Fun & Fellowship
Every Sunday evening (6:30 – 8:30 pm) during the program year, our senior high youth gather for Youth Group.
Here is what youth can expect: a supportive community, engaging conversation, games and laughter, learning and growth, intentional prayer, ministry, and mission within our community. It is in Youth Group that our senior high youth learn about the Bible, spiritual practices like prayer and giving, and where they build relationships with each other and their adult leaders. Youth Group is also a blast – together the youth play games, go on outings, have lock-ins at the church, and get together with other Episcopal youth groups to play Broomball or bowl.
Throughout the year, senior high youth are invited to participate in parish-wide learning such as the recent Saturday retreat on the Enneagram. They also spend time learning about, and then practicing, anti-racism and also deepening their knowledge of indigenous history and cultures in Minnesota as learning that fortifies their partnership with indigenous communities in mission work.
Every January Trinity offers an 11-12 week Confirmation Class. Confirmation is an opportunity for our young people to make a public and mature affirmation of their Christian faith. It is a time to question, as well as to learn.
During these classes, we address questions such as:
- What does it mean to be a Christian and an Episcopalian?
- What is the meaning of our baptismal vows?
- What is the difference between baptism and confirmation?
- What does it mean to follow Christ?
In addition, participants come to understand the Sacraments of the Episcopal Church and why we do what we do. Confirmands are paired with a mentor, a member of the congregation who has a deep and mature Christian practice.
It has been said, “you are not doing youth ministry until youth are doing ministry.” At Trinity, youth engage and sustain significant outreach and mission projects out in the community and take that ministry very seriously.
Partnering with Indigenous Communities
Each month the senior high pull a full shift at First Nations’ Kitchen (FNK) in the Longfellow neighborhood of Minneapolis. FNK is a ministry of All Saints’ Episcopal Indian Mission and has been serving healthy, organic, traditional indigenous food in a welcoming, family environment. FNK models environmentally sustainable practices in all aspects of the program (composting, recycling) and serves fare based on an ancestral diet of First Nations people (buffalo, wild rice, elk, fish, deer, and turkey).
Trinity senior high youth have been a full partner with All Saints’ since 2010, fully staffing the program once per month. In addition, Trinity raises money for needed supplies and wild rice. This past year’s Advent Alternative Giving program raised over $1000 for First Nations Kitchen equipment and food.
Every summer since 2011, Trinity youth travel north to spend a week serving members of the White Earth Nation – tribal members who do not live on the reservation and thus cannot be served by the tribe. Along with youth from neighboring Episcopal Churches, Trinity youth are full partners in the White Earth Mission Project, hosted by Valerie Red Horse and the White Earth tribal government. In addition to working on housing projects and sponsoring a Vacation Bible School for indigenous children from Cass Lake in the summer, Trinity’s senior high youth engage in fundraising all year long to provide the supplies and materials needed for the week up north. Additionally, the youth take their partnership seriously, engaging in anti-racism work throughout the year, and also broadening their knowledge of the history and culture of Ojibwe people.
Girls’ Service Group
Led by a senior high girl, these members of Trinity are girls grades 4 – 12 who gather for service work in the community. This past spring members raised $540 in a single Sunday. The funds went toward purchasing 50 badly needed aprons for First Nations’ Kitchen in honor of Trinity’s graduating seniors. The Girls’ Service Group gathers each month to serve needs in the immediate community – everything from leaf raking, to making ornaments for Trinity’s annual “Blue Christmas” service, caring for elders in long term care, to raising money for Episcopal Relief and Development at our annual St. Francis Pet Blessing celebration.
Senior High youth help lead the congregation’s Sunday worship in a variety of ways: as acolytes, servers (helping the deacon to set the altar for communion and carrying the processional cross), Lay Eucharistic Ministers (serving the chalice wine at communion), lectors (readers of the scripture), and instrumentalists.
On Maundy Thursday the youth traditionally serve in all roles in worship, leading the congregation on one of the holiest days of the church year. Senior high youth also assist in directing the annual Christmas Pageant and assisting younger children in worship.