What we're about ...
Teens are not only the future of the church, they are the now of the church!
At Carrier Mills First United Methodist Church, we believe that the ultimate, loving purpose of our teen ministry is the same ultimate purpose for which Jesus entered into Earth, the salvation of humankind (Matthew 1: 21) and entry into eternal life. Thus, all of our activities and teen events are geared to this ultimate purpose. Along the way we have a blast, enjoy life, and care for all of humanity ... but our greatest desire for our church and our teens is a deeper relationship with our creator, God!
Our teens believe in taking the truth of the gospel and engaging the world with all of their hearts, minds and souls. They seek total transformation, from their own lives to that of the entire world. Our teens passionately strive daily to bring the love of Christ to all that they encounter. We invite you to join our teens in a journey to become more like Christ!
A top priority for our church is to have our teens in worship with us on Sundays as well as in teen Christian Education classes that meets after the morning worship service. Our teens are encouraged to lead aspects of the worship service, via prayer, liturgy, music, and sharing. Sometimes they even lead our entire worship experience. Thus, through worshiping together, teaching, service, and fun, our teens experience the full spectrum of God's love and amazing grace!
Teen Christian Education
Connect - High School
Facilitator: Johnna Gowdy Hankins
Access - Junior High
Facilitator: Deb Miller
Lessons are designed to remind our teens that they are God’s precious creations and to give them the faith foundation they need to overcome the ever growing challenges they face in their daily lives.
W.O.W. - Wide Open Worship Youth Fellowship
Our teen youth fellowship ministry, WOW, meets Sundays from 5 to 6:30 pm in Fellowship Hall. It is open to all junior and senior high youth in the Carrier Mills - Stonefort community. A light supper, followed by supervised activities promoting faith and fellowship are a part of each weekly gathering. Many of the youth opt to participate in The Rising contemporary worship service which begins at 6:30 pm, following WOW, and concludes around 8 pm.
WOW is modeled on a triangle with three equal sides: deep study, missions/service and fun/fellowship. Together these three have the aim of making and nurturing disciples of Jesus Christ. In addition to their regular meetings, our teens can be found at Christian concerts, national conferences, community youth worship services, and in service to others.
Youth Adult Council (YAC)
The teen and children"s ministries at our church are guided by a committee known as the Youth Adult Council (YAC). Working with our minister Stan, who first began working in youth ministry thirty years ago, these highly dedicated adults share a strong commitment, energy, passion, and great love for our teens and children that is awesome to behold! A Youth Council, comprised solely of teenagers works in conjunction with the Youth Adult Council in both the long range visioning of our youth program and in the day to day planning of the activities and ministry. A second exciting benefit of the the Youth Council is that it provides teens with leadership development opportunities.
Click here to be a Teen Ministries Volunteer.
Major Annual Youth Events Include:
The Cardboard Campout An overnight camping expience where our teens fashion shelters from cardboard boxes. It is designed to increase awareness of the plight of the homeless in the area and to raise money for the Community Christian Compassion Center in Harrisburg which serves the marginalized in our area. The event includes inspirational speakers and soup kitchen meals.
Dare2Share A dynamic, weekend-long national conference on youth evangelism held in St. Louis, MO. It draws participants from around the U.S. It features nationally-known speakers, Christian bands and a service/outreach project
Community Service Work Days are held several times a year. They offer our youth a chance to give back to the community by undertaking projects that help enhance the quality of life for area residents.
Beulah Intergenerational Camp This week long camp / retreat takes place the last week of July. Guest speakers share contemporary gospel messages. There is an evening worship service in an outdoor tabernacal each evening.
There are age-specific programs for children, youth, college and career young adults and older adults. Youth and young adults can take part in a Mission Blitz, a opportunity to work in community.
Summer Church Camp The Illinois Great Rivers Conference offer a variety of overnight (a few days to a full week) summer church camps for teens. The camps are held at United Methodist campgrounds located throughout Illinois. They are designed to nurture spiritual development and appreciation for all of God's creations while having loads of fun. The two camps located in our area, Beulah, in Eldorado, and Little Grassy, in Makanda, are especially popular with our teens. For more details on camping opportunities for kids and families, click here.