By Isiah REYES
The La Crescenta Presbyterian Church offers many opportunities for young students to be instilled with Christian values while participating in youth programs for students of all ages.
“We have a super active youth ministry,” said Pastor Andy Wilson. “We really are trying to help the kids who know and love God to grow in their faith and to help students who don’t know God to discover His love for them in Christ. Those are the two main goals.”
The church accomplishes these goals through a variety of ways. The youth programs are divided into small groups by grade level and sex. The students meet every week for about an hour. Wilson said the two co-directors for student ministries, Kimberly Cox and Josh Horton, offer a lot of help with the student programs.
There is also a weekly fellowship group for junior high and senior high school students as well one that has the two combined.
The church offers summer camps, winter retreats and also big mission trips. The junior high trip is to Arizona, which the church has been doing for the past 24 years. They meet up with a Native American reservation during spring break called Mission Arizona. There are about 30 people from the church who head out on the trip.
Then in the summertime, about 40 people, 20 of whom are students, go to the Dominican Republic. This year, the mission trip will be to a bakery that is run by a church to raise money for the mission. There will also be a trip to teach Christian values at the Joe Hartman School where about 300 kids are enrolled. The church has been doing this trip every year for about 12 years.
“There are a lot of different ways in which we try to help kids get close to God,” Wilson. “We are helping students and their families to find a way into God’s kingdom and we are just really excited about what we see happening with the students here. The real fruit is that the students of our church are really seeking to share their faith with their friends by speaking simply about what God has meant to them and inviting other students to be involved.
“We have a long history with youth ministries at this church; we are 128 years as a congregation and youth and children’s ministries have always been a cornerstone here,” Wilson said.
For questions on student ministries, contact Horton or Cox at (818) 249-6137. For information on children’s ministries, call (818) 957-4741.