Youth at Bedford United are committed, passionate, talented, idealistic and deeply connected to God. BUC seeks to provide safe, Spirit-filled spaces for youth to encounter the Holy One in creation, society, volunteer leaders, other youth and in themselves. The church provides a very different kind of "program" for youth than schools or sports clubs. Youth long for holiness. The word holy means "separate from" and indeed to be rooted in the teachings of Jesus and the way of God places one outside the secular way of life. If youth commit themselves to BUC they may develop special friendships that allow them to be their true selves. These friendships provide a feeling of belonging and from there the confidence to discern God’s will for our work in the world. Following are some of the ways BUC tries to create this sacred space:
Sundays from 3:10 – 5:00 p.m. on the 4th floor
This is the week to week gathering of youth at BUC. Teens in grade 7 – grade 12 gather weekly to explore global justice issues, discuss current events, play games, make music, eat snacks, have sleepovers, go on fieldtrips, organize fundraising projects and do Bible study. The junior and senior high students are together for prayer and singing before being separated for the main activity.
The annual Teens United Junior “Bread of Life” retreat will be Friday February 3 – Saturday February 4, 2012.
The Teens United Senior “Spirit Quest” retreat will be Friday March 2 – Sunday March 4, 2012.
Youth Confirmation Group
Sundays from 3:10 – 5:00 p.m. on the 4th floor from January 15, 2012 until March 25, 2012 (no meetings will be held on Sunday March 11.)
Confirmation Sunday is April 17 and all youth must attend 9 & 11 services.
Youth in grades 9 and up are invited to explore the baptismal vows taken on their behalf by their parents when they were originally baptized and move towards making a powerful faith statement of their own in confirmation. Youth who have not been baptized are welcome and will be baptized at the confirmation service. These special youth join Teens United for the duration of their program. Occasionally they will meet separately to focus more closely on their confirmation process.
Youth who hope to be confirmed may only miss one meeting. If two are missed they cannot be confirmed.
The Halifax GO Project
July 1 – July 12, 2012
Youth in grade 9 to age 18 and their leaders will have the opportunity to serve the communities of Halifax in the summer of 2012. While practicing the gift of discernment, serve in their own community to better understand the dynamics of local poverty, homelessness and social outreach.
Unique youth require unique programs. The vision of the GO project stems back as far as eight years, when experiences of youth and their leaders, desiring hands on experiences of mission and outreach, were confronted with the reality that programming that matched their understanding of Christ, inclusion of all, acceptance of difference and a questioning atmosphere did not exist.
This is a national United Church of Canada ministry. For more info visit www.thegoproject.ca.
Youth Gambia Project
Over March Break of 2013 a delegation of youth and their leaders will travel to the Gambia, Africa to have a life-changing cultural experience and an opportunity to learn first-hand from the Peer Health Education program offered to Gambians by the Nova Scotia Gambia Association. The youth experience a year of spiritual reflection, cultural sensitivity training, team building, and fundraising. It is highly likely that a mandatory part of the experience will be to attend the Halifax GO Project from July 1 – 12, 2012.
As of March 1, 2012 the team of youth and adults has been formed and no new members may join. The next delegation will be on March Break of 2016.
Youth After High School
After high school many youth lose touch with their church but not necessarily their faith. In late summer, over Christmas break and in May the church will gather those youth and check-in around their lives, spiritual needs, hopes, dreams and learnings since leaving high school. Check the website for dates.
Volunteer Youth Ministry Team
The following devoted, caring adults, under the coordination and support of Youth Minister Rick Gunn, provide program development, leadership and pastoral care to youth at BUC: