Hey Parents of Youth (and those interested in what’s going on with GAT Youth!),
With Mike stepping out of his role as our Youth Pastor at the end of September, I want to let you know where things are with our youth ministry this fall.
What’s the plan for GAT YOUTH this fall?
In short, we will be partnering with the youth ministry of Parkway Community Church in Greely – a like-minded (and similar size of) youth ministry that our church has partnered with on a few events in the past, including the winter retreat.
Pastor Nate (Parkway’s Youth Pastor) has been super supportive and is ready to take on the challenge of merging our two youth ministries together. We believe this opens the door for some pretty cool options for growth for both Parkway & Gathering students and are excited about what God has in store. Specifically though, from a Gathering perspective, I am super excited for our students and our youth leaders and the opportunities this merger provides. (Opportunities like connecting with other Christian youth beyond our church community, the possibility of being in a youth worship band, development & mentorship of our youth leaders as they invest in Gathering students and help to shape this ministry, and more opportunities for our youth to grow and lead one another.) The possibilities are endless!
Practically speaking – What does this mean for Junior High?
Instead of a weekly Junior Home Church in Riverside South, our junior high students (Grades 6-8) will be invited to “Reunion” every Wednesday evening (from 7PM-8:30PM) at Parkway. With Parkway’s 20-30 junior high students and our 10-15, it should make for a pretty dynamic group!
Also, the junior high program on Sunday mornings will not change. We will continue to offer our Junior High ‘Sunday School’ class in the wooden gym.
NOTE: The first “Reunion” event is scheduled for Wednesday September 12 (from 7PM-8:30PM) at Parkway (7275 Parkway Road, Greely). All JH’s are welcome!
Practically speaking – What does this mean for Senior High?
Instead of a weekly Senior High Home Church in Riverside South, our senior high students (Grades 9-12) will be invited to “Mosaic” every Thursday evening (from 7PM-9PM) at Parkway. With Parkway’s smaller SH group (10 or so) and our smaller SH group coming together, it should add a lot of life to both groups. There’s just something about a larger group that often draws more youth in.
Also, throughout the year, we hope to be able to host some events and Home Church nights in Riverside South. This will largely depend on the capacity of our volunteer team, but we will keep you posted on any future plans.
Finally, Christa Ramsay will be stepping in as our volunteer SH Youth Coordinator and will be the one communicating with you via email about weekly plans, so you can keep an eye on your inbox for updates from her (Thanks Christa!).
NOTE: The first “Mosaic” event is scheduled for Thursday September 13 (from 7PM-9PM) at Parkway (7275 Parkway Road, Greely). All SH’s are welcome!
- Info Meeting onSept 9 – All Gathering parents and youth are invited to join Pastor Mike, Pastor Nate (from Parkway) and myself on Sunday Sept 9th after church for 30 minutes in the chapel. At that meeting we will share more details about this partnership and will try to answer whatever questions you may have.
- For Parents of JH Student – Follow “The Reunion” on Instagram at @TheReunionOttawa and/or join the Facebook group @TheReunion. This is probably the best way to stay connected and to know what’s going on each and every week.
- For Parents of SH Students– Follow “Mosaic” on Instagram at @Mosaic and/or join the Facebook group (@MosaicOttawa) as well. Christa will be sending out regular updates as well, but this is still a great way to stay connected.
- Volunteer– There is a significant need of Gathering youth leaders, both for Wednesday (Reunion – JH) and Thursday (Mosaic – SH) nights. We want to be sure that we’ve got really solid people investing into the lives of our kids, and so if that is something you might be interested in exploring please let me know ASAP.
I have included a schedule of events for the year both “The Reunion” (JH) and “Mosaic”. You can access that schedule by clicking here.
Also, throughout the month of September, Mike will still be with us as our Youth Pastor and will be working to help our kids transition through this change. So please keep an eye out for updates/communication from Mike in the very near future.
Finally, please let me know if you have any questions or concerns about this. I think God has some great things in store for our youth this year and am excited about the possibilities that this partnership presents. At the same time, I recognize that this is a significant change and I want to be sensitive to that. So please let me know what I can do to help you and/or your kids with this change.
Excited for what God has in store this year!!