Youth Worship: The Start of Something New

December 28, 2021

As many of you know, this Sunday is kick-off Sunday (or as we at PHPC like to call it, “Welcome Home Sunday!”)

However this year in the youth house, we are not just kicking off another year of programming- another year of Sunday school. This year, we are kicking off something entirely new.

Instead of offering our traditional Sunday school class every Sunday morning, as we have done for decades, the youth department is offering a new youth focused Worship Service in the youth house. 

This worship service will take place every week from 9:30-10:30 am. Youth will be greeted by name at the front door with doughnuts, coffee and cocoa. The youth band will lead the group in music each week, the youth staff team will provide a scripture reflection based on the theme of the day, and we will regularly celebrate communion.

It will be holy, messy, and authentic.

It will be creative, attentive to different learning styles, and communal.

It will be worship. 

This decision to change our programming was multi-faceted. First, Worship in the House creates significant leadership opportunities for the youth- speaking, leading music, etc. Over the last few years our youth have expressed a desire for more responsibility, and we are listening to that!

The second reason for this change comes from an awareness that a majority of our youth are not in worship on a Sunday morning. At one point in time, most youth house families attended Sunday school and then attended worship. Therefore, the Sunday school model was designed to supplement the worship experience. However, for many of our families, 9:30-10:30 am is the only hour at church on a Sunday, which means are youth are getting education but are not being exposed to worship at the same rate. 

Knowing that that is the case, we feel compelled to use that one hour to provide both education and worship opportunities, and we feel that we can best do that by using the Worship in the House model. 

What grades will participate in Worship in the House?

Worship in the House is for all youth in 7th- 12th grade! 

Who will lead Worship in the House?

Music will be led by Zach Light-Wells and the youth band every week.

Youth will be invited to serve as liturgists.

Someone from the youth team (Sarah Are, Maggie Johnson or Zach Light-Wells) will offer a five-ten minute scripture reflection each week. We also will have special guests, such as past Sunday school teachers and other pastors that will pop in to help lead from time to time! 

Can parents come to Worship in the House?

Parents and families will be invited once a semester to join us for a family Worship in the House! The first family Worship in the House will take place on November 24th, which is Confirmation Sunday. All parents are invited to join us for this special service, led by our confirmation class of 2019. 

What about families that like to worship together? Will worship in the house be a deterrent to that?

Worship in the House will be a very different service from any other worship service at PHPC. Therefore, we do not anticipate it interfering with other worship plans! For example, Worship in the House will have a worship theme that differs from the sermon series in the Sanctuary and at Worship at 5. Going to those other services will provide families the opportunity to experience intergenerational worship, hear other pastors preach, listen to the choir, and sing along with the Worship at 5 band! We hope that those of you who love these other services, will continue to participate in them.

What will the service look like?

Each week will be a little different, however, some staples include: 2-3 songs a week, a scripture passage and theme for each week, some communal liturgy (Call to worship, passing of the peace, etc). Additionally, we hope to work in creative elements when possible, such as the occasional YouTube video, prayer stations, lighting the advent candles at Christmas, etc. 

What is the dress code for Worship in the house?

Worship in the house is a come as you are experiencing. All are welcome and we believe that God delights in your presence regardless of whether you show up in jeans and a t-shirt or a suit and tie. 

Are there other education opportunities for youth, now that there is no Sunday school?

Yes! Junior High youth will get together every Sunday night from 6:15-8 pm for youth group and Senior high will gather together for Senior high bible study every Wednesday night from 7-8 pm!

How can the church at large support this new experience?

Great question! Thanks for asking!

  • If you know a youth or a family that could benefit from an experience like this, we encourage you to invite them. We believe we have something worth sharing here.
  • Share our new hype video on your Instagram or Facebook! The more people know about it, the better! (Link here!)
  • We need volunteers to sign up to bring doughnuts as well as communion bread once a month! The sign-ups for those opportunities can be found here:
  • Youth House Communion Bread
  • Doughnuts 

We are so excited for this new season of ministry in the Youth House. The Spirit is clearly at work, and we are simply running to keep up. 

We covet your prayers during this season of new beginnings, and are excited to report back on the success of this experience.

We know that there will certainly be bumps and learning experiences as we go- when is there not when you try something new?

However, at the end of the day, we trust that Worship in the House will be holy, messy, and authentic.

We trust that it will be creative, attentive to different learning styles, and communal.

We trust that all will gather- in blue jeans and dresses, with faith and with doubt, and we know that God will be there.

It will be worship, and we are so ready. 

See you on Sunday!

With great joy,

Rev. Sarah Are

 

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