First Presbyterian and St. Luke’s to Collaborate on Joint Youth Group

Pictured L to R: (Rev. Luke Fodor, Rector of St. Luke’s, Rev. Bob Hagel, Pastor of First Presbyterian, Jessica Frederick, Minister for Children, Youth and Families at St. Luke’s and Peggy Hallberg Coordinator of Children, Youth and Family Communications, First Presbyterian)

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Jamestown’s First Presbyterian Church and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church will be collaborating together this fall to form a joint Youth Group. Any youth entering the 5th through 12th grade is invited to participate in this new program regardless of school district, faith background (or none at all), gender identity or sexual orientation.

“The mission of this new venture is to provide a safe community where youth feel unconditionally accepted and loved while incorporating Christ’s love and teaching into their daily lives.” Says the Rev. Bob Hagel, Pastor of First Presbyterian and one of the leaders of the new group. “We will offer a variety of ways to connect with each other and with God with weekly groups, camp retreats and summer trips. Youth will be invited to participate in worship leadership throughout the year and especially for our Annual Youth Sunday.”

The new group will be called the “SLY PYG”, combining the acronyms of the St. Luke’s Youth Group (SLY) and Presbyterian Youth Group (PYG). Weekly meetings will be held on Sundays during the school year from 5:30-7:30 pm. The evenings will begin with dinner at 5:30pm, followed by small groups based on age – grades 5&6, 7&8, and 9&10, with 11&12th graders helping lead as appropriate. The churches will alternate hosting months, beginning with First Presbyterian in September, followed by St. Luke’s in October.

“With similarities in theology and liturgy, it is natural the Episcopal and Presbyterian churches in Jamestown work together towards a common goal: connecting our youth to each other and caring adults, allowing them to thereby discover God’s love, empowering them to serve, and watching them grow.”_ says Jessica Frederick, Minister for Children, Youth and Families at St. Luke’s, also a co-leader of the new group. “Naturally, this partnership will also increase the number of youth and adult volunteers at youth group, which will allow us to strengthen and expand our programming.”

Additionally, as part of this partnership, high school youth and adults from both churches will also have the opportunity to participate in a joint mission trip to Puerto Rico during the 2019-20 program year.

This SLY PYG collaboration will kick off with a weekend retreat on August 23-34th, at the Camp at Findley in Findley Lake. Youth entering 5th through 12th grades are welcome to attend the retreat. Registrations are due as soon as possible.

The first joint SLY PYG weekly meeting will be held on Sunday, September 15th at 5:30pm at First Presbyterian Church, 509 Prendergast Avenue, Jamestown, NY 14701.

For more information about the weekly program or to register for the August retreat, contact the Rev. Bob Hagel at First Presbyterian (716-487-1984) or Jessica Frederick at St. Luke’s (716-483-6405).