amazing Eastern Shore Youth who participated in the June training in Roanoke click here for August-September edition of The Shoreline Newsletter.
There are only 28 spots available!!! The Tangier Youth will meet us there of course and we should have between 60 and 70 youth all together! The Chesapeake Bay Foundation will pick us up at the Onancock wharf on Saturday morning, June 11th and bring us back to the dock after worship at Swain UMC on Sunday. (times, TBA). Saturday we'll get to explore, learn about the Chesapeake Bay, maybe go boating, hang out on the beach etc., in between sessions with the Tangier Youth leaders. On Sunday youth will lead worship at Swain Memorial UMC. The cost is only $20.00 and includes food, lodging, and a donation we'll make to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Cost for Tangier youth is $10.00. In Christ, Karen Hatch, District Youth Coord.
If you've never been to these neighboring islands it’s a great opportunity and the Tangier Youth are very excited to host this event for our youth on the district. For more information and registration forms visit our District website at www.easternshoredistrictumc.org click on Youth Ministry or call me (757-414-0339) or Connie Owens (757-665- 6295.) Hope to see you on board!
Karen Hatch, new District Youth Coordinator, Rev. Surran still part of the Team!
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Hello and blessings! I am so excited to accept the position on the Board of Laity as the district’s Youth Coordinator and I look forward to deepening our relationships with God and one another through our youth ministry.
As many of you know already, Rev. Peter Surran and I, with the help of many others, have worked side by side over the last several years to further develop and strengthen our ministry to our young people on the Shore. Although Peter has changing responsibilities as a pastor, he’ll still be part of that team as much as possible, and I am grateful.
Currently, we’re working on plans for three district-wide events to happen in the coming months —a youth worship service, a service project and at least one other large gathering. Details will be forthcoming! One event you can schedule on your calendars right now is the Fall Youth Retreat which is October 14, 15, and 16th at Camp Occohannock.
In the coming weeks and months, I’d like to become better acquainted with all of our churches that have youth and/or a youth ministries as well as anyone and everyone who is interested in being a part of this vital ministry. I’ll be getting in touch soon, but in the meantime, please feel free to contact me. I can be reached at 757-414-0339, 757-999-2794 or email me at <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Thank you for this opportunity to serve. In Christ, Karen Hatch
ES youth learn how to be good stewards of God’s creation--November 2010 Retreat
At last year’s District Fall Youth Retreat, 59 “Earthkeepers” gathered at Camp Occohannock to glorify God and learn how to become more attentive stewards of God’s creation. Youth, ages 11-17 from all over the Eastern Shore participated, including a large group from Tangier Island. In addition to an adult support team, including Camp Director Jerry Mobley and his wife, Debbie, there were twenty youth leaders. Rev. Pat Watkins , Executive Director of Caretakers of God’s Creation, served as the worship leader for the event. Rev. Watkins is a missionary with the Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church and a Church and Community Worker in the Virginia Conference.
The “Earthkeepers” were called to examine through Scripture, conversation, and action, the three most important and interconnected relationships in their lives; their relationships with God, one another, and with the earth, understanding that the earth belongs, not to us, but to God. Much of the week-end was spent outdoors. Saturday morning after worship, teams worked to clean up the shore-line and to remove invasive salt water bushes to make room for indigenous plant-life. While a group prepared a garden for next season, another picked up litter on the roadsides outside of camp. A final group was busy in the kitchen making chicken vegetable soup from scratch to serve the group of nearly eighty participants. After lunch, a handful of youth stayed in the kitchen to learn how to make jam, while others chose from the variety of “break-out” sessions offered. These included basketball , outdoor games, archery, bicycling , repurposed art projects, and a musical jam session (not to be confused with the “jelly” session above). An “Interplay” workshop was also offered where storytelling, movement, silence, and music were used to build spontaneity, self awareness and collaboration with others. The evening hours became more introspective with a testimony from one of the youth leaders and the query of how we can redeem our relationships with each other and with creation. Afterwards we received the gift of Communion under the moon and starlight.
Strong student leadership provided role models for participants. Joel Joyner, 17, and student intern at Franktown UMC, led ice-breakers Friday evening and was also the audio-visual technician for the entire event. Music was led by 17 year old, Daniel Hiler, and two younger participants; Caroline Hiler, 13, and Rachel Joyner, 14. As the week-end progressed others joined the band and lots of joyful noise was made with musicians sharing the instruments available.
As a way to keep the cost of the retreat more affordable, organizers, Peter Surran and Karen Hatch identified churches to provide and supplement meals with volunteers and donations. Crews arrived from Painter Garrisons, Market Street, and St. Thomas churches to help with lunch and dinner. Donations from youth participants and from Swain Memorial and Franktown U.M. churches, kept the breakfast and snack tables well stocked. Knowing that no trip to camp is felt to be complete without her warm cinnamon buns, Miss Emily volunteered to come in and made sure that everyone had their fill. An offering of $202.00 was collected at worship Sunday for Caretakers of God’s Creation. -Submitted by Karen Hatch, Nov. 2010
The District Youth Retreat week-end culminated with worship, prayers, hugs, laughter, goodbyes, and then stillness… standing at the foot of the cross in solidarity with Christ and all creation for a group photo. The moment was captured after great fun and the planting of many seeds, with confidence in the harvest to come. Glory be to God. Photo by Karen Hatch
Your District Youth Ministry Committee needs to find out from your congregation ways in which we can help reach the youth in our communities who are looking for a place to belong. We also want to find ways to keep those youth who are a part of our church communities feeling like they belong. Together, we can envision a district youth ministry that will meet the needs of our young people on the Shore