Youth Ministry

Coming September 2018 - Foundry @ Night!

We are excited at the growing momentum within Foundry’s Youth Ministry. Over the past year we
  • held over 10 special events, including a New York City Trip and Confirmation.
  • celebrated our 30th summer of serving with the Appalachian Service Project (ASP).
  • welcomed more than 60 youth in grades 6-12 through our doors.

In 2017, Foundry’s Youth Ministry Team began an intentional evaluation of our programs for youth. We are proud of the hard work that they’ve done to help us set a vision for the years ahead. We know there is nothing more important that we can do than to communicate to our youth that church is a place for them, and that God has something to say to them.

It has become abundantly clear through anecdotes, conversations, and more structured feedback like surveys and parent meetings, that we can do more to build on the strong foundation that has already been laid at Foundry. The results of our youth and parent surveys were highly encouraging. Our youth love being with each other, while parents want more opportunities for youth to engage with the church body, serve meaningfully in our community, and to be mentored by caring adults. This feedback informed our process tremendously.

Currently, we are limited by time and by the competing demands for very prized time blocks, both during the Sunday School hour and immediately after second service. Confirmation, while vital and growing, causes an unsustainable drop in our middle school class. Our high schoolers struggle to arrive on time (and who doesn’t on a Sunday morning!) such that our meaningful time for programming, study, service and fellowship is reduced to less than half an hour. Our youth don’t have opportunities to serve as leaders in our Children’s Ministry, or attend events, classes or lectures that may interest them because due to our program’s design, they must choose between their friends and another opportunity that may also be spiritually fulfilling.

Our response to this is to create an entirely new branch of Foundry’s Youth Ministry, for youth and led by youth. After prayer and discernment, we have elected to launch a new Youth Group, called Foundry Youth@Night, which will meet each Sunday night from 5:00-7:30 p.m. The gift of abundant time will enable our youth to eat, play, and be in fellowship together. Youth will have regular opportunities to discuss important topics that relate to their lives and to the world around us and to respond to these. Finally, they will grow alongside each other in small groups facilitated by trained small group leaders. These leaders will invest in them and serve as resources and mentors as they progress through our program.
We firmly believe that our youth deserve this opportunity. Studies have shown that when youth gather together, take ownership of their faith, and are presented with opportunities for challenging study in a supportive environment, their faith sticks. Furthermore, we’re not alone. Many of our United Methodist and other-denominational counterparts in the area offer a dedicated youth group time, almost always in the evenings, and often on Sundays. This will further enable us to partner for joint events, and to connect more youth to one another.

We know that this new model will create many opportunities and a fair amount of challenges, and that you may have questions. We hope to address many questions in the FAQ sheet found below on this page. As always, our doors are open. We would be thrilled to meet with you to discuss more or to address any questions you may have.

Thank you for trusting Foundry with your youth. This church loves them, and we are so excited to learn, grow, and play alongside them as we start a new chapter in Foundry’s Ministry.

Blessings,

Whitney Kinsey
Director of Family Ministries

Ginger Gaines Cirelli
Senior Pastor

  • Ready to take the next step in your spiritual journey? Learn more about Baptism and Confirmation
  • Each Summer, Foundry takes a group of 10-15 students into the mountains of rural Appalachia to work with the Appalachia Service Project. Students spend a week in service to local homeowners, using their hands to improve residents’ quality of life. This experience is open to rising 10th Graders through College Freshmen.  In 2017, our students traveled to Wise County, Virginia.  You can view a slideshow of the trip on the Youth Missions page. The dates for ASP 2018 will be announced shortly.
  • Each Autumn, Foundry takes a group of youth on a Fall Retreat.

To learn about upcoming Youth ministry and fellowship events join our listserve!

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Foundry UMC Youth Ministry FAQ Sheet.pdf34.93 KB