“When your children ask you in time to come, 'What is the meaning of the decrees and the statutes and the ordinances that the Lord our God has commanded you?' then you shall say to your children, 'We were Pharaoh’s slaves in Egypt, but the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. The Lord displayed before our eyes great and awesome signs and wonders against Egypt, against Pharaoh and all his household. He brought us out from there in order to bring us in, to give us the land that he promised on oath to our ancestors. Then the Lord commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our lasting good, so as to keep us alive, as is now the case. If we diligently observe this entire commandment before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us, we will be in the right'.” –Deuteronomy 6:20–25
Why are we here? That is a question that you have probably been asked and probably asked yourself at some point in your spiritual journey. It is a question even our youngest members have at Bethesda-by-the-Sea. The answer to that question is going to vary based on what draws us all to the divine and what draws the divine to us. But, at the core of our common Christian experience is an essential truth. We are here because we are taking part in a tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation. All of those children that asked the meaning of our decrees and statutes, all of those youth that inquired about the ordinances the Lord God commanded of us, that is who we are and who we have always been. It is our God given responsibility to pass on what we have learned to the next generation and to walk with them as they learn, grow, and explore along their own spiritual path.
Sunday Youth Opportunities
Teenagers are a vital part of the church community as they show us what a faithful life looks like in the midst of hectic schedules. It is our desire at Bethesda-by-the-Sea to offer opportunities for all youth to continue to learn and grow as they claim more responsibility over their religious lives. These ministries help to assist young people in forming their spiritual identities and following their spiritual calling through service to others.
6th & 7th Grade Pre-Confirmation Class
Sundays | 10:00 a.m. | Library
For our 6th & 7th grade youth, we offer a primer class for confirmation that focuses on learning the basics of Christian beliefs while encouraging our young people to ask hard questions about their faith.
8th Grade Confirmation Class
Sundays | 10:00 a.m. | ECW Room
In this class we explore beliefs, specifically the beliefs that make up Episcopal theological understanding through the three areas of scripture, tradition, and reason. Together, we learn where our beliefs meet the beliefs of a 2,000 year old tradition that has been passed down to us and what that means for our lives. Youth have the option to be confirmed at the bishop’s visitation in the Spring.
9th–12th Grade Pilgrimage Group
Sundays | 10:00 a.m. | Youth Room
Two years ago our high school Sunday group focused on organizing a pilgrimage trip to Spain. This year we will be once again organizing a pilgrimage journey as we seek to take a deeper walk with our faith. The group will discern the destination, work together to create a budget for their trip, and organize fundraisers to meet their goals.
Bethesda Youth Group
Thursdays | 5:30 pm | Youth Room
The Bethesda Youth Group is open to all youth in 6th through 12th grade. Each week we offer fun activities, lively discussions, and sometimes participate in local service projects. Middle School and High School youth will meet separately to start and then come together for prayers and dinner.