Eighth Street offers numerous ways for the children and youth to connect with each other outside of Sunday mornings. These groups include:
Click here for a list of the children’s books that can be found in the 8th Street Library.
8th Street Youth Programs
Venture Club: Venture Club is for kids in grades 3-5 and meets every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month. Themeetings include fun activities (crafts, going to a corn maze), learning activities (learning about kids in other countries, visiting a food pantry) and service projects (cooking midweek meal and using funds for local charities).
Junior Youth: The Junior Youth group (grades 6-8) meets twice a month: on the first Wednesday of the month to discuss a particular topic; and then on a weekend for a service and/or a social gathering. The dynamics of the Wednesday evening gathering changes depending on the topic being covered,but it ends in gathering around a candle where each person is given an opportunity to share, followed by a prayer.
The Junior Youth plan and lead a worship service once a year. Service and social gatherings range from making school kits for Mennonite Central Committee to an afternoon of kickball to biking on the Pumpkin Vine trail. Attending Winter Retreat at Camp Friedenswald is a highlight for this group as well.
Senior Youth: The Senior Youth group meets once a month, for “Supper for Body and Soul.” This simple meal of soup and bread, which is prepared by members of the group, is shared in a setting that invites space to have specifically Christian conversation. Through ritual, prayer, and eating … space is made for each person in the group to respond to a question. In this setting, youth share hospitality and care for one another. In this setting, youth practice listening, witnessing and speaking of God’s activity.
In addition to this way of gathering, the group meets another time each month. Over the course of the school year, 4 of these meetings are for service and 4 of these meetings are for a social gathering. Attending Winter Retreat at Camp Friedenswald is a highlight for the group.
Each summer the Senior Youth spend a week together. The trips rotate between an away service trip, Wilderness Wind canoe trip, a local service trip, and a Mennonite Church USA conference. There is a four year rotation so all youth are able to experience each kind of trip throughout their high school experience at Eighth Street.
Friends for Living: Nurturing youth has always been an important mission for Eighth Street. As part of this mission, Eighth Street provides a mentoring program, Friends for Living, for youth from age 12 through high school. Youth are encouraged to choose an adult friend around their 12th birthday who will be available to provide friendship, spiritual direction and support. The congregation recognizes and blesses these mentor/mentee pairings.
The youth and their mentors are encouraged to meet once a month as time allows. In addition to this time together, the Committee provides 3-4 group activities throughout the year.