Feeding Youth: Mind, Body & Soul
High school students gather on 2nd & 4th Fridays at 6:30 p.m. for a time of fellowship, fun, and faith. Friday programs include sharing a meal, community-building games, focused conversation about issues affecting teens, art projects, and prayer. Overnights at the Church as well as the annual high school retreat at Barbara C. Harris Camp in New Hampshire are highlights for teens. For OASIS conversation often leads to action in terms of engaging a community issue like bullying or violence, organizing for youth jobs, planning a mission trip, or making a difference with their annual Christmas gift drive (CPPK).
Acolytes are young people who assist the clergy during worship services. The duties of an acolyte are to ensure that the service runs smoothly. It is, in part, because of the acolyte that the congregation can experience the beauty of the service, hear the message in the sermon, receive the bread and the wine during Eucharist, and most importantly feel the presence of God.
All those in 6th-12th grades are invited to serve as acolytes. Training is provided.
OASIS Community Youth Group
Project Bill 135
Oasis teens created a house on the Common to raise community awareness about the plight of homeless teens and to encourage advocacy for House Bill 135, which would provide transitional housing and support services for homeless teens. Call your legislators to ask them to vote Yes on House Bill 135.
Youth in Action
St. Stephen’s teens take action in their community and make a difference. As part of the state-wide Youth Jobs Coalition, they organized for more youth jobs meeting with political and business leaders as well as providing leadership for the state-wide rally in February 2014. As part of the Raise Up Massachusetts Campaign, they collected signatures for petitions to raise the minimum wage. They organize and raise money for an annual gift drive called Christmas Presents Project for Kids (CPPK) providing gift bags for more than 350 under-served children in Lynn. They do fantastic fundraisers, such as hosting open-mic nights and making handmade art pieces, to support awesome causes like CPPK and mission trips. They have run workshops for Gordon College, the Office of Youth Ministries of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, and the Youth Jobs Coalition. In October 2013, as part of the BPEACE Campaign of the Diocese of Massachusetts, they led a workshop on dealing with violence during which teens created a Tree Mural that “holds the pain and fear of the violence in the lives and communities of teens but transforms it with images of hope, love, and life.” Currently the mural is on display at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Boston.
Youth on Mission
Members of St. Stephen’s youth groups are active locally and globally to build a better world. Two teens have traveled to El Salvador with the diocese’s Youth Leadership Academy to expand their understanding of another culture and connect with youth in a country very different from their own. Others traveled to Long Island to work with the people of a Native American reservation who were seriously affected by Hurricane Sandy. In addition to having a lot of fun, teens who went on these trips found them to be transformative experiences. Past mission trips have served communities in Biloxi, Mississippi, the Hudson Valley in NY (working with Rural Migrant Ministry teens), and New York City.
St. Stephen’s youth are deeply connected to the life of our Diocese. They have opportunities to attend the Barbara C. Harris Camp and Conference Center for retreats and summer camp programs. They are also encouraged to participate in other great diocesan programs, including Regional Youth Days, the Diocesan Youth Council, and the Youth Leadership Academy. More information.