Category Archives: Youth

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.”


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

Faith in 3D

Faith in 3D—a conference for 6th–12th grade youth

January 13–16, 2017

On Friday, January 13, 2017, the doors will open to the ballroom at Disney World’s Coronado Springs Resort and over 1,700 young people will stream into the opening gathering of an event known as Faith in 3D.

A collaborative effort between the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, Faith in 3D aims to explore our common faith in Jesus Christ through worship, education, and community building.

The event will take place over the weekend that honors the life and ministry of Martin Luther King, Jr. Click here to register or learn more.

Summary of Presbyterian Youth Triennium

The 2016 Presbyterian Youth Triennium took place 7/19-7/23 at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Twenty-two youth and four adults from the Presbytery of Ohio Valley made the trip. Below are some short summaries of what Triennium was like for some of our participants:

“Triennium was really awesome! Worship was really fun and we learned a lot from the sermons! I really enjoyed trading pins and recreation! The Pause Prayer Center was also really cool! My best memory of Triennium is Friday night, where everybody threw glowsticks in the air once it got to the chorus of Fireworks by Katy Perry! The food was also amazing!”

— Samuel Ford

“This was my second time at PYT and my experience was just as wonderful but very different from last time. I loved that we bonded much more as a delegation this year and I made so many friends that I want to stay in touch with for a long time. Also the pastors who spoke were so incredible and empowering. After this experience I feel much stronger in my faith. I wish I could keeping going!”

— Hannah Frey

“It was a whole new experience just like the first time I went. I got to meet new people with different views and backgrounds and sometimes and completely different perspective than mine. It was and will be one of the greatest experiences I have ever had the privilege of having.”

— Alec Hooker

“Hey this is Zoe! Oh geez describe Triennium in a few sentences that’s hard. Triennium this year was a way different experience than 3 years ago, this year I strengthened my faith and got some answers to questions that could only be answered through God. Not to mention I met many wonderful people that I am still keeping in touch with on a daily! This Triennium is the one I will never forget!”

— Zoe Pierce

“It was awesome. It was hot. My favorite memory is bowling with 4 youth down in the bowling alley at the student union. It is great for students to see speakers from across the country about relevant and compelling topics. I also loved that they were able to have bible studies in groups. It would have been nice if they were smaller, but it was great they were still able to do a bible study over what the session talk was about instead of just hearing at the main session.”

— Connor Scanlon, adult advisor

“I thought the 2013 Triennium was amazing. Then I went to the 2016 Triennium. I was nervous that I was expecting more out of it than what I was actually going to get, and boy was I wrong. It was incredible! I would go once a month, if that was even possible! Not only did I form lifelong friendships with people from all over the country, but I also grew in my relationship with God. I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything in the world.”

— Crimson Tennis

“This was my second experience at Triennium and I can say that it was enriching and wonderful as the last time. Worship again opened my ears, eyes, and heart to what God wanted me to hear and carry out into the world. The members of our delegation are certainly welcoming and accepting and that created an even better experience.”

— Alysa Epperson

“The generation with whom I spent this past week is not, as some believe, selfish, always on their phone, apathetic and without valid opinions. Instead, I saw firsthand how compassionate, connected and convicted they are, with an amazing worldview to offer us all. Also, they exemplified the diversity, welcome, and passion of that early Church we read about in the Acts of the Apostles. They are not our future. We need them now. For as adults argue and debate, these youth not only will be but are now the generation of change.”

— Allen Colwell, adult advisor

Triennium TravelersFor more, read the articles on the PC(USA) website or check out the Triennium Facebook page that chronicled the 5 day event!

The Great Romance Event Returns!

tgr_photoCome see The Great Romance in concert on Saturday, February 27 at 6:00pm.

Wesley Chapel UMC
2100 Highway 150
Floyds Knobs, IN 47119

Free Event for everyone!
Refreshments will be available for purchase.

Co-sponsored by St. John United Presbyterian Church and Wesley Chapel

2016 Presbyterian Youth Triennium


Attention Pastors:

On July 18th youth from around the Ohio Valley Presbytery will be gathering for a delegation overnight before attending one of the greatest youth events in the Presbyterian world – Presbyterian Youth Triennium (PYT).  Every three years 6,000 youth gather at Purdue University in July for five days of worship, prayer, study and great fun. The dates for the youth to be at Purdue are July 19-23.

The theme for the 2016 event is “GO”! This theme is as much about when they leave the Triennium as it is about the event itself. From the first worship service they will explore what happens AFTER the Triennium.

You want your kids to be involved… here is what you need to be doing!

  1. Go to and download information and promotional material.   Post that information in your church and make sure your youth leaders/ advisors know about this opportunity. Triennium Forms can also be downloaded and printed from the POV website, on the Resources for Youth page.
  2. Speak to EVERY youth in eighth grade- your 2016 graduating seniors.  Tell them about dates and encourage them to check-out the website or facebook group (POV Presbyterian Youth Triennium Delegation and Presbyterian Youth Triennium).  Give the attached information form and participant information form to youth that are interested in attending.  Do you have a young adult who has participated in the past and would like to be part of the triennium work crew?  Contact Cheryl Moles. All forms required for registration are attached to this email, but will also be sent to participants as needed.
  3. Talk about Triennium from the pulpit!  Add the youth and this event on your church’s prayer list.
  4. Let your Session know that 1/3 of the cost should be covered by the church.  That means you need to plan for $175.00 per youth participant.  The cost for Triennium is covered by the individual youth, church and presbytery each paying 1/3 of the cost.  The PYT fee is $505 and an additional $20 has been added to help with the costs of delegation t-shirts, and the delegation overnight expenses.  The Presbytery acknowledges the importance of PYT by budgeting to send a delegation to PYT and provides transportation to and from Purdue.  If your church or youth has financial need, contact Cheryl Moles for assistance.
  5. Contact your youth personally.  Let us know how we can help you encourage your youth to participate.
  6. We don’t want anyone to miss out!  April 15th  is the deadline for your registration and fee payment.  All should be sent to Cheryl Moles at Central Presbyterian 125 North 7th Street, Terre Haute, IN 47807.   Earlier is better!  You may have individuals mail their forms or send them from your church.

Looking forward to seeing you all soon!

Cheryl Moles                                       Susan McGhee
Triennium Registrar                           POV Executive Presbyter
PYT Coordinating Team                     PYT Coordinating Team                     
812-232-5049                                      866-344-7853

Campus Ministries within the Synod of Lincoln Trails

As young people leave home and head off to college for the first time in the fall there will be all kinds of organizations, activities, and opportunities competing for their attention.  They will be seeking out the activities and events where they can meet people and make new friends.  We would like to make sure that the Presbyterian Campus ministries around Indiana and Illinois are able to reach out to the rising first-year students from your congregation and help connect them to other young people from churches like yours and to find fellowship, worship, education, and service opportunities in their new home.

Below you will find contact information for all the ministries in the Synod of Lincoln trails that are registered with the PC(USA)  “U-Kirk” network. If you would share with us the names and contact information for your rising first-years we would love to have the opportunity to reach out to them and make them feel “spiritually” welcome in their new surroundings.

Download contact information.

Thank you in advance for your help and every blessing on your ministry!

In Christ’s name,

Dwight Podgurski
Butler University

Rev. Mihee Kim-Kort
Indiana University

Dr. Ben Gates
Fort Wayne and Indiana Institute of Technology

Jessica Hawkinson
Lake Forest College

Autumn James
Northern Illinois University and Kishwaukee College: 

Rev Julie Windsor Mitchell
Northwestern University

Allen Bol or Rev Dave Comstock
Purdue University
Dave: 317-506-8184;