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Youth Fellowship

Youth Fellowship is for kids who are in the 6th - 12th grade, under the supervision of St. Paul's Youth Director and volunteer Youth Advisors.  They meet every other Sunday, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., September through May.  Each regular meeting includes supper.  Youth Fellowship is a safe space for young people to form bonds with peers while gaining tools to be used in faith formation throughout their lives.  Our goal is to create a balance between fellowship and mission.

The central tenet of our youth program is fellowship.  Kids, especially teenagers, should have the opportunity to hang out with one another, learn to accept, respect, and be proud of who they are, and to create and build friendships.  We promote this through regular meetings where the youth play games, such as ultimate frisbee, knockout, and kickball.  They also have the opportunity to talk with each other, about whatever is on their mind, watch movies, and participate in seasonal activities.  These include a hayride and corn maze in the autumn, mini golf on City Island, going to Harrisburg Senators and Hershey Bears games, baking cookies and assembling care packages to send to our college students during finals week, and crafting holiday cards for senior citizens in our community.  It is a fun time where our young people feel free to be themselves.

Along with fellowship, mission is a significant part of the St. Paul's UCC Youth tradition.  It is our way of putting God's message of "love your neighbor" into action.  It is important for young people to learn how to incorporate mission into their everyday lives.  Even small gestures of generosity and compassion can make a big difference in someone's life.

Each year, the youth participate in a wide variety of missions and ministries.  These have included Souper Bowl of Caring on Super Bowl Sunday, the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life event, volunteering at the Shared Ministries' Community Breakfast in Harrisburg, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's Out of the Darkness walk, collecting items for donation to a local animal shelter, serving on the Youth Service Team at our conference annual meeting, Christmas caroling for seniors and shut-ins, assisting as volunteer helpers for Vacation Bible School, and fasting for 30 hours straight while learning about hunger and fighting poverty and injustice by participating in 30 Hour Famine.

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