Middle School

Our goal is to provide an open atmosphere where students can know that they matter. Where students can be honest, open, heard, and accepted. We not only want to teach the way of Jesus to our young people, we want to show them what it looks like in their world with support, care and encouragement.

 

 

 

Youth News

Message from Jeff:

 

Middle School Mission Trip 2017

We're glad so many of you took advantage of the opportunity to follow along with us on Facebook and the church's new Instagram account during our recent mission trip to Santa Cruz during spring break. If you weren't able to follow along, you missed a lot.

It's hard to put into written words our experience, if for no other reason that we did different things. While some of us were serving around 100 meals to the homeless alongside our Catholic sisters and brothers, others were working a farm which was run by homeless folks at the Homeless Garden Project. We also worked with seniors and children at other times.

But sometimes our yearning to provide for others lavishly can take on the comical. When the other half of our group arrived at the Boys and Girls Club with 30 pizzas measuring 22" apiece, people asked why so much? Well, if you went to a pizza party in heaven, they're not going to cut you off at one slice?

So while we can't be there everyday for the people we met, we can provide a little slice of abundant life. We live humbly and give lavishly because that's the example Christ left for us. Special thanks to Sharon Terrill and Judi and Mark Sachs for living that life with us for the week. Their example and witness to Santa Cruz and our young people are what make it all possible. Our church is truly grateful for them.

Check out our video from our trip!

                                      

 

Parents Corner - Middle School

Middle school can be the most stressful and yet thrilling stage of a young person's journey to adulthood. Middle schoolers are growing in so many ways and are being given new opportunities for both success and trouble. There are 2 things we value that help inform all of what we do as church with middle schoolers:

 

Relationships - We know that much of what is taught in church can be ambiguous. That's why it is so important for us to have well-equipped and screened volunteer adult leaders who spend time with middle schoolers in their world.  So while we offer strong programs on Sunday mornings and at other times, what drives our focus is the time we get to spend with middle schoolers over a burger and fries, at a movie, or simply cheering them on at the events that they're involved in. We not only want to teach the way of Jesus to our young people, we want to show them what it looks like in their world with support, care, and encouragement.

 

Service - We think middle schoolers have gifts and passions that should be used in the church and the community. Our middle schoolers do everything from write material for our worship services that create whole interactive festivals to commemorate certain parts of the year. With so much creativity and energy our middle schoolers are very much an integral part of the entire worshipping community of Westminster.  They are also involved in the community through various service projects that take place throughout the year and an annual Spring Break mission trip.
Project Based Lessons

We understand that not every family is able to attend Westminster on a consistent basis and that sometimes theology can feel impractical in today's world. Out of this came a new way of doing Sunday School.  Project Based Sunday School doesn't use any set curriculum but rather focuses on various projects with practical end goals grounded in Christian thinking. Here are some examples upcoming for 2017.

 

 

Toro! The Bullying Project

We will hear from many different people who have experienced bullying in their life and how faith played a role in their reactions. Each wee a guest will share their experiences with bullying based on their ethnicity, gender, religion, race, and more. In partnership with the Islamic Center of Mill Valley, we will have a field trip to hear Zahra Billoo of CAIR before an inman will visit us to continue the dialogue. Kol Shofar is also coming this spring to help us understand anti-semitism better.

Goal: By the end of our project, each of our students will collaboratively create a 3-step plan for what to do if they are being bullied, witness it, or are accused of it.
Strangers in a Strange Land - Understanding and Responding to Immigration Policy

We believe the best way to gain an appreciation of the immigrant experience is to seek to empathize with it while learning about the policies we've created around it. We will hear from a couple of our own high schoolers that participated in our recent BorderLinks (www.borderlinks.org) trip and also from a couple in our very own church who immigrated here. We will survey the multiple experiences of travelers, immigrants, and strangers in strange lands that the Bible tells. And, we'll also go on a couple shopping trips to purchase items to fill some backpacks for recently released refugees in partnership with Centro Legal de la Raza.

Goal:  Write out two laws or policies you were not aware of involving immigration policies around the world. With friends, fill a backpack with necessary supplies for a refugee in need.
Serving Others - Middle School
Service projects for middle schoolers take place throughout the year and are invited to participate in an annual Spring Break mission trip.

 

Parents Night Out: Friday, March 24 (4:30pm - 11:00pm) no cost; food provided for youth, 6th-12th graders

Our youth group is offering free child care (6month - 5th grade) and a chance for parents to take a night off. The preschool age through 2nd grade will be cared for by our middle schoolers, 3rd - 5th grade kids will be cared for by our high schoolers, and babies will be a mix depending on who we have. Your kids will facilitate games, crafts, and more to give these children a fun-filled evening. The childcare program is from 5:00pm - 8:00pm. After parents have picked up their small children, our youth are welcome to stay later to connect with each other and have some fun together. Work hard, play hard right? Please RSVP to:  so we know how many children we can accommodate.

Santa Cruz Mission Trip for 6th through 8th graders: Tuesday, April 11 - Saturday, April 15 (Cost: $250)

This is definitely the thing you don't want to miss. Mission trips are great opportunities for our youth to connect with caring adult leaders and each other while learning and growing in their own self. We will be serving in a variety of ways in Santa Cruz. So whether your child is passionate about the poor, environment, elderly, or children, there is a place for them. We'll also be taking in some sights and enjoying life together in the real "Surf City USA." There are going to be many memories made. Please RSVP to: .

Middle School Mission Trip Flyer 2017

Homeless Garden Project Volunteer Form