Take me by the hand;
Lead me down the path of truth.
You are my Savior, aren’t you?
There is no path more important for young people to find and follow than the one of God’s truth and purpose. Claire and I, your youth directors, are humbled and delighted to be here to help young people discover, delight, and grow in God’s truth here at Kenilworth Union.
We had a great start at Kenilworth Union this fall!
Breakfast Club: Our seventh and eighth graders learned about how to live out their faith during Breakfast Club. We studied the books of James, Timothy, and Peter, as well as Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Job! We engaged in meaningful discussions about the relationship between faith and science, God’s plan for our lives, and what it means to put Jesus first even when the world might challenge us to act differently than what God wants for us.
Junior High Youth Group: Our Junior High Youth Group kids loved playing catacombs and enjoyed gourmet meals like Walking Tacos, a pasta bar, chicken nuggets, and Silvi’s homemade chili! We played Catacombs countless times, as well as Ghost in the Graveyard and Sardines. Our candle time discussions got deep—we discussed anxiety, struggling with mental health issues, suicide, friend drama, and the masks we wear. The kids were so respectful, insightful, and kind during these conversations; it was truly amazing to witness.
So many new friendships were formed, especially when JYGers adventured with us after-hours during our September lock-in! The last months of 2019 were spent growing closer with each other and growing in our relationship with Jesus, and it’s been pretty amazing to watch these amazing young people step into their faith. We can’t wait to see what 2020 has in store!
IMPACT: We kicked off IMPACT with an orientation meeting in September and two College Care Package nights in October and November. Our high schoolers prepared and sent packages and notes filled with love and encouragement to over 70 college freshmen and first-time boarding school students. The Care Package project is a tradition underwritten by the Alison Tobey Smart Memorial Fund for over 30 years.
Mission Trip: The IMPACT Junior Board worked together to lead the big mission trip reveal night on November 17. The night had a Game Show theme and 78 high school youth in attendance—everyone guessing until the mystery was solved. The destination? Bahamas! Our IMPACT teams will travel to Abaco in June to help clean up and restore some of the hardest hit communities that are still suffering the effects of last fall’s hurricane Dorian. Your prayers and support for this mission are needed and appreciated.
The registration for the mission trip program has concluded and there are 107 high school youth registered!
Volunteer Service: High School youth also served as volunteers in many different capacities at church and in the community. Some youth completed service hour requirements for confirmation and mission trip—others came to fulfill community service hours—and yet others came simply to serve.
There are many more volunteer opportunities coming up. Information and signup are here.
Girl Gang: is now up and running! It meets Tuesday evenings from 6–7 p.m. for conversation and Bible Study. For more information, contact Claire Revord.
CORE Leadership Team: Our High School CORE leaders grew close to each other and to the youth they lead at Wednesday Youth Groups. They play a vital leadership role in our youth ministry and we are grateful for them. If you or a high schooler you know is interested in joining our CORE team, contact Silvi Pirn.
College Students reunited at our annual College Reunion lunch in December and will join us to serve in the Bahamas on our first IMPACT College Mission Trip scheduled for May 23–29. They are also welcome to join our high school teams as college leaders. Registration is open to all college students and young adults.
Youth and Young Adults served as greeters and ushers for the Christmas Eve 11 p.m. Candlelight Worship and welcomed many families with teens and young adults to worship in the sanctuary. One of our young adults, Elise Born, led worship as liturgist at that beautiful and peaceful service. Youth and young adult leadership at that service has become a tradition and we welcome all to participate.
Young Adults age 21+ have been gathering monthly in Chicago at “Theology on Tap”. Discussions always turn to God—and to our lives, our goals, our struggles, our purpose. The group always welcomes new friends and family. We meet the third Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at LGs Bar, 1525 N Wells St.
Youth Committee: We have formed a new, dynamic Youth Committee this year under the leadership of co-chairs Leslie Holling and John Peterson. We are working on several areas that will further support the youth and their families in this church and this community.
Youth Care and Prayer Ministry: One of the new Youth Committee initiatives is a Care and Prayer ministry for youth. Like Care Guild, but it addresses needs unique to youth and young people. If you know a teen or young person that needs care or prayer support, please contact Katie Lancaster.
Youth Leadership at Kenilworth Union: A number of youth have taken on leadership responsibilities at Kenilworth Union Church. Youth and young adults are now actively involved in leadership of the Youth Committee, Green Team, Outreach Committee, and Alison Tobey Smart Memorial Fund. We are fostering relationships to include them in leadership roles on the Communications committee, Building and Grounds, and Stewardship.
Youth Outreach Junior Board: One of our high school Juniors, Devlin Guthrie, is forming a Junior Board that will serve under the Kenilworth Union Church Outreach Committee. To get involved, contact Devlin Guthrie or Leslie Holling.
Parents: There are drop in coffees twice a month on Friday Mornings at 8:30 a.m. The next one is on Friday, January 24 at Peet’s Coffee in Winnetka. Come share a cup of coffee and casual conversation—or get your burning questions answered—with youth director, Silvi Pirn.
Crisis Resources: Sometimes our youth are in crisis. We keep an updated copy of contact information for anyone who might need it here.