Bake Table + Youth = a Merry Christmas

By Thomas Reardon, a Sr. EYC Youth and Jr. EYC Mentor

On December 15th, 2012, Haleigh Collins and I went Christmas shopping for two kids who would not have had a Christmas otherwise.* We went to Wal-Mart, as bulk bargain shoppers tend to do. Immediately we headed for the toy section, constantly looking over our lists for the two boys we were buying gifts for. First, we decided to tackle Vince, an 8 year old boy whose favorite colors are red, blue, and yellow, and wanted a skateboard, super hero clothes and art supplies. This was mostly because the first thing we saw in the toy section was a rack of skateboards. We quickly went all around the store grabbing up super hero clothing and art supplies as well as coloring books. The next child on our list was Daniel, a 5 year old whose favorite color is blue, wanted a bike and a helmet, Sponge Bob items, books, and cars (which was particularly stressed on the list). We hurried back to the toy section to grab an abundance of Hot Wheels cars, and went over to the bikes and pulled down a Jeep bike with shocks and dual suspension. Next we found a collection of Dr. Seuss books which were off the shelf and into our cart in a heartbeat. After consulting Haleigh’s mother, Ann Collins, we decided that Wal-Mart was not the best place to get our five year old clothing. We checked out at Wal-Mart and drove over to Target and finished up our shopping there by getting Daniel some good t-shirts, including one that had a Tyrannosaurus Rex on it – cause what boy doesn’t like Dinosaurs? We checked out of Target and within two and a half hours we had the trunk and backseat of my 1995 Volvo station wagon chock full with gifts for these two boys. Even though Haleigh and I had a lot of fun, it meant more than we had thought it would. It brought back some childhood memories of coming downstairs to those presents under the tree and tearing off that wrapping paper to find exactly what you wanted.  Without us, these kids wouldn’t have had a Christmas that we had grown up having, and that made it all the more special.


(*Holy Family Youth partnered with Orange County Social Service to adopt these two kids.  The funds came from the Youth Bake Table held at Holy Family back on Nov. 18th.  For the sake of anonymity, the names of the kids have been changed.  -Paul, Youth Minister)

EYC Ski Trip: Beech Mountain and Valle Crucis

Greetings Youth Families,

It’s certainly not cold outside, but it is December and so it’s time to start thinking about the EYC 2013 Ski Trip!  Trip dates: Feb. 8-10.

This year, the Youth Commission would like to resurrect an older model of ski trip: We’ll drive out Friday evening; stay Friday and Saturday at the beautiful Episcopal conference center: Valle Crucis; ski Saturday at Beech Mountain; return Sunday.

Youth Families: consider coming along!  We’ll be caravanning to Valle Crucis, so we’ll need a few parent drivers and chaperons.  There will be beds to sleep on at Valle Crucis.  Skiers and non-skiers are welcomed and needed as chaperons.  Please be in touch if you are interested in coming along:  Thanks.

Information and Permission forms available on the EYC bulletin board.  I will also hang out in the Library this Sunday evening at 7:40, after the EYC Christmas Party, to answer questions parents may have about the weekend.  Don’t hesitate to be in touch with questions:

Full and partial scholarships are available, so please do not let cost inhibit participation.  Just be in touch:

This should be an awesome weekend, so hope many can join us!

Ski Trip 2012

New Summer Retreat for Holy Family Youth

I’m pleased and excited to announce a potential new summer offering for youth at Holy Family: the Appalachia Service Project (ASP).

ASP is a one week summer service retreat for youth 14-18 years old.  We’ll travel to the Appalachian Mountains, meet-up with nearly a hundred other youth, do building project and home repair projects for families who need help (no building experience needed), get to know these families as we work with them on their homes, and live in a nearby school for the week.  It’s active, hands on, relational, and an extremely reasonable cost for a week long program.

What do you think?  Would you like to come along? (We’ll need a few chaperons, too!)

In order to move forward, a few things need to happen.  If you are interested, please plan to attend an information meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 19th, at 7:30 in the Library.  At this meeting, we will go over retreat information, answer questions, and determine which week in June or July will work for our group.  If you cannot attend this meeting but are interested in the retreat, please email me ASAP:

Again, I’m excited about this possibility for our youth and hope you are, too!  I know that some high schools will accepted ASP as fulfillment for school required service hours – if that might persuade those of you on the fence.  Hope to see many families out on Dec. 19th at 7:30!

Bishops Ball 2013:lots of goodness

By Paul Cizek, Youth Minister

This past weekend, 6 youth and myself attended Bishops Ball – the annual December diocesan event for 6th-12th graders.  There were just over two hundred participants for this weekend full of fun, worship, and hands-on outreach work.  And to be honest, it’s hard to pick my favorite moment from a weekend with so much goodness.

Candidate 1: On Saturday evening, youth donned swanky dresses and bowties, sat down for a formal feast, worshipped with a Eucharistic feast, and then spent the rest of the night out on the dance floor – a much anticipated climax to the weekend.  The lights were low, the music bumping, and the floor was crowded.  But as our young Henry observed with all seriousness (and much to my amusement), “It’s not really a dance.  They’re all just jumping around.”  And this was mostly true, until they all did the Macarena.

Candidate 2: On Saturday, we all watched a documentary, Harvest of Dignity, about migrant farmworkers – primarily in North Carolina.  Afterwards, youth had a chance to discuss it and respond.  One youth in the small group I was a part of said, “It’s easy to not think about the conditions these people live in because we don’t see it.  It’s hidden.  But this movie sheds light on it and now it’s hard to ignore.”  There were lots of head-nods in agreement from youth sitting around our circle.  And while watching this documentary didn’t change the world, perhaps it planted a seed that will take root in the lives of one of these youth.  Pray that some of these seeds found fertile soil.

Candidate 3: The Bishops came on Friday night and stayed through Sunday morning, remaining wonderfully accessible to youth throughout.  They spoke when called upon or when they had something to share, but overall they were just there, accessible, and visibly glad to be there.  This is one thing that’s so wonderful and unique about Bishops Ball.  What a gift to have Bishops like this in our diocese!


So overall, Bishops Ball 2013 was awesome.  I encourage you’ll to come out next year if you missed it!

Empezar la reunión

By Paul Cizek

Our mission is “to be an Episcopal Youth Community – an EYC…”  But, what does it take for us to be an EYC?  How do we go about this work together?

One thing it means that we have Family Meetings in Jr. and Sr. EYC from time to time to discuss our common life.  In years past, the Youth Commission and Youth Minister made decisions about where we’d go on our retreats and what we’d do during the Christmas party.  But today is a new day and things have changed, and we’re handing these decisions over to the Jr. and Sr. EYC Board of Directors.

The Jr. and Sr. EYC Board of Directors is comprised of Jr. and Sr. EYC youth and mentors, and is chaired by the Youth Minister.  Agendas are distributed.  Business attire is required (and supplied).  Accents or foreign language (or applying your finger to your nose) are required to speak.  We keep things orderly by means of measuring cup, big honking dictionary, or cow bell.  We vote saying “Yea” or “Nay.”  And we take minutes on colorful paper.

Ridiculous?  Perhaps, but we do good work.  And most importantly, we’re discovering together what it’s like for us to be an Episcopal Youth Community.