Category Archives: Youth

2017 Pyoca Summer Camp

– The following is the text of the Pyoca Summer newsletter.

Friends of Pyoca,
We are in the midst of transitioning from an unforgettable, very successful summer camp season to a very busy and exciting fall retreat season. While there’s much to look forward to this fall as we have a full conference and retreat schedule, I’d like to say a few words looking back at Pyoca’s 2017 summer camp season.

2017 Summer Camp
We’ve had a fantastic 2017 camp season, ministering to 619 campers since the beginning of June!  That’s almost 100 more campers than last year!  With the theme ‘Branching Out,’ campers learned to reach out to others to deepen their relationships with God, friends, and family. Through bible study, small groups, worship, and activities, they deepened their faith and learned the importance of serving others in need.

We also introduced hunger relief as our service opportunity for our campers this summer. Over 200 hundred campers participated in packing almost 20,000 meals for those in need through the non-profit, Rise Against Hunger. Not only did campers pack meals for the hungry, but they learned about hunger awareness and how to continue to help our local communities and those around the world.

I would like to extend deep thanks to our wonderful staff and volunteers for their great leadership, making Pyoca a transformative and safe experience for our campers and families.

Pyoca High School Conference, Oct. 6-8, 2017
Join us for our third annual HS conference themed ‘Building Bridges’ featuring Rev. TC Anderson as the keynote speaker and worship leader!  Last year we had over 70 high schoolers from Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky attend. Help us make it even bigger this year. More information can be found at: http://pyocaconferences.org.

On behalf of the Pyoca Advisory Council, staff, guests, volunteers, donors, and the whole Pyoca family, I want to thank you for your support of this life-changing ministry.

Grace and peace,
Rev. Dr. R. Jacob Hofmeister

Building Bridges image

Above: Inside the new yurts!
Below: A view of the entire finished project. Campers loved them this summer!

 

Building Bridges, Pyoca HS Conference

Building Bridges imageThis October 6-8, 2017, Pyoca Camp and Retreat Center in Brownstown, IN is hosting the third annual High School Conference, and we want you to join us!
 
Pyoca High School Conference is open to all high school youth grades 9 – 12 and their youth leaders/parents. Taking place October 6 – 8 this weekend ensures fellowship, fun, and growth.
 
Rev. TC Anderson will serve as our leadership for the weekend. TC will be delivering keynotes on the Theme: Building Bridges, and also leading us in worship and music.

CfC: Engaging Young Adults Initiative

You’re invited to take a look at the Engaging Young Adults (EYA) learning community program and grant opportunity, presented by the Center for Congregations.

Applications open on May 1, 2017 and are due on August 1, 2017. This program will help select Indiana congregations to engage young adults in their own community and context. This initiative is open to Indiana congregations outside of the Indianapolis metro area.

You can learn more about this opportunity by checking out the EYA page on the website, attending an information session or watching the video information session, which will be available Monday on the website.

Information sessions about this opportunity are being held around the state May 4-17. An informational on-demand video, together with the program application and other materials, are available now.

Information sessions are:

  • 11 a.m.-1 p.m. (Eastern time) Thursday, May 4, 2017 at First Presbyterian Church in Elkhart
  • 11 a.m.-1 p.m. (Eastern time) is Friday, May 5, 2017 at The Sol Center in Indianapolis
  • 11 a.m.-1 p.m. (Eastern time) Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at  Ogilville Christian Church in Columbus
  • 11 a.m.-1 p.m. (Central time) Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at Methodist Temple in Evansville

The sessions are free, but registration is required. Registration is limited to two people per congregation. Sessions include lunch and materials.

Online registration is available on the EYA page of the website.

For more information, contact Wendy McCormick at wmccormick@nullcenterforcongregations.org or contact your regional Center for Congregations office.

Lux Summer Theological Institute

Two Weeks That Could Change A Young Person’s Life:

Lux Summer Theological Institute

You are invited to nominate theologically curious and socially engaged high school students (rising sophomores to graduated seniors) to apply for the inaugural Lux Summer Theological Institute for Youth. It will be held July 16-30 at Presbyterian-related Monmouth College. Funded by the Lilly Endowment, the Institute invites students from across the country to address one of the world’s most challenging issues: hunger. Students will participate in worship; intellectually challenging study of scripture and Christian theology; interfaith conversations; and service in the community, field trips and recreational events.

Visit the Lux Summer Theological Institute for Youth home page, here.

The deadline to apply for this summer’s institute is May 1.

Pyoca Middle School Conference “Impact”

PYOCA Middle School ConferenceThis March, Pyoca is hosting its first annual Pyoca Middle School Conference, and we want you to join us!

Pyoca Middle School Conference is open to all middle school youth grades 5 -8 and their youth leaders/parents. Taking place March 18 – 19 this weekend ensures fellowship, fun, and Growth.

Amy Kim Kyremes-Parks and Phillip Morgan will serve as our leadership for the weekend. Amy Kim will be delivering keynotes on the Theme: Impact – Colliding with the boundless force of God’s love. She describes it below.

“Get ready for impact!  How do we recognize God in the midst of a broken world, school, family, friends and the mundane minutes of life?  Is God even there?  Let’s uncover what we can learn from wandering Israelite’s, imperfect people and a fisherman that impacts us even today.”

Phillip will be leading us in powerful music and worship and of course there are bound to be energizers!

For registration, schedule, and other information, go to the conference website.

New resource helps youth observe the season of Lent

‘Pray, Fast, Love,’ available as a free download in English and Spanish

by Emily Enders Odom | Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE – Just as youth workers, educators, pastors and other church leaders who work with youth have started to ask themselves how they might introduce young people to a more informed and active observance of the season of Lent—which begins on Ash Wednesday, March 1—Ministries with Youth has a new resource at the ready.

Lent: Pray, Fast, Love, written by Brittany Harrold Porch, director of Mission and Education at Broad Street Presbyterian Church, Columbus Ohio, is the latest Quicksheet published by the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s Ministries with Youth, the national ministry office that serves youth pastors and other staff members who are nurturing young Presbyterians.

Quicksheets are simple, singular, ideas and articles focused on the essentials of youth ministry written by veteran educators, youth workers and ministry professionals. All of the Quicksheets—including the newest one for Lent—are available at no cost on the Ministries with Youth website.

Pray, Fast, Love, which is available in both English and Spanish, includes very practical ideas for helping youth explore the season of Lent, the theological impact of “taking on” something in order to more deeply encounter God, and to understand the connections between Jesus’ life and death and the life and mission of today’s disciples. Suggestions include a modern take on the “Stations of the Cross,” a “thing” fast—defined in the resource as “letting go of our material wealth to better understand our own excess”—as well as more traditional practices such as a daily devotion.

“I love the idea of the ‘thing’ fast and the idea of moving around a community to explore the ‘stations’ of the cross,” says Gina Yeager-Buckley, associate for the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s Ministries with Youth.  I think these are spiritual practices that will connect deeply with today’s young people.”

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Click here to download Quicksheet #60, Lent: Pray, Fast, Love.

Dele clic aquí para descargar Quicksheet #60, La Cuaresma: Oración, Ayuno, Amor.

The original article is found on the Presbyterian Mission Agency website, here.

October News from PYOCA

Friends of PYOCA,

This fall has been extremely busy at Pyoca which is great news! We’ve hosted many retreats including large church groups, high schools, and non-proft organizations. Many volunteer work groups have helped us continue to tear down the rustic cabins, spruce up the grounds, and deep cleen the facilities.  Without volunteers, Pyoca wouldn’t be able to offer its outstanding ministry programs at our current level. A big thanks to our volunteers!

Pyoca High School Conference
On Oct 7-9, 70 youth and 20 adult leaders/volunteers joined us for our second ever Pyoca High School Conference. Rev. Mihee Kim-Kort delivered the keynotes themed “This is My Story” and Rev. Jorge Sayago-Gonzalez lead inspiring worship. The keynotes and small group discussions delved into stories of Jesus being the light of the world, the good shepherd, the true vine, and the bread of life. On Saturday night, Jorge and the Louisville-based music outfit, Mundo Brew, played originals and covers, while conference attendees danced and sang, roasted marshmallows, and shared stories around the campfire.

One adult leader said this about the conference, “Our youth truly had a transformative experience. The entire ride back, as well as during our brief stop for lunch, the youth spent their time sharing story after story with me how much they enjoyed the conference. Their experience at PYOCA was one in which they were affirmed as individuals while also being challenged to push themselves outside of their typical comfort zones. They left feeling energized about their faith.”

The Pyoca Yurt Project Fundraiser
On Sept. 10, we had over 70 friends of Pyoca attend our Rustic Cabin Party.  Many shared stories and memories from the 65 summers these cabins were a part of Pyoca’s camp ministry. From the silent auction, we were able to raised over $3,200 for the new rustic yurt cabins! Thanks to all those who have donated and/or pledged.

2017 Summer Camp
Check out the Pyoca website for our 2017 summer camp schedule! Registration will go live in November so be sure to sign up soon!

Next month will mark my two year anniversary as executive director of Pyoca. I continue to be grateful everyday for this place and for Pyoca’s community. I appreciate your continued support of our ministry, our staff, and the whole Pyoca family.

Grace and peace,
Rev. Dr. R. Jacob Hofmeister