From September through June, 6th – 12th-graders are encouraged and empowered to learn about being a member of a community of Christ. Programs and events are created to support the development and the experience of a fulfilling spiritual life.
The place to be on Sundays from 10:00-11:00 am is at St. Michael’s House for conversation, activities, and donuts.
Formerly a program that offered each youth the chance to independently explore and define his or her own spiritual path, the Peace Core has been expanded into a regular and ongoing opportunity for service and outreach. 2010 projects included the 10/10/10 Styrofoam recycling drive, in which we worked with the Environmental Commission in the pouring rain to collect more than 100 carloads of material; and serving a chili lunch to over 60 residents at Hollywood East, a low-income residential facility across the street from St. Michael’s. The Peace Core meets every second and fourth Sunday between 12:30 and 1:00 pm
On the first Friday of each month something fun is planned and friends are always welcome: attend a theatre production, Lazer Tag, Comedy Sportz, bowling, swimming . . . you get the idea. Fridays are made for FUN!
These are opportunities to act out of faith, love and compassion in our community with great partners like SOLV, Oregon Food Bank and Hollywood East. And we serve “at home” (i.e., at St. Michael’s) as well with holy-day celebrations, such as by serving pancakes on Shrove Tuesday and strawberries and cake for Pentecost.
Confirm not Conform/Y2B
In 2010, we transitioned from our Y2B (Yes to Baptism) confirmation program to Confirm not Conform, a nationally recognized and respected confirmation curriculum. CnC candidates meet 16 times (as opposed to eight with Y2B) and are engaged in a variety of role plays and exercises that help them explore their faith and make their own choice in regards to where they stand. CnC meets every first and third Sunday of the month between 12:30 and 2:00 pm.
Like all of St. Michael’s youth offerings, Grupo is open to everyone but is offered at a time that’s most convenient for our Latino youth. Topics for discussion range from the gospel of the day to strategies to deal with bullying. Grupo Juvenil is co-taught by David Berkson and Susie Silva-Strommer and meets every second and fourth Sunday immediately after communion at the 1:00 pm service.
A variety of special events happen, too. Each year different choices are made from events like these: Fall Retreat, Advent Breakfast, Winter Snow Trip, Spring Bike Rides, October Pumpkin Pick, and Summer Camping.
One very special event took place in 2010: our Mission Trip to the Yakama Indian Nation in Washington state. From June 20-27, we partnered with the youth group of St. John’s in Oakland and traveled to the Yakama Indian Reservation to paint houses, teach children and experience Christianity in an entirely different way. Youth leader David Berkson and The Rev. Christopher Craun led ten of our youth on this trip. Half attend one of our morning services, and half attend our 1:00 pm Spanish-speaking service. It was a transformational experience for all of us. Throughout the year leading up to the trip, we bonded through a variety of community-building fundraisers, which included babysitting, a book sale in which over 1,000 items were donated and sold, and our annual Variety Night fundraiser. The community was exceptionally generous in their giving; we raised $900 in excess of our expenses, which is available for the next mission trip.