Middle School

Confirmation is a beloved part of our church calendar here at First Presbyterian. Year after year, it is always amazing to watch God work in and through students’ lives during the Confirmation process. The purpose of this discipleship program is to help students learn the basics of Christianity, the tenets of the Presbyterian tradition, and what it means to become a Covenant Partner of First Presbyterian Church. Bo Brookby, Lisa Britt, and Johnson Waterer are the facilitators of the course. Our intention is for the confirmation process to be an experience of both the HEART and the HEAD. The two questions that each student will be seeking to answer are, “Who is Jesus to me?” and “Do I want to join First Presbyterian Church?” When the study portion of the class is completed in 8th grade, each student will have the opportunity to affirm his/her faith and become a Covenant Partner of First Presbyterian Church as they transition into High School.

The design of this class includes: weekly teaching times, mentor relationships, two retreats, a class party, a service project, a mid-course gathering for parents, and a mid-course gathering for mentors. At the end of the semester, students and families will gather together and celebrate the student’s completion of the Exploration phase of Confirmation. A public recognition of their completing the class will be made during worship on Celebration Sunday.

Mentors

As some of you may know, mentors are a vital element to this process. Over and over, we have seen students benefit immensely from spending time with a loving, listening, and caring adult who is passionate about their walk with Christ. It is a powerful thing for them to have firsthand knowledge of lives transformed by Christ, and a trusted adult friend in whom they can confide. We encourage you to choose a Confirmation Mentor who is a person your confirmand admires and respects. We think that it is advantageous for this person to be someone other than a family member, so that your son or daughter is increasing the number of trusted adult voices in their lives. Take some time to discuss possible mentors with your son or daughter. Our mentor expectations list along with guidelines for choosing mentors is listed below.

Registration – Click on the link below to sign up!

We will need to know who is participating in the class and who mentors are by December 31st. The total fee for confirmation is $150. The only item this fee does not cover is the cost of the Family brunch on Celebration Sunday. Checks can be made payable to First Presbyterian Church with Confirmation noted in the memo section. You may also pay online when you register your student. If you are unable to pay the entire class fee up front, we are happy to set up a payment plan. We never want the cost of anything to prohibit students from participating in any event at First Presbyterian. We feel especially strong about that in regard to the Confirmation Class so please contact Johnson about payment arrangements or adjustment if needed. We are blessed to have a church that supports our youth with a scholarship fund if there is need for support in this way.

The following is additional information you may need for scheduling:

· The class will start with a retreat at the Church on January 8th-9th with Mentors. This is MANDATORY for all students because it truly sets the tone for the life and community of the class. Even if your Mentor is unable to come, we ask that students attend this retreat. Details about the retreat can be found on the website. Please register online for the retreat by December 31st.

· The class will meet weekly beginning January 10th, 9:45 – 10:45 am. While we highly encourage consistent attendance, we know that life happens so students may miss up to 3 classes throughout the semester, but we strongly suggest not missing more than ONE in a row. Students are also expected to get notes on the class they missed once they are back in class.

· The course concludes with a Family Celebration Brunch on Sunday May, 2nd after the presentation of the class and mentors during the two Church services. Specific information about the family brunch will be communicated in April.

· We rely on your family to communicate a large amount of information to your Mentor. Please respect Mentors’ schedules by notifying and reminding them as early as possible about any upcoming events.

· You will receive email announcements about all Confirmation happenings throughout the semester.

Confirmation Explore Registration

Mentor Expectations

A Confirmation Mentor should:

· Be an individual who is committed to a growing personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

· Be committed to spending a minimum of one hour each week, beginning the first week of the class (actual meeting time and place arranged by Mentor & Confirmand)

· Be committed to praying regularly for their Confirmand.

· Be willing to build a loving relationship with an adolescent.

· Be available to attend the Confirmation Class Retreat #1 on January 8th-9th, Mentor Training Session (during Confirmation Class Retreat #1), Mentor Meeting (March 11th, 6-7 p.m.), Class Party #2 (March 5th), Confirmation Celebration Brunch (May 2nd).

· Be willing to submit to a full background check for any abuse or criminal history. This is required for ALL adults who work with children at First Presbyterian Church and is processed with strict confidentiality.

In order to support them in this process each mentor will be provided:

· A training session on Mentoring (during Confirmation Class Retreat #1).

· An outline of the class schedule.

· A commitment by the Confirmation instructors to lift you up in prayer and to be available to address any issues that may arise.

Choosing a Mentor

Things to keep in mind when choosing a mentor:

College student or adult in the church? First, we feel that this is an individual family choice. We want to give you as much information as possible so you can make an informed decision, but ultimately each student is unique which means each student’s faith is unique and that should be taken into consideration as your family discusses possible mentors. So here are some things to keep in mind while making a decision…

  • The more relationships students have with people who are walking with Christ, the more likely it is that students will continue to walk with Christ through all circumstances of life. Therefore, if your student has a relationship with a Small Group or CONNECT leader already, an adult would add another person into their life who is walking with Christ. Also, we discourage choosing a family member as a mentor for the same reason.
  • We highly encourage you to choose a mentor who is a member of or regularly attends First Presbyterian because one of the purposes of the class is to prepare them to be members here. There occasionally are exceptions to this so please run them by Johnson if you are considering this possibility.
  • College students have very busy schedules, especially if they are already committed as leaders to youth ministry here. They also don’t start school until after the first retreat (the one that mentors are supposed to go to) which makes it likely they may not be able to come. Some live close by and are willing to sacrifice part of their Christmas break to participate, but others aren’t able to.
  • We also should say that there are always a handful of mentors missing from the first retreat (college & non-college) and the retreat is designed to accommodate that. We aren’t saying not to choose a mentor just because he/she wouldn’t be able to be at the first retreat. We just wanted you to know up front that it may be the case.
  • Ultimately, what is most important is that the adult is passionate about their relationship with Christ and the Confirmand.

Calling all Middle School Students!

Weekly Bible Study

Tuesday & Wednesday Nights (note that Wednesday is full)

September 8 – December 9 (except November 25)

In-person in Johnson’s backyard, 5:30-6:30pm

Facilitator: Johnson Waterer and volunteer co-leaders

The Middle School Ministry is hosting weekly small group Bible studies on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for students to gather as friends to grow deeper in their walk of faith. Sign ups are required beforehand and limited to 12 students per small group to enable safe practices for in-person gathering. Weekly participation is highly encouraged so as not to leave a spot unused that another student could have signed up for. 
Connect with your friends and leaders as we explore God’s Word together!
Students who attend the small group are asked to bring:
Bibles
Masks
Chairs
Email Amy Hodges at AmyEH@1stpres.com to sign up for the Tuesday evening small group. Spots will be filled on a first come first serve basis.
Weekly Bible Study Registration

Youth Ministry Small Groups

FAQ

Logistical Information

Where do the groups meet?

Middle School: Johnson’s house-contact Amy Hodges for address

High School – Davin’s house: contact Amy for address

What time?

Middle School

   -Tuesday nights: 5:30-6:30

   -Wednesday nights: 5:30-6:30

(Wednesday is full) 

High school

  • Tuesday Nights 6-7pm 
  • Sunday Afternoons 1-2pm 

When do small groups begin and end?

Small groups begin September 8. We hope to continue small groups through the fall, ending December 13. At this time, Thanksgiving week is the only scheduled week off. 

What happens if there is bad weather?

In mild bad weather (scattered rain, etc) we will continue to meet outside under waterproof canopy tents

In severe weather (snow, heavy thunderstorms, etc) we will cancel that week’s small group and resume the following week. We will do our best to anticipate inclimate weather early and communicate in a timely manner. 

Can I just show up to a small group?

Please sign up for a small group ahead of time. This enables us to facilitate the safest practices during this pandemic season. 

Where can I sign my student up?

Middle school: https://1stpres.com/middle-school/

High school: https://1stpres.com/high-school/

What will my student be learning?

Middle School: join us as we study through the book of Acts! We will take a look at the work that God was doing through the early church and how that parallels to the work He is still doing in the church today!

High School: We are kicking off the fall studying Christian leadership! We will examine how the Bible emphasizes character as a foundation to leadership and how God has created you with unique leadership gifts and skills. 

Is it ok if we just come from time to time? We strongly encourage you to attend every week to enable these small groups to be the most fruitful time for everyone who signed up for the limited spaces available. 

What will communication look like?

We hope to keep this rhythm as simple and straightforward as possible. If there are unforeseen issues that arise, we will communicate any changes as early as possible. Given how much uncertainty there is in this season, please be gracious with us as we do our best to navigate potential challenges that arise last minute and consequent communications to resolve those challenges. 

What do we need to bring to small group?

Each student should bring their Bible, face mask, fold out chair, and a notebook/pen. 

Pandemic Information

Is this plan Covid-proof?

While we cannot definitively say that there is NO risk involved, we can assure you that the students will abide by any and all safety guidelines that have been suggested to us by health officials (social distancing, hand sanitization, masks when appropriate, etc.) 

What pandemic practices are in place?

Our pandemic practices will align with CDC and state recommendations, as affirmed by our church-wide posture. Pandemic practices may change throughout the fall depending on governmental restrictions and church-wide decisions. We aim to stay conservative in our approach to safety and we commit to clear communication prior to any changes. Our practices include:

  • Students will meet outside and seating will be spaced six feet apart.
  • Students will be expected to wear their face mask when not sitting down 
  • Students will be expected to bring their own chairs to keep contact to a minimum. Also, Bibles, pens, notebooks
  • Attendance will be taken to ensure quick contract tracing and communication if necessary. 
  • Students are asked to use the bathroom before attending small group. The bathrooms in the houses will only be available for emergencies. 
  • Students will be asked to stay home for two weeks if they are showing signs of illness, have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, or has tested positive themselves. 

Stay in Touch | Contact the Youth Staff:

Johnson Waterer– Middle School Director

Amy HodgesYouth Ministry Administrator

 

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