Youth ministry at St. Thomas the Apostle empowers all young people to learn, act, and connect in order to grow and develop as disciples of Christ.
We do outdoor and indoor activities that keep minds growing and legs moving. We meet several times a month to take part in an adventure, serve our community, and learn how to be part of a vibrant church family. We gather on weekends to attend Mass together, followed by indoor and outdoor activities.
We have simple goals:
- Have fun
- Make new friends
- Try new activities
- Grow as a team
- Develop relationships within our church family
We ask youth to preregister so we can plan for adult/Core team leadership, food, and activity support. Parents coordinate rides unless bus transportation is part of the activity.
We seek to empower young people to learn, act, and connect through ministry that is:
- Gospel-focused (attending Mass is part of our typical gathering)
- Relationally centered (team building and Christ-focused growth)
- Community oriented (serve and learn how to take part)
- Outward reaching (out in the world doing good each day)
- Multiplication empowering (learning how we as a team can do more than anyone acting alone)
LEARN NEW SKILLS
The list of opportunities is extensive, and the team (all youth taking part) will decide what we do next. This is an opportunity to experience new activities and serve while taking part in new adventures such as: rock climbing, cross country and downhill skiing, geo-tracking, sailing, cooking, baking, gardening, canoeing, fishing, hiking, camping, and more. Activities are selected with input from the kids.
Youth Ministry FAQ
Q: What is the purpose of youth ministry at St. Thomas?
Youth ministry at St. Thomas the Apostle empowers all young people to learn, act, and connect in order to grow and develop as disciples of Christ and as community members.
Q: How will youth ministry achieve its purpose?
We serve youth in both Christ the King and St. Thomas the Apostle, and we seek to empower young people to learn, act, and connect through ministry that is:
Q: Why should I go to youth ministry events?
The people, the topics, the space we create together, they are all unique experiences. Youth group is different than sacramental preparation or faith formation in that we don’t have a structured curriculum that we follow. Our events and programming are created based on direct input from students and the Core Team.
Q: What is the Core Team?
The adult Core Team that serves as leadership for our youth program and as counsel to the youth minister. Core Team members for the 2017-18 school year are:
Holly Kragthorpe Shirley
Patrick Kragthorpe Shirley
Susan De Hoog
Q: What should I expect at a youth group event?
The goal is to have fun and to grow as a disciple! Friends outside of St. Thomas the Apostle and Christ the King are most welcome to join us. The Coffee & Connect and Middle School Mugs are the least structured; they are conversational check points with Holly. For other events, here is a typical agenda:
Welcome and opening prayer (10 min)Norms and community building (20 min)
Main activity (40 min)
Unstructured hangout time (20 min)
Wrap up/closing (10 min)
Q: What if I don’t know anyone there?
We boldly welcome new people and there are no cliques because we exist outside the boundaries of social hierarchies or stereotypes. But if you’re nervous, feel free to bring a friend along!
What to expect?
The goal is to have fun and to grow as a disciple! You should expect to be boldly welcomed, to worship in prayer, to grow in wisdom about Christ’s teachings and to bear witness to God’s love for each of us. Each event will be led by two adults: Holly Shirley, Coordinator of Youth Ministry, and a member of the Adult Core Team.
What opportunities are there to volunteer with youth?
The Core Team is a group of Catholic adults who works with the youth minister to help plan a high quality ministry program. Adults who have been confirmed, who are able to be trained in VIRTUS and offer one hour of in person time per month are encouraged to apply to the Core Team.
Peer ministry is leadership development and service opportunity for youth ages 16-20 who have received the sacrament of Confirmation and who demonstrate strong ethics and skills in leadership, inclusivity, and peer to peer outreach.
Youth service learning features opportunities for teens and adult chaperones to serve at church and in the community. Example opportunities include: Habitat for Humanity, Crisis Nursery, Simpson Housing, and Feed My Starving Children.
Youth retreats are offered during the summer or over long holiday weekends. Teens and adult chaperones will experience incredible music, phenomenal speakers, outrageous games, hilarious skits, and great food. Volunteers are needed to chaperone the retreats with youth.
Youth outreach is necessary to boldly and relentlessly recruit, invite, and welcome youth to form community in Christ. Youth ministry depends on volunteers who are willing to make calls, send emails, write postcards, and warmly greet youth. This commitment is very flexible.
Youth co-leaders are socially easy-going volunteers age 21 or older, trained in VIRTUS who are willing to assist the youth minister at events and workshops. The calendar for youth events is set a month ahead of time, and volunteers may select from any of the scheduled events to co-lead.
Interested in being part of our Youth Ministry programs?