Hiland has a long tradition of a strong Youth Ministry. We are passionate about providing a safe place for our young people to grow in their faith and as individuals. We accomplish this through a focus on healthy relationships and sharing the love of Christ with each other and the world.
Questions about Youth Ministry? Contact Chad Johnson, Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries at email@example.com
SPECIAL SUMMER YOUTH EVENTS
Senior High Work Camp
June 17th – 24th in Pittsburgh, PA (for students who have finished 8th grade – 12th): This year we have a unique opportunity for our youth to host our friends from Fort Mill, SC for a week of fellowship, service, worship, and fun as we serve our community through many avenues. We will be doing some improvements around the Hiland Campus and the North Hills Food Bank facility as well as serving at the World Vision Distribution Center, Holy Family (Former Seville Elementary school site), and The Table ( Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community). The students will be working and building community together throughout the week and are excited to represent and serve our community!
Middle School Mission trip
July 16th – 21st in Mechanicsburg, PA (for students who have finished 5th – 7th grade): We will be staying in Mechanicsburg, PA at Mechanicsburg Presbyterian Church where we will work on the life skills of cooking meals together, practicing good stewardship of our temporary residence, having fellowship together, worshiping together, and building relationships that will last. We will be serving at Cumberland Vista which is a residence for adults with developmental disabilities in Dillsburg, PA. We have served here in the past and we get so much more out of serving and interacting with the amazing residents at Cumberland Vista then we are ever able to give. It is such a great trip and the students learn so much through this experience.
Trinity Youth Conference
July 23rd – 29th (For students who have finished 9th grade – college): “TYC” is a week-long faith based leadership conference that is held in Schellsburg, PA at Camp Living Waters which is a United Church of Christ facility we lease. This has proven to be one of the most transformational experiences for our youth for decades. Through worship, workshops, small group discussions, many fun activities, and the freedom to build lifelong relationships the students are challenged to explore their faith and place in the world. Students come away with a stronger awareness of the God in their lives and are guided towards areas of leadership and service to the church and the world.
We have regular youth gatherings each week. These activities are for students from 7th – 12th grade. (Special events may vary the regularly scheduled activities.)
The S.H.O.E (Youth Group) September-May – THE S.H.O.E. (Servant Hearts Open Eyes) meets Sunday afternoon from 12-1 PM. in Fellowship Hall. These activities are structured gatherings that are usually based on a theme that often inspires games, devotion, discussion, and all around good fellowship. These activities are designed with an end goal of building our students faith through fellowship and exposure to the scriptures in relation to current everyday issues that teens face.
Open Youth Room (OYR) September-May – OYR meets Wednesday after school from 3-5 PM. in the Youth Room (3rd floor of the Administration Building.) This gathering is designed solely to provide a safe place for students to socialize, do homework, and unwind from the midweek stresses of being a teenager. There is no structure or purpose other than the freedom for them to be themselves and to build relationships in a safe setting.
Tread Mark – Sunday School meets after Sunday morning worship at 11 AM. The students engage in scripture based discussions following an annual curriculum.
There are several annual events that are designed to embody the foundations that our youth program is built on. Our Dinner Theater Production usually in early spring and our Work Camp trip which usually occurs in late June.
Dinner Theater – Our Youth put on an annual Dinner Theater performance to raise money for our Work Camp. These productions have always proven to be successful on many levels. We always have a nice turnout from the community who receive a good meal and a fun show. Our students grow much closer and gain confidence in themselves and each other by working together to serve and entertain the community. The support for the Youth Ministry at Hiland grows during this time as the Hiland family pulls together to share their love and experiences with the youth as the production is pulled together.
Work Camp – Our senior high students (anyone who has completed 8th grade -12th grade) have the opportunity to participate in our Work Camp. We try to do something different each year whether it be location, or type of service. The point is to spend a week together in service to the Kingdom. This event is a “pinnacle event” in many of our student’s faith journeys and lives. The students and leaders experience much growth through working side by side to serve others, worshiping together, and many other built-in growth experiences. One aspect of work camp that is often overlooked because of all of the “growth” is that it is just plain fun to go on these trips and work alongside each other.
Middle School Mission Trip – This is an opportunity that our Junior High students have to become exposed to mission through a program we have put together that immerses the students into several different types of mission. In past years, we have served with World Vision, Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank, the Red Cross, City Rescue Mission, Pittsburgh Project, Cumberland Vista, and Shenango on the Green to name a few. This program has proven to be a great time for the students who participate.
LIVING THE FAITH
We have several activities that we participate in that are excellent in helping our students develop a sense of personal enrichment – regular participation in local mission agencies, retreats focused on spiritual growth, and leadership conferences. We always try to look for new opportunities for our students to encounter new faith experiences. Below are some of the regular opportunities we encourage students to participate in.
Pleasant Valley Shelter – We travel to the North Side of Pittsburgh once every other month to serve dinner to gentlemen staying at the Pleasant Valley Shelter. This provides an opportunity for our youth to work together while encountering the truth of other people’s difficult circumstances. Many of our students have had real attitude-changing experiences through this wonderful opportunity to serve.
North Hills Back Pack Initiative – The Backpack Initiative helps West View Elementary families in need of weekend food for their children. At the end of the week each child will receive a bag we packed right here with child-friendly, single-serving snacks and easily prepared meals. There is something for everyone to do!!! We need packers, delivery people and food donations.
Trinity Youth Conference (TYC) – is a week-long event for high school youth (who are at least 15 years of age and have completed 9th grade by the July deadline) and college-age young adults. TYC focuses on spiritual and leadership development, discipleship, and evangelism through daily worship, small group activities, and various workshops with topics based on the theme. http://www.trinityyouthconference.org/
New Wilmington Mission Conference (NWMC) – is a mission focused conference for all ages held on the Campus of Westminster College. NWMC looks to deepen the missionary spirit and seeks to live out the Great Commission. Here mission interpretation meets the duty and ideal of proclaiming the gospel to all the world and making disciples of all peoples through worship, education, and hands-on service. http://nwmcmission.org/
Relationship Building – Along with all of our faith building experiences we are deliberate in modeling behavior that encourages our young people to support each other in their school and extracurricular activities. Many of our volunteer leaders are regulars at school plays, musicals, concerts, sporting events, etc. We also encourage students to support each other by going to these events and cheering each other on. This helps to build relationships and break down barriers that might otherwise remain due to cliques and stereotypes. We really try to love each other!