Youth Ministry News
Our mission is to draw youth into a journey of faith, prepare them for lifelong discipleship,
and inspire them to carry the love of Christ to Athens and the world.
What’s the deal with “The PIT”?
Until this summer, I thought that “The PIT” stood for Presbyterians In Training. On one hand it made sense to me – middle and high school students meet down there to talk about God and how they can live out their faith. On the other hand, it felt wrong – like it was discounting what youth have to offer to the church today by saying they are in training. I tried to think of clever new names for the youth space on the basement level, but nothing fit. Then I learned the real story behind “The PIT.” Ten years ago when our church undertook a massive renovation and expansion project to build Fellowship Hall and Weekday School classrooms we also transformed what was literally a pit into an incredible youth space. The time, resources, and attention to detail that went into creating a space connected to our mission is truly remarkable. Here are just a few of the highlights of our now lovingly called “PIT”. Stop by and see for yourself next time you’re in the neighborhood!
On Sunday morning and Sunday nights, youth come together for friendly competitions of pool, foosball, and air hockey. A few of our talented musicians play piano (thank you Kitty Donnan) while others hang out on the couches talking about their weeks. There is even a small kitchen for us to keep juice that we can enjoy before Sunday School with donuts!
There are thirteen 8th and 9th graders in this year’s confirmation class, representing nine different schools! Questions about God will be posted on the bulletin board for us to explore during the year, recognizing that some things don’t have an easy answer and rely on faith. While a chalk board wall will be filled those things we know for sure – God loves me. We have two other similar rooms each dedicated to middle school and high school youth group.
We love our youth space, but happily move out 3 or 4 times every year so that volunteers can transform the space into a home for Family Promise guests. Classrooms become bedrooms. A corner of the game room is filled with children’s toys and books while round tables with tablecloths and flower arrangements create a family dining room. And did you know that we have showers downstairs in the bathrooms? FPC goes above and beyond to make our host week a special time, and the space is the cherry on top.
The newest addition to the PIT is a donation center that was organized by our youth this August. We have labeled bins to collect a number of things including supplies for Athens Nurses Clinic (socks, toothbrushes, washcloths are current needs), Care Bags for homeless visitors and plastic grocery bags for Girl Scouts*. Thank you for your donations!
* “Got Plastic to Recycle? If so, bring it to the PIT. Isabelle Seward and her Girl Scout Troop #12196 are participating in a challenge to collect 500 lbs. of plastic (grocery bags, product wrap, etc.) between October-March, so they can earn a buddy bench made out of recycled plastic lumber from Trex.
The Girl Scouts are building a Sensory Garden for the Special Needs Courtyard at Malcom Bridge Middle School. They have already built a wheelchair accessible raised bed garden and swing frame, and hope to include musical elements as well as a new bench in their butterfly garden.” Isabelle Seward
Kim Ness, Director of Youth Ministries
FPC YOUTH SUNDAY SCHEDULE
9:45-10:40 a.m. – Sunday School
5:30-6:00 p.m. – Celebration Singers choir rehearsal
6:00-6:30 p.m. – Dinner, Fellowship Hall
6:30-7:30 p.m. – Youth Group
SAVE THESE DATES
30 Hour Famine