Vestry Coordinator: Kelly Gable
Journey to Adulthood (J2A) Program
Grace Church offers opportunities for youth to explore and grow into their Christian identity through the Journey to Adulthood Program. Journey to Adulthood is a program of spiritual formation for 5th-12th grades. It uses Bible study, prayer, rites of passage, outreach ministries and both serious and playful activities.
Rite 13 (5th - 7th Grade)
Rite 13 is a two year program with a focus on celebrating the individuality of each young person and their creative potential. This class also introduces the J2A concepts of Self, Society, Spirituality, and Sexuality by exploring who we are, who God is, and how we can work and grow together with God in the world. Up to twice a year a Rite 13 liturgy is celebrated at the 9:00am service for those who have turned thirteen. The liturgy is a celebration of Manhood and Womanhood and a rite of passage, loosely based on the Jewish tradition of bar-mitzvah, from childhood to adulthood.
J2A (8th - 9th Grade)
The second two years of our youth program engages youth with the skills and critical thinking involved in adulthood. This class offers a more intense and personal study of Self, Society, Sexuality, and Spirituality, which supports a strong building of community. The J2A class is prepared for confirmation and pilgrimage, both of which help them to discover “who I am in my life’s walk with God.”
Episcopal Youth in Community - EYC (10th - 12th Grade)
EYC is a program that helps older teens discern and carry out a ministry within their church or in the larger community. Vocation and development of a personal credo are also emphasized. A final rite of passage sends them out into the world as ambassadors of Christ. The youth in this class plan a mission trip for themselves in addition to the parish-wide mission trips. EYC provides the students with a chance to continue exploring the deeper questions raised by growing up in today’s complicated world.
Sunday Evening Youth Fellowship
All youth (Rite-13, J2A, and EYC) are invited to Sunday Evening Fellowship on the first Sunday of the month during the academic year in Merrow Hall Auditorium. Our fellowship begins at 5:30pm with dinner, usually provided by a parish organization. Then each of the groups gathers for its own activities from 6:30pm-8pm. Other special events and fundraisers occur throughout the year, providing more opportunities for fellowship, stewardship, and fun.
Parish Youth Ministry of the Diocese of Virginia sponsors three Diocesan Youth Weekends at Shrine Mont (our diocesan retreat center) each year. Traditionally, eighth graders gather the last weekend in September; sixth and seventh graders in November; and ninth through twelfth graders gather in early April. Grace organizes a group of young people and chaperones for each of these weekends and subsidizes their participation.
Many of our young people also participate in summer camps at Shrine Mont. Registration for camp begins in January; check Grace’s publications, bulletin boards, and website, or visit the Diocese of Virginia for more details.
Other Youth Activities
Our youth groups also participate in parish-wide activities, such as the increasingly popular Grace Church Chili Bowl in late January. Traditionally our youth groups carve pumpkins before Halloween and make hoagies to sell on Super Bowl Sunday, too. October and June provide opportunities for the youth to participate and serve at the 9:00am Youth Sunday service. Individual youth groups sponsor and present the annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper, Easter Egg hunt, and organize the annual Parish Picnic in June, among many other activities.