Bethel has many opportunities for middle school students to learn and grow in their faith. Some of the options available for high school youth in grades 6 – 8 follow. For further details about any of the opportunities, please use the ministry link to the Annual Scoop following the information here.
Confirmation – Grades 6 through 10 all have learning opportunities as a part of Bethel’s confirmation programming. Bethel youth traditionally confirm their faith the second Sunday of October in the fall of their 10th grade.
Sunday School – Bethel believes strongly in life-long education for our members and offers a number of educational opportunities for youth in grades 6 – 12. .
Prayer Friends – Every year, each 8th and 12th grade youth is paired with an adult Prayer Friend. The Prayer Friend simply commits to pray for their assigned student throughout the school year. Each youth is also asked to pray for his/her Prayer Friend. Students from these two classes are the focus for this ministry because of the transitions they will meet the following year – 8th graders as they enter high school and seniors as they move on to college.
Y.E.S. – Youth Energized to Serve is a team of Bethel youth and adult leaders who coordinate service opportunities for our youth at Bethel, in Northfield, and beyond. This ministry is open to all youth, grades 6 – 12.
An example of the Y.E.S. team’s service work on behalf of others is the March Food Drive
Retreats – Several retreat opportunities are offered for our middle school youth:
Lord’s Prayer Retreats – Three Lord’s Prayer Retreats are offered as a part of the 6th Grade Connections program. They take place on Sunday afternoons during the school year from noon to 3:00 p.m. and are led by the Bethel’s associate Pastor, the Director of Youth Ministries, and parent volunteers. Each retreat focuses on a different petition of the Lord’s Prayer:
Lord’s Prayer Retreat I First Petition – Hallowed by Thy name.
Lord’s Prayer Retreat II Fourth Petition – Give us this day our daily bread.
Lord’s Prayer Retreat III Fifth Petition – And forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Confirmation Kick-off Retreat – A confirmation retreat takes place each fall for all youth entering 7th – 9th grade confirmation class. This is a one-night overnight at Bethel that is a great chance to learn more about your confirmation journey and get to know your confirmation teachers for the next year in a fun, relaxed setting. Details for the retreat are sent during the summer.
30-Hour Famine – For several years, Bethel’s middle school youth have participated in a 30 Hour Famine in an effort to make an impact on our world. During this event, youth are encouraged to ask adults to sponsor them as they fast in some form (food, electronics, TV, etc.) for 24 – 30 hours. Proceeds go to World Vision to help alleviate world hunger.
The associated retreat is a way for youth to encourage one another and learn more about the challenges associated with hunger. The evening consists of games, interactive learning experiences, worship, and fun. It ends in the morning as the group “breaks the fast” with a morning meal.
Information about the 30 Hour Famine is sent to all middle school youth prior to the retreat.
Youth Sundays - The third Sunday of every month is designated as Youth Sunday for worship assistants at both services. During this service, youth in grades 6 – 12 serve as readers, ushers, and sacramental ministers. Instructions and training are provided for all participants. At the late service on this Sunday, youth musicians lead the worship experience.
Summer Events – Our summer events for youth offer a range of experiences. Middle school youth may participate in monthly Magical Mystery Tours and our 8th grade youth have the opportunity to travel to Minneapolis for the 8th Grade Mission Trip.