What is EYC?
Youth ministry at St. John's serves youth in grades 6 through 12 through worship, service, giving, loving, learning, and praying! Our ministry is led by The Rev. Richard Clark, Associate Rector for Youth Ministry, and Rachel Shelton, our Youth Minister; but more importantly- a team 30+ volunteers who work to meet the needs of the youth who participate in our EYC program on a weekly basis.
The first element of our youth program is the sense of community and Christian fellowship created in our weekly EYC meetings. While much of our time together is spent in fun and laughter, we also create a nurturing environment in which our youth learn to share and express the love of Christ to one another. We extend our Christian fellowship to any youth, regardless of their denomination, so that all who come may feel welcome and see Christ in action. We prioritize fellowship and relationships between students by hosting fun events, going on retreats, and bringing youth outside of their comfort zones. We also value leader/student relationships so that youth feel as though they have an adult that they trust + can help guide them on their faith journey, even beyond their senior year!
The second element of our youth program is the spiritual development of the individual through worship, service, Bible study, and Christian education. Our nightly programming offers a time of devotion, a lesson, and response in small groups. Our youth serve St. John’s as acolytes, chalice bearers, members of the choir and bell choir, youth leaders in diocesan events, and as delegates to the diocesan convention. Youth also serve as Junior Advisors, on our Design Teams, The Vestry of St. John's, and on our Youth Committee as well. Through these activities, students have the opportunity to experience God’s call and love in their own lives.
“Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young; be an example to all believers in what you teach, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12
The final element of our youth program is the service and mission work that our youth do locally, nationally, and even internationally. From serving our local church, people in our community, our state, and even our annual Fill the Bowl Event where last year we raised over 30,000 dollars to feed children in Tanzania through Thrive Global, formerly The Lunch Project. Our students recognize the needs of others and always jump at the opportunity to help out where they can (while having a lot of fun along the way!)
A letter from RACHEL
Wow! Gearing up for another year together! I want to start out by saying thank you to everyone who makes this ministry possible- we would not be able to make EYC happen without the help from our volunteers + parents, who give, serve, drive, listen and pray. This summer has been full of planning for what I expect to be an amazing semester together. At the conclusion of the spring semester, the beach trip, I finally saw the fruit of our labors during the year. Students were branching out beyond their typical friend-groups, students were bonding with their advisors on new levels, and asking deeper questions than I have heard all year. As you all know, we have a wonderful group of students, full of energy + great ideas that should be celebrated. EYC is a place for them to be safe, learn about themselves and their faith, and to grow up knowing that they have people in their corner who support them, no matter what. That is why we do what we do.
As someone who grew up in the Church and attended youth group all of my life, I thought that I was comfortable in who I was and who Jesus is but when you get to college + your young adult life (and I'm sure beyond) you rely so heavily on what you were taught in places like youth groups and you rely on those people who helped you along the way! That is why I do what I do, because I know what others did for me. I also know what Jesus did for me and when you know that, there's no other response but to worship. We hope to give students a space to do so, on their level. Always encouraging them to ask questions, dive deeper, press in, serve others, get to know those around them, and have a little fun along the way!
Rachel Shelton, Youth Minister
A letter from RICH
This Fall begins another full and exciting year at St. John's EYC. EYC stands for Episcopal Youth Community. SJEYC ’22-23 offers more fun and opportunities for us to grow as a beloved community of youth and adults who work with youth, living and reflecting our Christian hope and life together in Charlotte.
Our understanding of God’s love for us, as well as our love of God and each other, begins to blossom in September, grows tall during Fall, matures warmly during Winter, and bears lasting fruit in our lives during Spring as school winds out and Summer begins. Youth do not need to be a member of St. John’s or be an Episcopalian to attend EYC, so invite classmates and friends who want to have fun and be part of a faith community with fellowship, learning, and Christian love. Our first Fall Sunday of EYC will be Sunday, September 18 at 6PM.
Great things are going to happen at SJEYC '22-23...so come as y'all are! It's so much fun being together, enga