Pray Hard Play Hard
Saint Francis Student Ministries maintains a stand alone web site; click St. Francis Youth Ministries to keep current with our active and vibrant youth ministry!
We will disciple students to be faithful servants of Jesus Christ, enabling them to be transformational agents who share God's love and mercy, so that they will change the world for Christ.
Students are a big deal at St. Francis. Student Ministries (otherwise known as Youth Group) is a vibrant and burgeoning ministry to and of teenagers in the seventh through twelfth grades. Ours is a relational model of youth ministry. Many of the students in our youth group are part of it because they've been invited to Bible Study, and, like their friends here in the parish, they keep coming back!
We enjoy what God is doing in the lives of our young people. We meet students where they are spiritually, and we pour our hearts and souls, and a lot of energy, into ministry with them. We watch the way they love the Lord our God, and love their neighbors, here in greater Washington, DC and in other parts of the country, and it inspires us to want to do the same. All of the programs we offer help shape youth to be faithful followers of Jesus Christ.
During the school year, a Thursday evening Bible Study for middle and high school students is held at Glenolden House, our Youth House. Between thirty and thirty-five students attend regularly. We meet at 5:30 pm for supper and fun (which includes everything from good conversation to billiards to NBA JAM to knockout on the basketball court[hey, it is a youth group!]), and we begin the worship and Bible study at 6:30, wrapping things up by 7:30. It is a time used to learn what God teaches and how He is going to use US to further His kingdom right here and right now! Also throughout the year the upperclassmen have guys group and girls group, which happens Fridays at 5:15 at the Glenolden House, to dig in to the more personal stuff that isn't as comfortable to share in big group setting, and learning and loving with one another in a safe environment and group of friends. In the summer, Tuesday and Wednesday nights are set aside for activity nights with the Senior High meeting Tuesday's and the Junior High meeting Wednesdays at 5:00 for an evening of fun and building friendships, starting at Glenolden house and ending up back there.
On the third Thursday of the month, we worship in Saint Francis Church in the chancel. Here's the February 18, 2010 service leaflet.
Another staple of the youth group is Sunday School throughout the school year. It is a time of more biblical study and this spring we are just wrapping up a look at some of the major prophets in the Old Testament. There is praise and worship, bagels and drink, and time to hang out built around the study each sunday.
Starting this spring and continuing on with the Student Ministry will be an emphasis on serving. Up to three weekends a month service projects will be available, though never mandatory, for the students to put into practice the love Christ has commanded us all to share. From construction, to mentoring, to food shelves, to Restore, the students will be getting involved in being the true hands and feet of Christ's ministry here in the DC area throughout the year. Already this year they have done a Habitat for Humanity painting project, 30 Hour Famine, Rebuild Together (a landscaping project in Silver Spring), and a Big Day of Serving in Manassas, Va.
There are also monthly activities and periodic retreats. The summers of '09, '10, '11, middle school students went to Great Escape Johnstown, the latest example of the usually week-long Jr High conferences our students attend with adult leaders. Also starting in '11 our Senior High students began attending the "FUN IN THE SON" retreat, which this summer will be held in Ocean City, MD. Both of these are great ways students can learn and grow in their faith, but also have a chance to build a sincere relationship with many of their peers that helps bind this group together throughout the year.
A linchpin and highlight of the year is the Student Mission Trip. In recent years, St. Francis Student Ministries students have made mission trips to Standing Rock Indian Reservation/St. Gabriel's Camp, Selfridge, North Dakota; Logan, West Virginia; New Madrid, Missouri; Houma, Louisiana; D'Iberville, Mississippi, Philadelphia, and Reynosa, Mexico. We went Gulf Coast to New Orleans for ongoing building efforts following Hurricane Katrina. The 2011 mission trip had us working hard and praying hard at Rosebud Sioux Reservation in South Dakota. It had such a great response that in 2012 we went to the Navajo Reservation in Arizona. Mission Trip 2013? Jamaica!
Student Ministries on National Public Radio
Our 2006 mission trip received national notice when NPR covered our work in Louisiana.
Disciples 101 David Hirsch
Want more info?
Call the church office at 301-365-2055 and ask to speak with Father Ellsworth.