…sharing the love of Christ with Athens and the world!

Big Events

All “Big Events” are ultimately about drawing youth closer to one another and to God.

Ski Trip (January)

Each year, our youth group goes on a weekend ski retreat. Past years have included trips to Winterplace, WV and Beech Mountain Ski Resort in North Carolina. In between hours of adventures on the slopes, we also gather for youth-led small group discussions about faith. The ski trip is open to both middle and high school students.

Frozen Chosen Cup (February)

Every year our youth group hosts the annual Frozen Chosen Cup, a friendly competition between local Presbyterian youth groups. Events include tests of Bible knowledge, teamwork, singing ability, agility and overall sportsmanship. 2014 was inspired by the Disney movie Frozen. Check out more pictures from our exciting inaugural event. 2015 saw an even larger crowd of youth as we competed in Minute To Win It themed games! Check out more pictures from this fast-paced event.

Youth Sunday (April)

Youth Sunday is a wonderful opportunity for our youth to share with the congregation their faith journeys. On this inspiring day, middle and high school students plan and lead both the 8:45 and 11:00am worship services. Worship roles include leading corporate prayer, reading or acting out Bible verses, ushering, greeting, praying, leading the children’s message, speaking from the pulpit and offering musical talents. The Celebration Singers also lead the congregation as the choir for both services.

Montreat (June)

What year would be complete without a week in the “thin place”?!  Montreat is located in Black Mountain, NC, just outside of Asheville. The Montreat Youth Conference is a truly unique experience for our youth to worship God and study the Bible surrounded by youth from across the region that will support you in your journey. Each day, there is a Keynote address, small group time, recreation and worship. During free time, youth can explore the beautiful campus, go rock hopping, sit by Lake Susan, and hang out with new and old friends. Montreat is open to rising 9th grader through recent graduates. College students may attend and serve on Work Crew if space allows. For more information about the Montreat Youth Conference, visit www.montreat.org. Click this link to see and hear the youth’s Reflections from the 2016 Montreat Trip Youth Conference.

Mission Trip (Summer)

During the Summer our church takes a break from Sunday School and combines into one 10:00 a.m. worship service. Youth group and Celebration Singers do not meet as families enjoy beach vacations and summer camps. Instead, we have opportunities for our youth to gather for mission trips and youth conferences; these retreats create strong memories to carry us into the new year.

This year we are serving locally. We decided to go on a rotation of mission trips: local (2014) – regional (2015) – national (2016) – local (2017) – international (2018), recognizing that there are needs both in our backyard and across the ocean. We also want to be good stewards of our funds, and by taking a year to serve locally, we can save money for our trip to Honduras next year! Even though we are going to be close, I hope we will still have a great turn out…the need is great and many hands make for light work.

Middle School Mission Trip – Athens, GA May 30-June 2

Our middle school youth (rising 6th through completed 8th) are invited to a week of service here in Athens. We’ll meet from 8:30 a.m.-7:00 p.m., with a lock-in on Friday, June 2nd! During the morning, youth will serve as leaders with Vacation Bible School. We’ll have lunch together in the PIT, then go out into the community for more service opportunities based on the Call in Matthew 25.

High School Mission Trip – Atlanta, GA June 9-11

I am excited to announce that we have planned an intergenerational mission trip this summer to DOOR Atlanta! While many of us have been to Atlanta for Braves games or shopping, have you stopped to think about the neighbors who are standing on the side of the road asking for money? What is their story? How can we help? During this weekend, we’ll serve the homeless community of Atlanta, visit the King Center and explore how we might take some of the lessons back to Athens to impact that same community here. We’ll depart on Friday afternoon and return Sunday night.

HS Youth Conference – Montreat, NC July 23-29          

Our final trip of the summer is the annual Montreat Youth Conference (MYC)! I am thrilled to let you know that we have reserved the Georgia Lodge for Week 5. Georgia Lodge is the most centrally located place there – right across from Anderson Auditorium and down the street from Assembly Inn. We are switching weeks, with hopes that some who attend camps in June can join us. Also, this week is filled with groups from all over the U.S., not just GA and FL! MYC is open to rising 9th graders through completed high school. The theme this year is, “A Missing Peace.” Activities will include morning energizers, music, keynote, small group meetings, afternoon recreation activities, and evening worship. Cost $250.

To RSVP please contact Kim Ness, Director of Youth Ministries, at kness@firstpresathens.org.

Please note: scholarships are available, just call Kim. The church subsidizes the cost of our trips to try to keep the costs down and we are looking into a fundraiser to help as well!

2016: National

Our mission trip in July, 2016 tool us to Philadelphia, PA and the amazing outreach of Broad Street Ministry. The Youth Initiative provides opportunities for youth to engage their faith in educational, motivating, and provocative service experiences related to prevalent social justice issues. Alongside youth from other states, identified and confronted stereotypes of the city, of urban poverty, and of marginalized communities. Then, we identified where we are called to make our impact. Click this link to see and hear the youth’s Reflections from the 2016 Mission Trip.

2015: Regional

In 2015, we partnered with Group Mission for a weeklong mission trip to Southern Pines, NC.  Working alongside hundreds of other youth from around the country, we painted houses, built wheelchair ramps, completed home repair projects, and spent time in fellowship with our homeowners. God-sightings abounded as we grew in our personal faith and expanded our faith community.

2014: Local
In 2014, we stayed close to home, responding to needs in our own backyard. The Summer of Service included hours spent under the hot sun at the Salvation Army community garden; corralling children through the magical Weird Animals of Vacation Bible School; and, cleaning/weeding at Children’s First. In addition, we collected school supplies for a local Tutoring program and compiled hygiene bags for the Athens Nurses Clinic.

30 Hour Famine (November)

The 30 Hour Famine gives students a chance to help overcome hunger — by going without food so others don’t have to. During Famine weekend, students get up close and personal with hunger by going 10, 20 or 30 hours without food.  On the Sunday of famine weekend, youth participate in activities in The PIT to better understand hunger, volunteer at our local Food Bank, study how the Bible calls us to feed the hungry, and then break their fast together at the church-wide meal following Vespers service.