Organic Youth is a youth ministry program and resource for the Lutheran Churches (mostly ELCA, and a few friends) in the Buffalo-Niagara region of Western New York. Focused on youth in grades 6-12, their families, and the adults who are called to work with them as youth workers, pastors and others, Organic Youth is committed to:
Organic Youth is a gathering of youth no matter where they are at in their lives. We start and build faith-centered relationships among youth and their peers. We sustain those relationships through
- Extreme hospitality: welcoming ALL youth, going the extra effort to get to know you by name, welcoming you and listening to you
- Service: offering opportunities to help your neighbors, peers and others who may happen to be hungry, lost, hurting or suffering
- Giving: learning what it means to be blessed and how we can share those blessings
- Study: going deep into issues of social justice, youth struggles and more and looking at where Jesus calls us be amongst these areas
- Encouragement: knowing that we are not alone, that the Holy Spirit – active and alive through others – is with us all the way, and living into that reality
- Prayer: conversations with God, and taking the time to listen for God in our lives
- Worship: times for celebration, re-centering, forgiving, healing, and so much more
Organic Youth encourages youth (and adults as well) to take these things we experience and learn back home and apply them daily to home, work, school, sports and community life.
Organic Youth actively invites ALL youth – no matter where from, what choices they have made in the past, whatever shortcomings they may or may not have, whatever struggles they are facing, whatever pain they are in – to come to experience the love of God in some pretty amazing ways. Our Leadership Team of senior high youth is trained to actively invite youth, and to BE the training that they receive reaching out to their peers in their daily lives.
Each Organic Youth program strives to include some form of service and encouragement for others. This takes many forms: it could be a mission trip to walk alongside those facing extreme poverty or recovering from disaster; it could be assembling food or personal hygiene packs; it could be creating letters or cards of encouragement for those in need of it…these are but a few examples!
Our Mission and Vision
The Mission of Organic Youth is to empower and equip youth to develop a life which resonates with the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Through Organic Youth, we hope to guide youth towards becoming maturing Christians that:
- Seek spiritual growth
- Express a positive Spirit
- Express a vital faith
- Make the Christian faith a way of life
- Reach out to others
- Speak publicly about their faith
*adopted from the Exemplary Youth Ministry study detailed in “The Spirit and Culture of Youth Ministry“, 2010.
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