Each Sunday morning we have Bible class at 9 a.m. in the Youth Center. We will meet together (MS/HS) a lot but we will also have a series or two separated. Class usually begins with some visiting, followed by a few songs, and then we will study a biblical passage or theme. We will often break up into smaller groups to have some discussion or to prepare a presentation to the rest of the class.
Sunday nights are our time for fellowship. We will usually begin at 5 p.m. with a devo where we sing a short message is given. Afterwards we will eat dinner and then have time for playing games, video gaming, air hockey, foosball, ping pong, watching a movie, watching a game on TV, or just sitting around talking. We usually finish at 8:30.
Huddles are our small group Bible studies that meet at 7 p.m. on Wednesday nights. The MS group meets in the Youth Center while the FR/SO and JR/SR Huddles meet off-site in homes. Huddles are a time for catching up with each other in the middle of the week, while having times or prayer and relaxed Bible study and conversation as well. Huddles are a great time to bring a friend or to plug in for the first time because the groups are smaller and the setting is morerelaxed. We do not have Huddles in the Summer or during holidays.
Fields of Faith
Fields of Faith is an optional event where teens from all over Abilene are invited to the High School Football Stadium to have a time of encouragement and prayer for fellow Christian teens in town. It is sponsored by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes but it is for all MS/HS teens, not just athletes. It is a great opportunity to be reminded that we are not alone in this world but are surrounded by other Christians who are committed to Christ as well.
Each Fall we get out of town for a weekend to go on a retreat to a regional camp or retreat center. We will have a theme that guides our time for the weekend but it is an opportunity to get away from the busy school life and focus on our spiritual life. We will have times or worship around campfires and multiple sessions related to the theme. We also have a lot of time to play and have fun and usually participate in a ropes course or camp activity. It is a great chance toget away for a little while and to refocus our lives on Jesus. Everybody even gets a t-shirt!
Winterfest is a huge Church of Christ youth conference in Arlington each January with a few thousand teens in attendance. There will be plenty oftimes for worship, listening to engaging keynote speakers, and watching some entertainment as well. This year will be our first year to attend and the cost is $25.
During the year, we encourage each Huddle group to spend a Friday nightaway with the Huddle group. It is a time for simply spending an evening together eating, playing games, talking and unplugging for an evening away. These happen at various time depending on Huddle convenience.
Each May, before graduation, we honor our graduating seniors and their families. We begin the day by recognizing them in front of the congregation and praying over them. That evening we host a banquet for them open to all friends and family. Each senior has a table that is set up for them in their school colors andtheir families decorated them with memorabilia from their lives. In a time and culture where we are lacking in rites of passage, this serves the purpose of sending off our graduates into their next step of life, the first step of adulthood. A parent will speak on behalf of the senior parents, charging to remember the things they have been taught and to not forget the Lord. A senior then speaks on behalf of the other seniors and answers that charge by committing to continue in the faith. The youth minister then speaks to everyone as the community of faith and hands each senior a Bible given by the church. This is a special time for the faith community to honor the graduates and to eat some good food, too.