How can I even begin to describe the gratitude I have for the community of Columbine United Church? I do know that part of it begins with the parents and families of the students and children in our church.
At the beginning of January, a group of parents, volunteers, and those who deeply love the students of CUC met together to plan and create a vision for the future for the youth. I wanted to share the mission, values, and goals that we created for our amazing students.
The Columbine United Church youth ministry is a community for 6th-12th graders based on love of God, love of each other, and love of self. It is a safe place for meaningful connection and spiritual growth through service, learning, discovery, and, of course, fun activities.
The youth ministry of Columbine United Church strives to uphold these four values:
- Love- Love of God, love of neighbor, and love of self guides everything we do as a youth group. At the CUC youth group, we strive to foster an inclusive and welcoming environment based on acceptance, mutual respect, kindness, and service to others.
- Connection- Meaningful connections drive our youth group as we build opportunities to be involved in the life of the church, the traditions of the Christian community. Not only are the youth of CUC building meaningful connections with their peers, but the adults of the church are investing in teaching, guiding, and loving the youth.
- Safety- Safety at the CUC youth group is one of our top priorities. All of our volunteer and staff leaders undergo training, background checks, and supervision. In addition to the physical safety of our students, the youth are always welcome to speak their mind, share their stories, and ask hard questions.
- Growth- Finally, we strive to encourage the students in their journey of faith knowing that it is a lifelong journey. We provide opportunities for students to grow in service, mission trips, learning, and purposeful reflection.
In their time in CUC’s youth ministry, our hope is that each student has met these four goals.
- Each student feels part of the larger Columbine United Church community but has also developed a spiritual identity to be lived in at home, school, work, and wherever life takes them.
- Each student is able to think critically about their faith by asking intentional questions. Each student is able to think about their faith from other perspectives and listen well to others’ thoughts and beliefs.
- Each student develops an identity that looks beyond themselves through service and mission.
- Finally, our goal is to have joy in life together. Through fun, laughter, and adventure, we have built meaningful connections with one another.
I am so excited about the future of the youth group, but I also cannot wait to do this same process for the Children’s ministry in a couple of months!