Young Episcopalians Serving (YES ): High School
(9:15 AM Sunday)
This high school group has evolved over the last year to promote a significant service component and integration into the activities of the church at large. They meet with mentors during the Education hour on Sunday and then proceed to worship at 10:15.
This year they will be using an interactive program based on the readings each week. They also hope to be visiting other churches, and begin preparing for a pilgrimage (probably to Wales) in the summer of 2017. In addition to mentors, the program is also supported by parent involvement.
Confirmation for Teens
By Baptism we are made full members in the Body of Christ, and in it we are sealed and confirmed as Christ’s own forever. Confirmation is the Rite of Re-affirmation of one’s Baptismal vows made in the context of the faith community that includes the laying on of hands by a bishop. The Diocese of Connecticut believes that individuals who are presented for Confirmation should be 16 years or older (10th or 11th grade). Since Confirmation is making a “mature” commitment to one’s faith, we believe these age guidelines will support young people in making decisions that can have a life-long impact. Preparation is an ongoing process from the time a child begins Sunday School and culminates with specific instruction by mentors and the Priest-in-Charge.
An important aspect of our teens’ development of faith has involved an ecumenical “Journey to Emmaus” no earlier than the 9th grade. Saint David’s and Saint Luke Lutheran Church brought the Emmaus movement to Southeastern CT to provide high school youth with the opportunity to learn about the Christian way of life during weekend experiences held twice each year. Although a number of area churches and hundreds of youth have participated in SE CT Emmaus, regardless of whether they belong to a church.
Saint David’s remains as a chief sponsor through the donation of time, talent, facilities and food. There is an Executive Board of adults and teens referred to as “CORE” which has oversight over the development, administration and conduct of Emmaus weekends.
For teens, Emmaus begins when approximately 12 – 21 “candidate” teens attend a weekend at one of the parishes where they experience Christian fellowship, and a time of reflection and insight into their own lives. There is lots of music, time to meet and get to know new friends, and opportunities to learn through talks and discussions. It also provides an opportunity to get to know oneself, others and God, on a deeper level. There are discussions, fellowship, singing, worship, good food, and much fun and laughter.
The weekend is led by lay persons with support from a team of other adults and teens who have already completed their candidate weekend. Two ordained clergy serve as spiritual advisors. Preparations for each weekend involve ten weekly meetings of all team members who prepare talks about their Christian faith, learn about small group leadership and servanthood, and share music, prayer and worship. All of Saint David’s teens are given an opportunity to participate in the Emmaus experience and are encouraged to participate on team in subsequent weekends. The weekend experience is followed by monthly Reunion events.