The 2016 Mission Trip took us back to New Orleans, where we were in 2012. Ten years after Hurricane Katrina, the city of New Orleans is still recovering from the devastating effects of floodwaters that left 70% of its homes damaged or destroyed. We again worked with Youth Rebuilding New Orleans, an organization that repairs homes with the goal of selling them at a deep discount to teachers, to encourage educators to return to the area. See photos below to see how our teens make a difference in the world!
2015 Mission Trip
And they are on their way!
2014 Mission Trip
Five vans. Four travel days. Eighteen hundred miles. One night at a very sketchy hotel. Six nights sleeping on a church floor. Sharing space with seventy people. Four showers, all outside with cold water. Five families. Five homes. Five days of hard, hard work. Five days that changed us all, forever.
There are two primary reasons why our teens join our Senior High Youth Group – to build relationships that help them to feel not so alone in the world, and to make a difference in the lives of others. Once a year we send them off on a mission trip that allows them to do both in amazing and life-changing ways.
Read about the SHYG’s amazing 2014 mission trip in the September Spire. They went to TENNESSEE and worked with the Appalachia Service Project rebuilding homes, getting to know the families who own them, and learning about the people of Appalachia and the issues they face living in one of the poorest areas of our country.
What’s UP with SHYG in November? What’s UP with the Senior High Youth Group?
Our membership is UP – AGAIN! – This year we have 45 teens, including many new freshmen! We gather at the church on Sunday evenings three times a month for discussion, sanctuary time, fun, games, and outreach activities.
Our enthusiasm is UP! – We’re excited about our upcoming 2-night retreat! We’ll be doing a hike, bonfire, high ropes course, recreational games, arts and crafts, group discussions, and worship time.
Our goals are UP! – We’ve already begun planning for our next MISSION TRIP which will take place in June of 2014. While we’re still settling on the date and the location, we’d like the congregation to help support our fundraising efforts by buying RAFFLE TICKETS in November and December. Our GIFT CARD RAFFLE was so successful last year we ended up giving away THREE prize baskets. This year we’re hoping to top that! One $5 ticket gives you the chance to win a gift basket containing hundreds of dollars in gift cards from local businesses, retail stores, and services! The drawing will be held on December 15th.
Our commitment is UP! – Our Senior High Youth Group has gained a reputation for being “the group” to be in for our teens. We’re growing because our teens have been bringing their friends from school and telling others how much SHYG and our church means to them. This year we have plans to get involved in more local, year-round mission opportunities, such as the End 68 Hours of Hunger program in Nashua, which helps feed school children on the weekends. Our teens want to have fun but they also want to make a difference in the world, and SHYG gives them a place to do that!
What’s UP with SHYG? Ask us! We’d LOVE to tell you more!
2013 Mission Trip
In April 2013 members of our Senior High Youth Group will travel to New York City to take part in a week long service project to aid the victims of Super-storm Sandy and to serve inner-city communities in need. We will be working with a group called Youth Service Opportunities Project (http://www.ysop.org/), an organization committed to helping young people become part of the solution to societal problems by showing them how even their smallest actions can make a difference in the lives of others.
We have more than 38 passionate and caring teens in our group, and every week we’ve been growing in numbers as parents and teens in the area hear of the support and stability of this group.
As you can imagine, traveling with a group this large can be expensive but the teens are determined to do all of the fundraising themselves and have already held several events (Gift Card Raffle, Spaghetti Supper, etc.) so please watch for upcoming events and support our teens and their mission! For more information contact Pastor Maureen by email or at 673-3232, ext. 14
2012 Mission Trip – Youth Rebuilding New Orleans
Come listen during the May 13th worship service to the SHYG tell their stories of their April mission trip to New Orleans, working with the Youth Rebuilding New Orleans organization (YRNO). The group is restoring homes in New Orleans and targeting them for sale to teachers under the theory the teachers will anchor and stabilize neighborhoods as they continue to recover. Stay tuned for a gallery of photos!
Please visit the YRNO website for more information on what our youth did on their trip: http://yrno.com/
2011 Mission Trip – Litttleton (NH) Workcamp Foundations
The SHYG traveled to Littleton NH this past June to work with the Workcamp Foundations group. They helped homeowners with home repairs and fix-ups and enjoyed the fellowship of the people they helped.
Littleton has been hit hard with job losses in recent years; tourism remains a mainstay of the region’s economy, and unemployment is high. On this mission, our group brought some help where it’s needed most. There were 23 teens and 6 chaperones on the retreat.
Our work–and play
We maintain a relationship with residents of the Granite Square Apartments in Milford. This ministry is rich and life-affirming for both the residents and for the members of our group. We are expanding our local missions work.
Our yearly mission trips focus much of our work for support and planning.
2013: New York City working with Youth Service Opportunities Project (www.ysop.org)
2012: New Orleans, LA working with Youth Rebuilding New Orleans (yrno.com)
2011: Littleton, NH
2010: Maine Seacoast Mission
2009: Washington D.C. working with Youth Service Opportunities Project (www.ysop.org)
2008: New York City
2007: Atlanta, GA with the Outreach and Advocacy Center of the Central Presbyterian Church.
Teaching and Christian Education
Many of us teach and assist teachers in Church School. Additionally, part of our Sunday evening programs includes planned conversation to deepen understanding of Christian belief.
An essential part of the Senior High program is the building of community, centered in God’s love for us, and His call to love others. Practically speaking, this means that we continually and consciously work to take the risks to be real with each other, to speak truth in a spirit to lift others up, rather than put them down.
We share our musical gifts through the young adult choir–Voices of Creation–which includes grades 7-12. Additionally, Saturday Worship provides an excellent worship setting for us to use our musical skills.
Sunday evening youth programming includes worship and prayer in the sanctuary. In this way, we stay in right relationship with God and receive the gifts that strengthen us for life’s hard journey.
If you are interested in learning more about our Senior High Youth Group programs, please contact Pastor Maureen.