We believe that the Youth Ministry at St. Paul’s should be about connection. Our desire is for every youth to connect with God and to connect with one another. We also believe that parents are an integral part of that connection. Together, we have the privilege of shaping and molding the future, equipping youth with biblical knowledge and experiences to help them grow in their faith and carry it with them through college and beyond.
Sunday School starts at 9:40 a.m. sandwiched by our 8:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. services. We have a brief time of fellowship before Sunday school for all ages. We encourage you to join us for a cup of coffee in the hallway, drop your kids off at a class for their age, and then sit in on any adult class.
We hope that your family will Connect, Grow, and Serve with us at St. Paul’s!
- Youth are known at a personal level, as we seek to recognize and foster their individual gifts.
- Youth are integrated into, rather than segregated from, the larger church family and ministry. The youth are invited to be active participants in St. Paul’s worship, fellowship, and service to Murfreesboro and the wider world.
- Our relationship with our youth does not end when they graduate from college. Whether they remain in Murfreesboro or leave, we are committed to maintaining the personal relationships that have developed during their time at St. Paul’s.
- We are committed to teaching our youth how to think with a biblical worldview. This includes teaching them the pillars of the Christian faith and how it compares to the secular and humanist worldview of culture.
- The primary spiritual leaders of a youth are his or her parents. St. Paul’s seeks to include and equip the parents of youth.
- Personal mentoring is prioritized over programming. Our goal is for families to foster at least five personal relationships between their youth and other church members.
- The youth of St. Paul’s are involved in the service and justice programs of the church.
- St. Paul’s values its Episcopal and Anglican heritage and seeks to share this appreciation with our youth.
Journey to Adulthood
Our Sunday morning Christian formation program is the foundation of the Youth Group. There are three sections of the Journey to Adulthood program: Rite 13, J2A, and YAC. Each section of the program lasts for two years, and that two-year grouping of teens stays together until they graduate from high school, with no other class being added in. This stability of group dynamics helps create a safe, sacred space where the group members can learn to trust themselves and each other as they grow in faith.
The first two years of the program is called Rite 13, a name that comes from a liturgical rite of passage we celebrate with young people around their 13th birthday. This rite is loosely based on the Jewish bar/bat mitzvah tradition and is a way for the entire congregation to celebrate the unique gifts and abilities of its young teens. The two years of Rite 13 focus on recognizing the gifts God has given us, celebrating our creative potential, and learning to interact as a community of faith.
The second segment is J2A, an acronym for Journey to Adulthood. It is a little confusing since the name of this segment has the same name as the entire program, but the reason for this is that the bulk of the work gets done in these two years, building on the foundation of the Rite 13 experience. During these years, teens learn and practice six basic skills of adulthood: active listening, negotiation, assertion, research & information management, partnership, and leadership. The group designing and going on a Pilgrimage marks the end of the second year of J2A.
The last two years of the Journey to Adulthood program are referred to as YAC, which stands for Young Adults in Church. YAC students are encouraged to accept more adult responsibilities and to contribute their time, talent and treasure in ways that support the ongoing work of the church. Teens write a personal credo of beliefs and rely on their trusted group of peers as they explore their faith more deeply and struggle with the details of transitioning from teenager to young adult in today’s world.
The Journey to Adulthood experience incorporates much learning and laughter, but it takes our young people seriously and gives them real work to do. It encourages teens to explore the four areas of Self, Spirituality, Sexuality, and Society, and learn to connect their faith to all areas of life. We hope that this program fosters an environment of wholeness and authenticity and helps teens develop a life-changing relationship with the God who created them.
Occurs during the Sunday school classes during the Lenten season. Eligible grade nine students will take classes in the spring and be confirmed at the spring Bishop’s visit, which will be announced in January.
Sunday Night Live (Sundays 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.)—Sunday Night Live (SNL) is our all-youth large-group gathering. Each Sunday night combines activities and games with worship, devotionals, and Bible study. We use three rotating themes for these gatherings every month. At all SNL gatherings, a full meal is served, often a home-cooked meal provided by adults in the congregation. We ask parents to contribute $30 per semester to cover food expenses.
Senior Choristers (Sundays 4:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.)—Led by our choir director, Angela Tipps, this program instructs our youth in singing and fosters their love of classical choral music. The Senior Choristers perform throughout the year during worship services.
Youth Lenten Program—Scheduled for Wednesday nights in Lent, with Dinner at 5:30 p.m. and program at 6:00 p.m. Following a soup supper in the Parish Hall, youth will gather in the “Upper Room” for our program offering. In addition to the youth offering, we will be offering an adult program, along with a children’s program for children age 3 through grade 5. The nursery will be open for children under age 3.
Sunday Worship Participation—One of the unique aspects of worship at St. Paul’s is the integration of the youth into Sunday Eucharistic services. Youth have stepped into roles as lay readers and intercessors at our Sunday Eucharist services, in addition to their traditional role as acolytes. The youth also write the Prayers of the People once each month.
Spring Retreat—The spring retreat, with a theme to be announced, will be held at the DuBose Conference Center. Cost is $125. Assistance is available.
Prayer Ministry—Each school year, we pair up one adult in the church with a member of our youth group (and younger children as well) to pray specifically for that student throughout the year. Participation for the teen and the adult is voluntary. This program is essential for our Youth Ministry as it connects our youth with older parishioners, who engage with our youth on a spiritual level.
Youth Volunteers—St. Paul’s youth program has added new volunteers to its roster, and thanks to the continued service of all of our existing volunteers. Several other volunteers work indirectly with youth by serving meals and helping with setup and takedown of events. We are always looking for new people who want to be a part of the exciting and stimulating world of youth ministry.
Youth Renovation Committee—This board oversees the St. Paul’s Youth Group. Its responsibilities include providing support to the current program volunteers, as well as evaluating and planning the program for the future.
Have younger kiddos? Explore nursery and children Sunday school classes and events.
Looking for you? Choose from a variety of adult classes.