Youth ministry has been a thriving part of our church for many years. Coming alongside parents to instill the Gospel, fostering spiritual growth and development and building both peer and mentor relationships with children, youth and teens are the main focuses of our youth ministry. We also desire for youth to build strong Christian friendships among peers to encourage and uphold one another while they grow from children into young adults.
To facilitate spiritual growth and development and guide youth to knowing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, we provide a variety of opportunities including youth groups, Sunday School, service opportunities, retreats, camps, Vacation Bible School and special events. Pete Gawron, our Director of Family and Youth Ministries, brings great enthusiasm and integrity to our youth as he oversees each of these programs, working alongside dedicated volunteers.
Youth groups are a way for students to build relationships with peers, while being led by older mature Christians. In this relaxed atmosphere students engage in Bible discussions, games, activities and can just have fun with others around their age! Our groups consist of students from a variety of local school districts including, but not limited to, Lancaster, Depew, Iroquois, Alden, Akron, Clarence, and Hamburg, as well as some students that are home-schooled. Youth are welcome to come at any time! Everyone student can find a place at youth group.
Junior and Senior High Youth Group (7th-12th Grade)
Sunday Evenings, 7-8:30pm; September 9th - June 16th@ The Potter's House; 2nd floorCoordinator: Pete Gawron
Our Junior and Senior High youth group is a dynamic group of 7th-12th grade students that gather weekly to grow in their faith. Weekly meetings include intriguing Bible discussions, encouraging prayer, exciting games, and time to connect with other teens. Special events, service opportunities, evenings of worship through music, off-site activities, and retreats add to the variety of events throughout the year and can be found on our events page. Download a copy of the fall schedule here.
This year Bible discusions will focus on John 13-17, the time Jesus spent with his disciples in the upper room in the hours leading up to his death. It is in this room that Jesus gives the Holy Spirit to his disciples and also where he teaches them some of the greatest truths. Teenagers will be guided to discover the rich treasures these chapeters have to offer and how to put them into practice in their daily lives.
The Junior and Senior High leadership team includes both mature young adults as well as more seasoned Christians. These adults have a love for working with and encouraging teens to grow in their faith.
3rd-6th Grade Youth Group
Sunday Evenings, 7-8:30pm; September 9th - June 16th@ Lancaster Presbyterian Church; Room 114-115Coordinator: Kelly Harty
Our 3rd-6th grade youth group is a fun place for children to develop a relationship with God. This eager group of students gather weekly to participate in active Bible lessons, prayer time, and energetic games. Crafts, music and special activities interspursed throughout the year keep the group fresh and exciting for all involved. An annual spring retreat is held each year and allows the children a chance to grow their faith in a unique way. Details about special events can be found on our events page.
This school year children will dig into 1 Corinthians 13, exploring the Biblical components of love. They will learn how love is patient, kind, and not easily angered. That love is not envious or boastful, nor is it rude or self-seeking. Student will work to better undertand that love does not keep a record of wrongs and that love rejoices in the truth.
The young adults that lead this group are full of energy and excitement and have many years sharing the love of Christ with children.
Service and Unique Opportunities of Youth
Dates, times and locations of events vary throughout the year
Special retreats, camps and service opportunities throughout the year allow our youth to serve God and strengethen their faith in unique ways.
Middle and High School students have the opportunity to serve God by serving others on our annual Youth Missions Trip. The past few years youth have traveled serve others in one of our nations poorest counties, located in Kentucky. Our 2019 trip is TBD. Our youth leaders also work to get our youth serving our local community of Lancaster/Depew and the surrounding towns as well as in the city of Buffalo through ministries such as Good Neighbors Health Care and the Buffalo City Mission. Students in 7th-12th grade also have the opportunity to serve in various church ministries alongside adults in positions such as childcare assistant, usher, greeter, and Vacation Bible School assistant.
Our yearly Summer Youth Camp is a highlight of the year for many youth that participate. The camp offers a variety of programming for youth that have completed 3rd-8th grades and eligible 9th-12th grade youth can volunteer to be assistant staff members, working with adult staff to allow all involved to grow in relationship with Christ. Head over to our camp page for more details!
Retreats are great opportunities for spiritual growth as well as a time for youth to connect with one another away from every day life. Middle and High school youth generally have the opportunity to attend both winter and spring weekend retreats and 3rd-6th grade youth have a weekend retreat available as well. Students in our Confirmation Class have the opporutnity to participate in a weekend wilderness canoe trip to Algonquin Park in Canada each summer. Additional Christian learning opportunities for all youth include Sunday School (all grades) and Vacation Bible School (preschool - 6th grade).
Sunday school has been an active part of Lancaster Presbyterian Church for many years. It is our goal to raise children to know the Lord and for each student that attends to come to know Jesus as his or her personal Savior. Sunday is a chance to grow your Biblical knowledge in a classroom setting. We have weekly Sunday morning classes for infants through adults and every age in between! Small age-level classes teach Biblical basics as well as encouage students to deepen their personal relationship with God. A full description of our Sunday School program will be available soon.
Confirmation Class is a in-depth class for youth that are serious about making a committment to declaring God as personal Savior and a serious committment to learn and study the Word of God. Those that participate in this intense class work toward understanding the fundementals of the Christian faith and those specific to evangelical presbyterian beliefs. Most youth take this class in early high school. Students are guided weekly, during the Sunday School hour, by mature Christian teachers, Ed and Diane Carlsen, as well as by our pastor, director of family and youth ministiries, and other elders. Students invovled in this class work to write a declaration of faith that is presented to our Session each Spring and are encouraged to participate in service opportunities throughout the church under the mentorship of various church leaders. The end of Confirmation Class is celebrated in June in a special Sunday service.
Summer Youth Camp
Our annual Summer Youth Camp is an week-long overnight camp sponsored and staffed by Lancaster Presbyterian Church. The week is a chance for youth to grow closer to God and develop life-long Christian friendships with peers and mentor oportunities with older Christians. This annual event is open to youth that have completed 3rd-6th grade. More details can be found our our camp page by clicking here.
Vacation Bible School
Vacation Bible School is a week-long event on the church campus for children in preschool and elementary school. Children have the opportunity to learn about Jesus through interactive lessons, games, memory verse activites, songs, and crafts. For a full description of our Vacation Bible School program click here.