Youth Blog — September 6, 2017

I hope everyone had a restful Labor Day weekend! We’re looking forward to the start of the Youth Program Year, which has been posted in a schedule on the Youth Page of the St. Michael’s website. Available here:  Youth Formation 2017-2018 (13 downloads)

The first event on the list will be a “welcome back” meeting to returning and newly of-age youth members, THIS SUNDAY, 9/10 from 2:00-4:00 PM. Returners, please bring your favorite story or memory from the Mission Trip. Newcomers bring your questions about the trip and the outlook for the fall for the youth of St. Michael’s.

This year’s Mission Trip to Blackfoot Idaho was easily one of the best trips we’ve ever had. We spent four days running a vacation bible school and fixing up the Lillian Vallely Elementary School. This year we had the opportunity to work in the Blackfoot Community Pantry where we served around 200 people food for the week! More than ever this  year, I think our youth felt the impact of our work in the community we visited and in their own hearts.

During the many reflection periods throughout the trip, I heard countless comments about how surprised they all were to have so quickly built relationships with the Lillian Vallely School kids. Some of the veterans spoke to how much their experience on the Mission Trips had changed over the years and how it continues to be such a deeply formative part of their lives.

We will be putting together a more in-depth presentation for the rest of the congregation where our youth will share their stories. I think I can speak for Katherine+ and the other chaperones when I say that our church was so wonderfully represented by these young people during that week in July.

I look forward to seeing all of you soon!

—Kin Kang, Youth Missioner [ Email ]


Youth Blog — Summer 2017

Our youth is gearing up for our 3rd mission trip to Blackfoot, ID to host vacation bible school at the Lillian Vallely School. This trip represents the biggest service effort for our group and gives our youth a week-long opportunity to live out the mission of our church and of our faith. When working with all of the younger kids that come to VBS, our youth gets to act as mentors, coaches, and caregivers.

I’m especially excited for this year’s trip because we have more St. Michael’s youth traveling on the trip than we’ve ever had with 16 missioners! Many of the youth are bringing friends from outside the congregation who will be coming on the trip for the first time. Our roster: Mikaela, Abigail, Rosie, Julia, Natalie, Kathleen, Tirzah, Alli, Dakota, Jenny, Jenny’s 2 friends, Nathan, Mike V, Louis, and Amelia. Our fearless chaperones are Dana Matthews, Mike Kang, Amy Barrett, and Melanie Violette. This year we are lucky to have Katherine+ join us as well to help guide the youth in their spiritual development.

So far we have had two big planning meetings where the youth has determined their themes, stories, crafts, and activities for each day. This year, we decided to start with the story of creation, then Noah’s Ark, then David and Goliath, and finally the Good Samaritan. By the end of the week, we hope to teach the kids how to trust in God’s power and love and to share that with others to strengthen and heal. We will have fun crafts relating to each story and physical activities to share as well.

After VBS is over, we’ll help clean up the school and prepare it for the coming school year. This year we’re looking forward to learning more about the Shoshone and Bannock tribes on the Fort Hall Indian reservation from a guest speaker and are hoping to attend a community potluck midweek. We’ll be sure to take plenty of pictures to bring back to the congregation!

Our trek begins on 7/16 with a 12 hour drive in some rented vehicles to Lava Hot Springs, ID where we’ll be staying together. Our trip is all self-funded with the support from all of you at St. Michael’s during our Salmon Days Fundraiser event and the Bingo Night fundraiser. Thank you all for your support!

Looking ahead, check out the 2017-2018 youth program calendar Youth Formation 2017-2018 (13 downloads) so that you can block off the dates for our events in the fall and for next year’s mission trip!

—Kin Kang, Youth Missioner [ Email ]

Youth Blog — May 2017

Spring has officially sprung! We were blessed with a beautiful Easter service, perfect weather, and a couple additions to the Church for another memorable Resurrection Day at St. Michael’s. I hope you all enjoyed it with your family and friends. For all newcomers to the Church with middle and high school aged youth in your families, please look out for upcoming Youth events at St. Michael’s. If you’re not already on it, I’d be happy to get you added to our mailing list, and to get to know you all after the service or during the week. My contact information is available below.

Keep an eye out for a movie night on June 4th at 5:30 PM for newcomers, and new middle-schoolers joining the group!

The capstone event that our youth program does is our annual Mission Trip to Blackfoot, Idaho. I wanted to reach out about some important dates for the Mission Trip this summer. Just a reminder, the trip is 7/16 – 7/21, but before that:

  • 4/30 – Noon | Commitment Day: Planning is much easier with a firm headcount. Please let me know if you will be going on the mission by the end of this week (5/2). We will meet after church to go over details of this year’s trip. Link to Liability Waiver and Release (required for all youth and adults going on the mission trip). Chaperones will be finalized this week as well.
  • Week of 5/7 | Chaperone Meeting: We’ll go over meal planning, transportation planning, and general expectations. We can choose a weeknight that works best for everyone.
  • 5/21 – Noon | 1st Planning Meeting: With everyone (kids & parents) we’ll break into teams for leading each day of VBS. We’ll exchange contact information and start getting our groups’ ideas together.
  • 6/11 – Noon | 2nd Planning Meeting: Time to touch base on the ideas for VBS themes. Each team will have 1-2 themes to present to the group with ideas for stories, crafts, and activities to go with their theme.
  • 7/9 – Noon | Final Planning Meeting: Here we will want to have our plans finalized. We should try to get all of our craft supplies into the Bethany house so we can easily load it up the following week when we leave.

This may seem like a lot, but with calendars filling up I wanted to make sure people had ample opportunities to get together to plan out our trip. Let me know if you have any questions or concerns as we get ready to go back to Blackfoot!

—Kin Kang, Youth MissionerEmail ]

In September 2015, St. Michael’s hired Mr. Kin Kang as Youth Missioner. Kin is responsible for planting, growing, and cultivating an active, vibrant, holistic, faith-focused program for youth ages 11 through 18. Contact Kin here.

The centerpiece of the teens’ year is an annual summer mission trip to the Lillian Vallely School in Blackfoot, Idaho, where they offer Vacation Bible School for kids. Between their detailed planning for the program, their careful preparation of crafts and games, and the hugs and laughter exchanged with the children they visit, lifelong memories are made. Each December St. Michael’s teens organize a Christmas Giving Tree for the whole parish. Another favorite service project is organizing a Rake & Run for parishioners who find themselves needing a little extra help with yard work.

Throughout the year the youth serve as lectors and acolytes in worship. Like teens everywhere, they also relish their snow days at Snoqualmie Pass, overnights on Puget Sound, pizza feeds, boating, and barbecues.

For the peace of mind of parents, the backgrounds of all advisors, no matter how loved and trusted they are in the parish, are screened prior to working with our teens.