ZYouth exists to connect youth and families with the mission of ZUMC to Lift Lives – Live Love, Inspire Hope, Fill with Faith and Transform the World. We offer an outlet for youth to worship, spend time with their friends, serve others, and grow in their faith.
Youth ministry at ZUMC (7th-12th grades) meets regularly on Sunday evenings during the school year from 5-7:30pm and in the summer from 6-8pm. During our time together we play games, eat dinner, worship, dig into scripture, and break into Life Groups. While our 8-12th graders are in their Life Groups, 7th graders meet with each other for confirmation.
Throughout the year we also go on mission trips, travel to summer camp, and head to offsite locations for fun events.
Upcoming Retreats & Events
Spring Break 2019 to Mission Guatemala
Over Spring Break 2019 (March 30-April 7), we will once again sponsor a youth families trip to serve with Mission Guatemala in Panajachel, Guatemala. We want your family to join us! Registration for this trip will open to first time participants starting May 1. Registration will open for everyone starting June 1. You can find out all the information about the trip including costs, how and when to register, and what a trip with Mission Guatemala is like, by using the button below.
2018 Summer Camps
Every summer youth have the opportunity to learn more about themselves and God's love for them by stepping outside the routine of their everyday lives and attend summer camp. You can find information about the two camps our youth will attend this summer by clicking the button below.
Current Sunday Night Series
Week 1 (April 15, 2018) - When you face a challenge, attacking is better than avoiding.
What’s one of your favorite things to do when you’re feeling a little stressed? Maybe it’s to watch a few episodes of a new show on Netflix or turn up your favorite playlist on Spotify. Maybe you go for a run or spend time scrolling through social media. No matter what it is, we all tend to look for a little distraction from time to time—especially when life gets challenging. And while distractions aren’t necessarily bad things, they can create problems if they become our way of life. In other words, when those temporary distractions become a consistent path of avoidance, we run the risk of never facing the challenges in front us. When it comes to facing challenges, the apostle Paul was an expert. Through his letter to the Romans, Paul gives us a different plan of attack when it comes to confronting opposition and stressors in life. And his plan won’t just change what we do in the face of a challenge; it will change who we become.
Week 2 (April 22 and 29, 2018) - God carries us through problems, not around them.
What do you find yourself thinking about the most? If you sat quietly and let your mind wander, what’s the thing that pops up again and again? Sometimes it’s something awesome, like a trip you’re looking forward to or someone new you’re interested in. But other times it’s something not as awesome, like a fight with a friend or family drama at home. When our minds are consumed with difficult circumstances, we tend to start looking for a way to escape. And whether we realize it or not, sometimes those escapes can lead us to make bad choices. And the worst part? Those bad choices don’t actually fix anything! In fact, they often make difficult circumstances that much more difficult. So if escapes can lead to bad choices that won’t fix bad circumstances, what should we do in the midst of our problems? To answer that question, we’ll look to the book of Isaiah. As we read what the author wrote in the midst of his own tough circumstances, we’ll see that God promises to carry us through even the most challenging of circumstances when we turn to Him.
Week 3 (May 6, 2018) - Name one way you could comfort people who are going through difficult circumstances?
When it comes to thunderstorms, there are two kinds of people: those who love them and those who can’t stand them. While some people settle in comfortably at the sound of the storm, others simply run and hide until it’s all over. And if you think it about, isn’t that a lot like life? When we face something potentially big or scary, some of us face it head on while others of us try to hide from it—or at least hide it from the people around us. While hiding might feel like the better choice at the time, it ultimately leaves us feeling more alone than we actually are. And is there anything worse than feeling alone in the midst of your circumstances? That’s definitely not the way God intended it to be! In fact, when it comes to difficult circumstances, God’s heart is that we’d never face them alone. As we look this week at what Paul tells us about God’s desire for us when we deal with the tough parts of life, we’ll see that the best way to deal with it is with the help of a community.
Life Groups are at the heart of what we do in ZYouth. Each grade level (8-12th) has a guys and girls small group who meet on a weekly basis during the youth group time. They meet to talk about their week, share joys and concerns, and discuss the theme of the night for youth group.
Once every few weeks, we have Life Group Nights. On these nights, Life Groups spend our entire youth group time together. Groups can meet at someone’s home, do something at church, go out into the community, or work on a service project together.
Each Life Group is led by at least one adult who has passed a background check and participated in a training event that covers ZUMC’s Children and Youth Protection Policy. Life Group leaders for the 2016-2017 school year will be:
8th Grade Guys: Ryan Humphrey
9th Grade Guys: Kyle Wietholter
10th Grade Guys: Matt Baker
11th Grade Guys: Perry Montgomery
12th Grade Guys: Todd Markley
8th Grade Girls: Anita Ridolfo and Susan Arnold
9th Grade Girls: Laura Miloshof
10th Grade Girls: Tracy Ridings
11th Grade Girls: Jen Dell
12th Grade Girls: Jenny Ellegood
Confirmation is not only a time for youth to critically examine their faith but also functions as a transition time and introduction into what we do on Sunday nights as a youth group. Confirmation is open to any youth 7th grade or older who has not yet been confirmed. There is no age limit to confirmation, only an age minimum.
Confirmation at ZUMC meets together on a weekly basis throughout the school year. Youth participate in the entire evening of youth group, starting at 5pm. They will start with the large group and then later in the evening will be divided into table groups where 1-2 adults will lead the table in activities and discussion based on the topic for the day.
Want to know what the 2017-2018 Confirmation Class will look like? Download the Family Information Packet.
Sunday School is an opportunity to go deeper into God’s Word and connect with other adults in the congregation. Currently, we offer youth Sunday School options during the 9:30 worship service. Please see below for where different youth classes meet. If you have any questions about the classes offered, please contact Jon Ellegood, Director of Youth Ministries.
Middle School (7-8th grade) in the Café with Ken Narva, Amy Montgomery, and Julie Carriere
High School (9-12th grade) in B105, off the gym, with Sarah Billings
Parents & Volunteers
We believe that parents and families are the main motivators and influencers in the life of a youth. There is no possible way we could ever replace the impact a parent or family member can have in the home. In all that we do throughout ZYouth we want to partner with parents and families; we want to stay connected to parents and families. There are several ways we do this: parent meetings, weekly emails, and providing opportunities to serve together as a family.
A few times per year parents are invited to attend ZYouth with their son or daughter. During this time, parents meet with Jon in the cafe to hear about upcoming events, share their family highs and lows, and offer feedback on how ZYouth events are impacting their families.
We have the expectation that, whenever possible, families with youth who are active participants in ZYouth events should also have parents who are also investing volunteer hours into ZYouth events. There are always many ways to serve:
- Youth Council Member
- Sunday School Leader
- Life Group Leader
- Sunday Night Dinner Team
- Volunteer Appreciation Party Coordinator
- Christmas Party Coordinator
- Car Hop Coordinator
- Car Hop Supply Coordinator
- Car Hop Director of Operations
- Spaghetti Bowl Coordinator
- Believe Conference Coordinator
- Confirmation Table Leader
- Senior Send Off Leader
- Confirmation Rehearsal Dinner Coordinator
- Summer ZYouth Leader
- Fall Open House Coordinator
- ZYouth Creative Design Team Member
- Weekly Office Help Volunteer
To receive a job description for one or more of these opportunities, please contact Jon Ellegood, Director of Youth Ministry.
Want to stay up-to-date on whats happening with ZYouth? Use the form below to provide us with your contact information. You will receive weekly reminders of what’s happening when, how you can plug in, changes in the schedule, and how you can serve.