Focus: Tavistock Mennonite Church
Tavistock Mennonite Church has been a worshipping presence in the town of Tavistock since 1942. Alea Fletcher, Child, Youth and Family Coordinator, works closely with the sponsors to provide ministry to the youth and families of the church.
- Senior Youth begins with youth in grade 8 and extends to young adults.
- They gather outside of Sunday morning for events and hold discussions in a home where they explore the Bible and relevant topics.
- Alea and the youth sponsors meet regularly to support each other spiritually, work to identify and encourage gifts in youth, and to discuss how to intentionally build relationships between youth, sponsors, the wider church and their community.
- Tavistock Mennonite Church is working together to bridge youth and family activities with the whole church, so that many of the church activities reflect the intergenerational demographic.
- The youth did an overnight ‘Street Sleep’ in Tavistock to bring awareness to homelessness and those living in poverty. During the event, a mix of youth and adults slept overnight in cardboard boxes in a downtown parking lot. In the morning they participated in a reflective devotional time to explore their experiences and feelings in contrast to their faith and where they sensed Jesus.
- The youth took part in a TOOLS event (Toronto Ontario Opportunity for Learning and Service) with Mennonite Central Committee.
- The Junior Youth are integrated into a Young Families Group that meets once a month for family-oriented events, or intergenerationally with the wider church. This group enjoys potlucks, bowling, a fall festival with pumpkin carving and community prayer garden activities, culminating in a BBQ at the end of the year.
Alea invites prayer as they seek to reach out to young people who aren’t regularly engaged in youth or church activities. They are challenged in their efforts to support youth, young adults and families in their spiritual, emotional, mental and physical needs and encourage their exploration of faith inside the wider church. They are seeking ways to build bridges in the church and in the community that honour where people are at in their faith journey.