Youth Ministry (Grades 6 – 12)
We believe that every youth should have a place where they know they belong. University Congregational UCC walks with our youth on their faith journey through discussion, experiential learning, creative expression, mentoring relationships and prayer. All are welcome!
A Little About Youth & Family Ministry At UCUCC:
UCUCC has a rich history of children’s, youth and family ministry. Over the pandemic we stayed connected over zoom Youth Group and other gatherings, worship leadership, online programs, at-home kits for faith formation and socially distanced get-togethers. As we have emerged from the pandemic, we have focused on relationships, helping our youth connect with their friends and volunteer leaders. We have worked to balance bringing back traditions, with creating new ways of being together. We’ve had a wonderful year full of Sunday Morning Youth Group, Fellowship Events, Service Projects, Retreats, Confirmation Class, Our Whole Lives class, parent/caregiver gatherings and more! We are grateful for our thriving community of youth and their families! All youth and families are welcome and celebrated! If you are looking for a church community focused on faith formation, justice, anti-racism, progressive theology, and ministry with youth and families, we would love to welcome you at UCUCC!
Sunday Mornings at UCUCC:
September – June we offer Youth Group at 9am before 10am Worship. Weekly Youth Group breaks for the summer, and we offer fellowship events, camp and trips instead.
- 9am Youth Group – Youth Group meets on Sunday morning at 9 am in the Pilgrimage Room. It is open to youth who are attending Middle School (grades 6-8) and High School (grades 9-12). Sunday morning programs are facilitated by lay leaders who serve as mentors and to help facilitate activities, conversation and reflection.
- 10am Worship – At 10 am youth are invited to attend worship with their families. Youth offer their leadership in worship by reading liturgy, contributing music or giving the stewardship moment.
Explore our programs
Youth ministry extends well beyond the walls of our church. Retreats, mission trips, service projects and classes give youth the opportunity to support one another in their journeys, as well as, opportunities to experience and share God’s love.
Please click on boxes below to learn more about the wider programs we offer for Youth and Families at UCUCC…
Plan Ahead for Summer 2024
Summer 2024 Key Dates
- Western Regional Youth Event (WRYE) – June 23 – 29. Open to youth currently in 8th – 12th grade for the ’23 – ’24 school year.
- Seabeck All Church Camp – July 7 – 12, 2024
- M.S. Service Trip to Nature Bridge – end of July or Early August.
Youth Program at All Church Camp at Seabeck
The Youth Program consists of incoming 6th grade – outgoing 12th grade. We are still building the program and the theme for children and youth. Youth can plan on gathering each morning for music, discussion, activities, reflection, games and more!
Fellowship Nights & Retreats
Fellowship nights include a dinner, games, activities and more. They are typically on Friday or Saturday night and are open to youth in grades 6-12.
Retreats offer an opportunity for youth to explore their faith more deeply, connect with one another and take time for deep Sabbath. They are generally held at area camps or conference centers. We run a few retreats a year and they are filled with fun and faith formation!
Retreats for Our Whole Lives and Confirmation Classes are offered every other year. The next offering will be Junior High OWL 2024-2025 year.
The youth program takes responsibility for cooking and serving at Teen Feed on the fifth Wednesday of the month. Teen Feed provides a hot meal, warm shelter and friendly, non-judgmental conversation for homeless teens, many of whom live in the University District. This is a service opportunity the entire family is welcome to participate in.
Service Learning Trips
Two trips are offered each summer—one for Middle School youth and one for High School youth. The goal is to serve others with the understanding that we are called to better our whole world. Our service is not about taking God to others, but about experiencing God in the work we do and the people we meet. We often partner with other churches or nonprofit service organizations for these trips. Our service learning trips are financially supported by our “Moving Mountains” fundraiser each spring so that every young person who wants to attend is able to. We are grateful for the support!
Classes---Our Whole Lives & Confirmation
Our Whole Lives, Sexuality and our Faith (OWL)
The Our Whole Lives Sexuality Education program is a progressive, comprehensive curriculum that deals with the totality of human sexuality in an age-appropriate manner. It is deeply rooted in the values of self worth, sexual health, justice and inclusivity, and responsibility. These values reflect the justice-oriented tradition of the United Church of Christ. We offer this class every year, alternating the age range that it is intended for (grades 7 & 8 or grades 10-12). It is taught by trained volunteer facilitators.
Confirmation Class (grades 8, 9 and beyond)
The confirmation class series offers youth the tools and opportunities to name and understand where they are in their faith journey at this time in their lives. This class series is offered every other year. The next year this will run is Winter 2025.
Schedule for upcoming years:
- 2022-2023: Confirmation and H.S. OWL class
- 2023-2024: M.S. OWL Class
- 2024-2025: Confirmation and H.S. OWL class
- 2025-2026: M.S. OWL Class
For information on either of these classes, please contact the Director of Children, Youth & Family Ministries, Margaret Irribarra Swanson.
Forms & Family Registration
To grow a living faith we need
- To have trusting, deep, authentic relationships with those who have a living faith
- To have experiences of God
- To empower each other to live into our call and serve as disciples of Jesus
- To share in experiences of the risky, edgy, radical parts of faith—for on the edge we discover who we are and what our faith is.
Youth Ministry Staffing & Leadership
- Margaret Irribarra Swanson serves as our Director Of Children, Youth & Family Ministries.
- Rev. Steve Jerbi serves as the Minister of Worship and Christian Formation.
- Volunteer leaders help facilitate Sunday Morning Youth Group, Classes, Fellowship events, Retreats and more!
Our Safer Church Policy
We take our responsibility for the safety of our children and youth very seriously. Every adult who works with children at church/youth undergoes a criminal background check. There are always at least two adults present when there are children/youth in the room. We also offer trainings and meet with our volunteers to make sure our expectations and policy are clear.
To learn more about our Youth Ministry Program contact Margaret Irribarra Swanson, (Director Of Children, Youth & Family Ministries).
Youth Group is a place where we talk about things that matter, we do things that matter and we know that we belong.