Student Opportunities

Youth Council 

What is the Youth Council?
The Youth Council is a small group of students who represent the larger youth group of First-Centenary United Methodist Church. They are the body that gives input as to what events and/or programs our youth group creates or participates in. They give input on the structure of our Student Ministry, they help determine meeting times & locations, as well as participate in behind-the-scenes ministry stuff like branding and marketing our student ministry. 
Being a member of the Youth Council requires a large commitment (we meet every other week) but it also teaches students important leadership skills (great thing to put on résumés or college applications). More importantly, it gives students a chance to be creative and really think through what it means to reach their friends with the gospel of Jesus Christ!

How is it structured?
The Youth Council is comprised of 10 students (preferably 8 High School students and 2 Middle School students). There are two titled positions on the Youth Council: President and Vice President. These titles come with specific responsibilities. The remaining 8 positions are at-large members or High School Representatives and/or Middle School Representatives. Students filling these positions represent the youth group at large.
The positions are filled by nominations from members of the youth group. In other words, the students nominate other students to serve on the Youth Council. Then the nominees are elected to the Youth Council and to specific positions. The nominations & subsequent elections are held at the beginning of each school year.

Why have a Youth Council?
The purpose of the Youth Council is to give students ownership of the youth group. Students will have fun and enjoy the camaraderie of a small group but they will also learn and develop leadership skills and the value of teamwork as they work together to accomplish goals and objectives.

Should I join?
If you are a student who is interested in taking on a leadership role in your youth group then please consider signing up! Here is what we are looking for in perspective Youth Council members:
  • Relationship with Jesus Christ (We want students who are committed to Jesus Christ.)
  • Desire (Obviously, we want students who actually want to do it.) 
  • Availability (We need students who are able to come to two meetings per month.)
  • Permission (We want students to have their parents blessing while participating in the Youth Council. Especially, if the parents are the ones who have to drive the students to the meetings.) 
  • Commitment (We want students who are committed to their church and to their youth group and they show it by attending on a regular basis.)

Special Retreat!
As if serving on the Youth Council wasn’t rewarding enough: The Youth Council is also treated to their very own Youth Council Retreat. We stay in luxury cabins in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is both a planning and renewal time for those who serve on the Youth Council.

Interested?
If this interests you then make sure you meet the above criteria and then submit your name for consideration in early August.

Confirmation

What is Confirmation?
Confirmation is a special time to begin a journey of faith that nurtures and challenges preteens to think about the nature of God, the life of Christ and learn about United Methodist beliefs. The classes are offered annually to youth, 6th grade and above.  
Although we teach "Confirmation" curriculum year round, there is a special intensive 19 week course and a weekend retreat designed to solidify the Confirmation experience. The confirmation classes offer each student an opportunity to confirm their baptism and join the church as full members. 

Confirmation Weekend Retreat
Lake JunaluskaConfirmation also includes an incredible weekend retreat to Lake Junaluska, North Carolina (which is the premiere retreat center for the entire United Methodist Church). It is a beautiful place with lots of area attractions, like mini golf, shuffleboard, and the “World Methodist Council Museum”.  These retreats are usually held in April or May.
There will be lots of free time for the students to have fun.  However, we will also have four of our eighteen sessions during the retreat.

19 Sessions
(All sessions meet at 9:30am on Sunday mornings beginning in February.)
1.  Introduction will tell us about the journey ahead and who will be going on that journey with us. 
2.  Creation looks at God the Father and Creator, the implications of our being created in God’s image, and the implications of all things being God’s handiwork.
3.  Sin explores how God’s good Creation was tainted by sin and brokenness and how sin is present in the world today.
4. Redemption looks at God the Son and Redeemer and how God is always doing the work of redeeming a broken world.
5. Holy Spirit looks at God the Holy Spirit and Sustainer and the movement of the Holy Spirit through Scripture and the history of the church and into our lives today.
6. Church tells the story of Christ’s body, the church, and discusses what it means to be part of the universal church, The United Methodist Church, and a local congregation.
7. New Creation looks at how individuals and all of creation are and will be made new in Christ.
8. Way of Discipleship looks to devotion, worship, compassion, and justice as a road map for Christian living.
9. Way of Salvation explores the way of salvation in the United Methodist tradition - prevenient grace, justifying grace, and sanctifying grace.
10. Wesleyan Quadrilateral introduces the four Wesleyan tools of discernment, as identified by Albert Outler - Scripture, tradition, experience, and reason.
11. Worship discusses the who, why, how, where, and with whom of worship.
12. Living a Holy Life explores holiness, sanctification, and Christian perfection. 
13. Sacraments takes a close look at Baptism and Holy Communion.
14. Renounce, Reject, Repent: Do you renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness, reject the evil powers of this world, and repent of your sin?
15. Accept: Do you accept the freedom and power God gives you to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves?
16. Confess: Do you confess Jesus Christ as your Savior, put your whole trust in his grace, and promise to serve him as your Lord, in union with the church which Christ has opened to people of all ages, nations, and races?
17. I Believe (The Creeds) focuses on the Apostles’ Creed and assorted other statements of faith.
18. P.P.G.S.W.: As members of this congregation, will you faithfully participate in its ministries by your prayers, your presence, your gifts, your service, and your witness?
Going Forth: May the God of all grace, who has called us to eternal glory in Christ, establish you and strengthen you by the power of the Holy Spirit, that you may live in grace and peace.

Youth Missions

Local 

Our students are involved in random, spontaneous mission opportunities throughtout the year. In addition to participating in the church's outreach projects (like the backyard missions) our youth also have ongoing opportunities to serve the community. 
To see pictures of past mission trips please visit our Flickr page.


National

Our youth have a major mission trip opportunity every summer.  Most summers, there is a mission trip that takes our students somewhere within the continental United States. Past national mission trips have taken us to New Orleans, Chicago, the Applachian Mountains, and North Carolina.
In the summer of 2019, our youth traveled to Conway, SC to build a wheelchair ramp for an elderly lady whose porch was weakened by Hurricane Florence. 
To see pictures of past mission trips please visit our Flickr page.

International

Every three to four years our youth group takes a special, extra big mission trip outside of our country's borders. These are life changing adventures that give our students perspective on the world at large and their own relative wealth.  Past international trips have been to Guatemala, Nicaraga, the Bahamas, Costa Rica, and, most recently, Romania.
To see pictures of past mission trips please visit our Flickr page.