Who we are

First Youth is an active group of 7th thru 12th graders journeying in faith together and free to be who they are without judgment. All are welcome regardless of church affiliation. Diverse, unique, full of questions, unsure confident, outgoing, quiet or shy, all are encouraged to 'come as you are' and feel welcome. 

What we are about

First Youth is dedicated to meeting you where you are and ministering to you there.Our time together isn't about asking you to understand theology or helping you memorize passages of scripture. We are about the journey and walking it with you. Each of us is at a different point in our faith journey. For some, believing in a God who loves them is easy. For others, not so much. Some people are leading; others are following. Some people are on top of the world and full of joy and praise. Others are struggling every day.

We believe transformation happens when we are able to allow God to work within us. That happens through our work, the work of others, but most importantly through the journey we walk with a God who promises to love us no matter what! Nothing will ever separate us from the perfect love of God.

We meet in a place called the L.O.F.T. This stands for: Living Our Faith Together. We like to think of ourselves as a big family that is always looking for our long lost relatives. We are about building relationships with those around us to offer a safe place for the transformative work of God to take place.

Our schedule

First Youth meets every Sunday morning for Sunday School at 9:35 a.m. in the LOFT (3rd floor of First United Methodist Church Garland). Sunday School is the time we devote to studying how scripture speaks to us in our modern era. We explore our faith together through open discussion, video series, book series and scripture. Sunday School starts at 9:35 a.m. so come early to visit and greet one another before we begin our time together. We will dismiss by 10:30 a.m. in order to give those who are in PureJoy! time to go to choir.

We meet at 12 p.m. in Schreiber Hall for lunch as a group. Lunch is provided for all First Youth members. (If you are planning on bringing a guest please let the Youth Director know ahead of time so that we can guarantee enough food for everyone.) We have a rotating lunch menu that includes the following menu items: spaghetti, taco bar, pizza, mac & cheese, chili, soups, salads, pulled pork sandwich, sandwich bar, chicken Parmesan sandwich, lasagna, grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup, nachos, chicken strips, and BBQ.

We meet for MYF (Methodist Youth Fellowship)  each Sunday following lunch at 12:45 p.m. in the LOFT. This is a time for fellowship, fun and games, as well as time devoted to discussing our faith journey together. Our list of games and activities grows based on requests from our members and what they like. Let us know your favorites!

While Wednesday Windows is in session, we meet on Wednesdays for "Wednesday Wakeup" with First Youth. This is an opportunity to check in during the week and re-center ourselves. Whether you just need a pick me up, or maybe you need to share about a concern, this is a safe place for you to share.

Camps, retreats and missions

First Youth will participate in Bridgeport Camps this year. There will be three opportunities depending on grade level: Mid-winter? (February 7-9), Junior High (July 13-17), and Senior High (June 29-July 3). There are thighs that happen at Bridgeport that simply don't happen anywhere else. If you have never been then this should be the year you go and see what it is all about. God works in wonderful ways at Bridgeport.

First Youth also will return to Sager Brown the week of June 14th, 2020. We will partner with the adult trip this year offering an earlier time with cooler weather. The week we attend is one of the Youth weeks so we should see some familiar faces. This is a mission opportunity that gives us a day right in the middle to go sight seeing. This year, we will take a swamp tour to see and feed alligators!

We will partner with two missions that are new to our group this year. Habitat for Humanity is a global organization with a local presence that builds homes for persons who are in need and on the margins of society. Feed My Starving Children is a global organization that offers a local mission opportunity to put together food packs in an environment that is interactive and fun! Both of these organizations will give us the opportunity to be in mission at a local and global level. Dates TBD.

First Youth in leadership

First Youth has several options to explore leadership, not only in our church during worship, but also in our conference through CCYM (Conference Council on Youth Ministries).

We have two Sundays a year that are set aside for Youth leadership. On these Sundays, First Youth leads all aspects of both of our worship services. This includes directing the choir, reading scriptures, preaching and assisting with communion. This is a wonderful opportunity for our congregation to witness the leadership qualities that our youth possess. We hav scheduled these for September 15, 2019, and March 15, 2020.

We also take one Sunday each year to honor and showcase our graduating seniors. Since GISD is getting out much earlier this year, we are scheduling Senior Sunday for Sunday, May 3rd.

This year, we will be providing another leadership opportunity through CCYM . This is a leadership opportunity that is open to youth ages 12-18. For more detailed information, ask the Youth Director or visit CCYM-YouthLeadership.