Highland’s Young Adult Ministry
Highland’s young adult ministry works passionately to provide space for young adults to encounter God, engender community, and engage in the world. We define “young adult” as anyone between the age of 18-35ish. Regardless of your life stage — collegians, grad or professional school students or working, single or married, with kids or without, whatever! — you have a place in this dynamic, authentic community of faith.
We know that the world facing 20- and 30-somethings today is radically different from the way things used to be. With student loan debt lining their pockets, a polarized country in their backyard, and an unknown future looming ahead, young adults in today’s world are nontraditional and exploring, folks who might be rightly suspicious of religion but deeply passionate about the work of Love in the world, people who are questioning and need space for that.
We get it. And we get YOU. Which is why the young adult community at Highland reflects the real world you live in. We’re far from perfect (honestly!) … colorful, rich with stories, raw, candid with struggles… a mixed bag of people from all walks of life yet intentionally journeying together to understand God and the life of faith.
A Snapshot of What We Do
Highland’s Young Adult Ministry wants YOU to have space to be a community of folks journeying together to seek after the way of Love.
We do this in lots of ways, all of which you are invited and encouraged to find your place! Our work together is guided by our Young Adult Ministry Group, a fabulous collection of folks representing all different walks of life facing the typical young adult these days. We know that just because we might share an age bracket does NOT mean that we’re all alike! So! We try to make this space with a variety of folks and needs in mind.
- Sunday community groups help orient us to the way of Love with a small cluster of people who share in life’s good times and shoddy times. We read, we study, we talk, we doubt, we question… and we do so together. There are four groups primarily for young adults to connect with at Highland – CatchAll, Focus, Simply Faith, and Simple Community. Contact Nina if you’d like to talk more about these! (Sundays at 9:30 and 11:00 a.m.)
- Sunday Community Gathering is our one time a week to just BE (together)! Over breakfast nuggets and local coffee, we catch up on our week, and yes, occasionally talk trash about the latest UK/UofL sports news. (Sundays from 10:30-11:00 a.m., Fireside Room)
- Tuesdays are our time to serve in Shelby Park, doing a variety of activities with elementary and middle-schoolers at the Shelby Park Community Center. Come at 4:30 for tutoring and dinner, 5:30 for games and crafts, and 6:30 for community building and desserts! Read more about Highland’s ministry in Shelby Park here.
- In the spring, summer, and early fall, Highland’s young adults dominate the outdoor sand volleyball courts at our local Baxter Jack’s with our two volleyball teams! 2014 saw us double our number of teams (from 1 to 2!) and infinitely expand our skills (from ‘just show up’ to ‘hey, I actually hit it over the net!’)… and we even won a good number of sets! This has been a wonderful weekly way to enjoy community and do some team-building, and we’re set to go for 2015!
- A classic young adult gathering, Theology on Tap is our once a month time to engage over food and drink in a local pub with some bigger cultural or theological issue that we all grapple with at some point. We’ve dissected issues of money, work/life balance, life stages, violence, change, vulnerability, you name it. We bounce around to various spots in the Highlands, Germantown, and Clifton, so check in on our Facebook Page to see where we’re going next.
- Started in winter 2014, Guys’ Group and Women’s Group offer a monthly chance to gather with other men and women across a variety of life stages to share life together. Sometimes tackling relevant topics and hard questions, other times just being a support system for each other, these groups provide yet another regular connecting point to deepen relationships together. Check our Facebook Page for this month’s gatherings.
- Once a month, we just enjoy – plain and simple. From picnics in the park to enjoying local fare at Waterfront Wednesdays, Friday night dinner blenders with each other to roasting each other’s white elephant gifts at the Incarnation Celebration Christmas Party, these monthly fellowship events are just for us to have a chance to enjoy each other, enjoy Louisville, and enjoy a minute for fun. Check our Facebook Page to see what we’re up to!
- Every year in the fall and spring, we hightail it out of town for a weekend retreat. Given the space to unplug, our folks are able to retreat together for a weekend of spiritual nourishment, quality time, and rest. Past retreats have taken us to St. Meinrad Monastery near Santa Claus, Indiana; Aldersgate Retreat Center near Red River Gorge; and Wooded Glen Retreat Center in Henryville, Indiana. These times together are essential for our personal and communal spiritual formation.
- Once a year – usually in the summer – we get away for a longer immersion trip. Either on a traditional mission trip, an urban immersion experience, or an outdoor festival of justice, music, spirituality, and art, these yearly experiences ignite us in the way of Love.
- As folks join Highland’s young adult ministry – graduating in, moving to town, coming from another church or no church at all – we are intentional about welcoming all. Every so often, we have gatherings to welcome our newbies and give new folks and longtime folks alike the chance to get to know each other and find ways to connect to life at Highland.
- One of the best things about Highland is the diversity of our congregation. Occasionally we like to have mixers with other groups of folks in our church – watching old movies and sharing a pot luck meal with our senior adults, having a Q&A session with our Deacons, you name it!
- Life happens – and when life has a way of stressing you out and seizing your life with grief or anxiety, we are here for you. Ongoing care for you provided by Nina and the folks who serve on the Young Adult Ministry Group allows us to practice what we preach about living in love.
- We try and keep up with one another! Through social media, email, texting, and our active Facebook Group (different from the more public Facebook Page), we seek to live our lives together in community as we communicate regularly.
Especially for students
- We love our college, graduate, and professional school students! Wherever you are, whatever you’re studying, and however many years of education you have behind or in front of you, you have a place at Highland. Through end-of-the-semester exam care packages, meals and coffee dates while you’re home for breaks, and graduation recognition when you’ve completed every step in your educational journey, you are celebrated for the fabulous academic achievement you’re undertaking.
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