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Children and Youth – October 2023

Update from the Director of Education Ministries -- Amy Grella - 412-801-3723

Fall Sunday Morning Options for Children, Youth and Families

Kick-off Sunday was a joyful reunion – it was great to see so many familiar faces and reconnect with each other. As we head into fall, here is the plan for children and youth on Sunday mornings. Our nursery is open for babies and toddlers during worship. During second hour, childcare will be provided in room 110. Please look below for details of the plan by each age group.

NEW! Wonder for Preschool – 4th graders

Children preschool (potty-trained) through fourth grade will start in worship with their families. After a Time with Children, kids will be escorted downstairs to room 103 where children will participate in a unique student-led worship experience, learning Bible stories using Godly Play and Holy Moly. Kids are invited to see, hear, and wonder as they learn from and with each other. Parents may pick up their children in the classroom after worship ends.

NEW! Connect Sunday School for 5th – 8th graders

This Sparkhouse curriculum seeks to connect Bible stories with the way middle schoolers live and think. This class will occur during the entirety of worship service, so kids should go directly to room 110 on Sunday morning. Parents may pick up their children in the classroom after worship ends.

NEW! Confirmation Class

Bower Hill will offer a Confirmation class for youth in grades 8 & 9 (or older youth who have not participated). This is an opportunity for our youth to explore their beliefs, values, and worldviews as they consider whether to personally "confirm" the promises made at their baptism. The format will be different this year. Confirmation will meet twice a month – once a month during Second Hour immediately following Sunday morning worship, and once a month on a Sunday evening. For the Sunday evening formats, the meetings will take place concurrent to all-church potluck gatherings; families are encouraged to attend. We’ll eat dinner from 6:00 - 6:45 p.m. in Fellowship Hall, and then the confirmation class will meet from 6:45 - 8:00 p.m. in room 101.

Acolyte Training – October 22

Bringing the Light of God’s presence into the Sanctuary is one important way youth are involved in the worship service. Traditionally, youth in grades 3-8 are scheduled to serve in our worship service as acolytes. Acolytes will be scheduled starting in October. Pastor Brian will lead a short (10-15 minute) training IMMEDIATELY following worship on Sunday, October 22. This training is open to both new and experienced acolytes. We will walk together from Sunday school class to meet Pastor Brian in the Sanctuary in front of the communion table immediately following worship.

Thanksgiving Pie Sale

Bower Hill Youth are selling baked goods from The Pie Place in time for Thanksgiving to raise funds for our summer mission trip. There are pies (baked or frozen), cookie trays, cinnamon or pepperoni rolls, or $20 gift cards for future use. Orders can be placed in one of three ways:

• Print, complete and submit your individual order form using this link.

• Order on-line using this link (no printing required).

• Stop by the table after worship on Sunday October 15, 22, or 29 to order in-person.

Checks should be made out to Bower Hill Community Church. Orders are due by Tuesday, October 31. Pies will be available for pickup after church on Sunday, November 12th. Thank you for supporting Bower Hill Youth!

Better Than Average Training for Children & Youth Volunteers

The Next Generation Ministry Team of the Pittsburgh Presbytery is excited to announce that Better Than Average Training is returning this fall! This training is designed for church staff and volunteers who work with the next generation, from preschoolers up through young adults, and features keynote sessions, workshops, and breakouts addressing various topics. This year’s training will be on Thursday, November 2, at Beulah Presbyterian Church. While the full event runs from 2:30-- 8:30 pm and includes dinner, there are options to elect only to attend part(s) of the event as you are able. Click here for the full lineup of classes. Please contact Amy if you are interested in attending; registration is being done by churches to set best pricing based on the number of attendees from each church.

Youth Group Activities

Now that the school year is back in swing, it's time to reconnect with our youth groups. This year, we are happy to offer separate youth group options for middle school and high school students. Additionally, we will hold a monthly all-youth game night which will coincide with the all-church potluck dinners on Sunday nights. The all-youth game nights will be open to youth in grades 3 and up. Kids are encouraged to bring friends to join us while we meet. See our website for the complete meeting schedule. The upcoming meetings will be highlighted in our monthly newsletters.

Middle school youth group

Middle school youth in grades 6-8 will meet in room 110 on Sundays from 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. We will have a short lesson, snacks, and play some games. Once a month, tweens (3rd-5th graders) will be invited to join us for larger group games; no lessons will be provided on these nights – just a chance for fellowship and games before our all-church family potluck dinners. Upcoming meeting dates are:

• 10/8 – 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. MS Youth Group in room 110

• 10/21 – 6:00 p.m. All-church potluck and game night. * Note: this is a Saturday*

• 11/5 – 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. MS Youth Group in room 110

• 11/19 – 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. MS Youth Group in room 110

• 12/10 – 5:00 - 6:00 p.m. White elephant party followed by all-church potluck at 6:00 p.m.

• 12/17 – 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. MS Youth Group in room 110

Tweens (3rd - 5th grades) will join older youth for a monthly group game night.

All meetings will be from 5:00 - 6:00 p.m. unless otherwise noted We will meet in Room 110.

• 10/21 – All-church potluck and game night in Fellowship Hall at 6:00 p.m.

• 12/10 – Annual White elephant Christmas party.

High School (9th - 12th grades)

Senior high youth meet twice a month after worship. For one meeting youth go out to brunch together at a local eatery. For the other meeting, Pastor Brian meets with youth for a theme-based topic and discussion. Each meeting will be immediately following worship and will end by noon. Here is the fall meeting schedule:

• 10/1 – Meet with Pastor Brian in room 105.

• 10/8 – Brunch out (location TBD). Bring money for lunch/snack and meet in Fellowship Hall.

• 10/21 – All-church game night with dinner in Fellowship Hall at 6:00 p.m.

• 10/29 – Meet with Pastor Brian in room 105.

• 11/12 – Brunch out (location TBD). Bring money for lunch/snack and meet in Fellowship Hall.

• 12/3 – Meet with Pastor Brian in room 105.

Registration is Open for Youth Fall Retreat December 1-3, 2023

Youth in grades 6-12 are invited for a weekend at Crestfield, meeting with other area churches for our annual fall Retreat on December 1-3. This retreat has separate tracks for middle and high schoolers, so we get the benefit of having a large group, but customized experiences for each age group. This is a fun, faith-filled event that you don’t want to miss! Registration details can be found on the youth activities page on the church website.


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