Mission

Westminster's Youth Ministry seeks to partner with parents in shepherding teens to become faithful members of Christ’s church with a passion to know Christ and make Him known.

Westminster's Youth Ministry exists to:

  • GLORIFY God by encouraging students to acknowledge, exalt, and enjoy Him in daily living.
  • NURTURE teens in the church community to become mature disciples of Jesus Christ who know the Bible, love their Savior, reflect their Lord, and serve one another.
  • PROCLAIM the good news of faith and hope in Jesus Christ from hearts of love and lives of service in Lancaster County and to all the nations of earth.

Youth Group Overview

Westminster’s Youth Group meets on Wednesdays from 6:20-7:40 pm. Our time is spent singing God’s praise, hearing testimonies of God’s work in the lives of our students and leaders, teaching God’s word, and spending time in prayer and discussion in Small Groups.

Students are welcome to come down to the Youth Room (LL9 – down to the basement, all the way to the end of the hallway) anytime after 5:30 and are welcome to stay to play sports or other games until 9:00 pm.

Retreat Overviews

Westminster’s Youth Group hosts four retreats during the year.

Our Fall Retreat is the second weekend of November. This retreat is a time for our youth group to spend a weekend together at Three Springs Ministries in Morris, PA listening to the word of God and growing in our relationships with each other.

The Breakaway Winter Retreat takes place over Presidents’ Day weekend in February. Youth groups from PCA churches across the Susquehanna Valley Presbyterian come together for a weekend of studying Scripture, breakout sessions on culturally and spiritually relevant topics, and games and competitions among churches. Skiing Monday is an option for those who attend.

The Senior High Retreat takes place on a Monday and Tuesday of the second full week in June. Our 9th-12th grade students spend a night and two days resting and playing after the school year concludes. We also spend time together talking about what God taught us over the past year, goals for the summer, and what Scripture is calling us to do and be as God’s people.

The Junior High Camping Trip takes place the last weekend in June. We spend Thursday night through Saturday morning camping, swimming, playing games, and thinking about a theme or passage of Scripture that applies to our lives.

Missions Overview

Each Year Westminster Church sends short-term mission teams to various corners of our county, our country, and our globe in order to make Jesus’ name known.

Westminster seeks to partner with established churches and ministries to support them in their kingdom work. Westminster’s Great Commission Committee believers short term missions trips are vital for the growth of God’s kingdom, to support missionaries and ministries in their work, and to disciple believers who give themselves to gospel ministry for the week.

Westminster’s youth ministry believes it is particularly important for youth to participate on short-term missions trips in order to see God at work in other places, to gain a heart for the lost and a desire to share their faith, to learn to trust God through prayer for financial support and strength on the trip, and to cultivate future missionaries and missions-minded members of the church.

Westminster seeks to provide two trip options for Junior High students and two trip options for Senior High students. 

2017 Short Term Missions Trips for Senior High Students

LEAP

Dates: Jul 2-10

Who Can Apply: Grades 10 and older

 

YAKAMA

Dates: Jul 29-Aug 5

Who Can Apply: Grades 9 and older

 

2017 Short Term Missions Trips for Junior High Students

JAM

Dates: May 12-14

Who Can Apply: Grades 7 & 8

 

KINGDOM BUILDERS

Dates: July 12-15

Who Can Apply: Grades 6-8

Youth Leaders

Led by Youth Pastor Chris Walker, Westminster is pleased to introduce the following volunteer youth leaders:

Matt Allgyer
Birthdate: April 10
Where you grew up: Leola, PA
In high school, I was either playing sports or working.
Current job/school: Financial Advisor at Everence
Favorite food: Nothing beats a good steak
Hobbies/interests: Soccer, ice hockey, running, the occasional video game
Favorite verse and why: Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. This was the first verse I ever memorized and the simple words have given me a lot of encouragement over the years.

Christina Armstrong
Birthdate: July 5
Where you grew up: Richmond, VA
In high school, I was fairly sporty, quiet, and generally got a long with everyone.
Current job/school: Graduated from Radford University in '07 with a degree in History and English. Current job is with Fulton Financial Advisors as an Account Administrator.
Favorite food: I typically enjoy most food...with the exception of seafood (although I do love crab!)
Hobbies/interests: reading, being with friends and family, traveling, Virginia Tech Football, and being around water (whether I'm on a beach, boat, or pool...I'm happy!) 
Favorite verse and why: Ephesians 2: 8-9 because it reminds us that our salvation is nothing we can earn. Also, Isaiah 41:10 because it's a living reminder that God is always present, and that it is He whom should be leaned upon.

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John Barry
Birthdate: December 1
Where you grew up: Greenville, SC
In high school, I was a nerd who self-identified as an amateur ornithologist. 
Current job/school: Pharmaceutical Management Consultant
Favorite food: Burger
Hobbies/interests: Alpine skiing, hiking
Favorite verse and why: Psalm 51: 10-12 - Because it reminds me of my need for a savior and his promised restoration.

Dan Bell
Birthdate: March 31
Where you grew up:
In high school, I was a special education student.
Current job/school: I volunteer at The Water Street Rescue Mission with the department that gives away clothes to those in need. I help out with a Refugee family, and when I'm able visit Brethren Village.
Favorite food: Spicy hot chicken wings
Hobbies/interests: Writing short stories on Historical Fiction & 1,000 piece puzzles
Favorite verse and why: "Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you." (Proverbs 4:6) This is my favorite verse because it is about being blessed by God by keeping our hearts, soul, mind, actions, and words, holy and pleasing to Him.

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Kim Bleecker
Birthdate: November 29
Where you grew up: Lancaster County
In high school, I was too cool for school.
Current job/school: Teacher's Aide at Wickersham Elementary
Favorite food: Shepherd's Pie, lasagna
Hobbies/interests: Soccer, traveling
Favorite verse and why: Psalm 62 & 63 and Romans 8

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Chela Marie Crouse
Birthdate: October 14
Where you grew up: Lancaster, PA
In high school, I was a part of National Honor Society.
Current job/school: attending Regent University for MA in American Government
Favorite food: Pasta
Hobbies/interests: I love reading, dancing, studying history, movies, and going to Cape May, NJ with my mom
Favorite verse and why: Micah 6:8 "He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" In knowing that God's truth is the foundation for my life, this verse holds meaning for me in how I want to live. I want to act justly and lovingly towards others and I want to be humble in my walk with God as I seek to reflect his life to the world in the way I live, study, and work.

Marcia Hanle
Birthdate: January 18
Where you grew up: Bernardsville, NJ
In high school I was on Girls Varsity Track (4 years) and Field Hockey (2 years).
Current job/school: homemaker, retired homeschool mom and freelance book designer
Favorite food: homemade bread
Hobbies/interests: gardening, baking, art
Favorite verse and why: Psalm 16:8; reassures me that the Lord is always with me whether or not I "feel" His presence

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Rachael Johnston
Birthdate: July 24
Where you grew up: Lititz, PA
In high school, I was the bookworm. 
Current job/school: 
RN at the Lancaster Rehabilitation Hospital and working on my Master Herbalist certification online with Trinity School of Natural Health
Favorite food: Grilled red pepper
Hobbies/interests: Herbs, reading, baking, singing, motorcycle rides with my husband, bird watching, hiking, camping, backpacking, etc.
Favorite verse and why: Isaiah 40:28-31 This verse has always been a reminder to me that God is in control when my circumstances do not match with my plans. He has a purpose in everything he gives me and will always give me what I need to push through. 

Seth Johnston
Birthdate: July 30
Where you grew up: Pittsburgh, PA
In high school, I was a sports enthusiast.
Current job/school: I work at Math-U-See
Favorite food: Smoothies
Hobbies/interests: Golfing/hunting/camping/church softball
Favorite verse and why: Ephesians 2:8. It reminds me that I can't earn my salvation, it is only by the grace of God that I am saved.

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Serena Jones
Birthdate: September 1
Where you grew up: Akron, PA
In high school, I was the over-achiever.
Current job/school: Millersville University student
Favorite food: Anything on the grill; also, chocolate
Hobbies/interests: Music, reading, watching Netflix, being with friends
Favorite verse and why: Psalm 13:6 "I will sing to the Lord, for He has been good to me." (NIV) Because that is my reason for singing, being joyful, and just BEING at all!

Lenny Marsch
Birthdate: July 16
Where you grew up: Racine, WI
In high school, I was a jock.
Current job/school: Financial Advisor
Favorite food: Liver and onions
Hobbies/interests: Sports, especially the Green Bay Packers, theology
Favorite verse and why: Phil. 4:4-7 - I need to joyfully trust the Lord and depend upon Him in prayer, in EVERYTHING.

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Matt Moffett
Birthdate: January 2
Where you grew up: Malvern, PA
In High School I was a boy scout.
Current Job/School: Biochemist
Favorite food: Grilled cheese
Hobbies/interests: computers, guitar, sports
A Favorite Verse and why: Matthew 7:7 "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." It has my name and favorite number. It's also a very encouraging verse :o)

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Carissa Ormerod
Birthdate: September 3
Where you grew up: Moved around several times, but home base was Virginia
In high school, I was torn between having fun and working hard.
Current job/school: Mom and wife
Favorite food: Bagels from Ric's Bread
Hobbies/interests: Reading and cooking
Favorite verse and why: Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted among the earth." It brings me back to who God is and who I am.

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Josh Ormerod
Birthdate:
May 20
Where you grew up: Strasburg, PA
In high school, I was a class clown.
Current job/school: Agricultural Sales
Favorite food: Hot wings
Hobbies/interests: Working outsides and playing with the kids
Favorite verse and why:

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Michaela Ploutz
Birthdate: May 2
Where you grew up: Lancaster, PA
In high school, I was a bookworm.
Current job/school: Licensed massage therapist/student at Millersville University
Favorite food: Homemade mac 'n cheese
Hobbies/interests: Reading, running, lifting
Favorite verse and why: Romans 5:3-5 - it reminds us that our suffering produces character, endurance, and hope.

Ben Rogers
Birthdate:
Where you grew up:
In high school, I was:
Current job/school:
Favorite food:
Hobbies/interests:
Favorite verse and why:

Erin Stoltzfus
Birthdate: December 26
Where you grew up: mostly in Lancaster
In high school, I was nerdy.
Current job/school: Stay-at-home mom
Favorite food: Philly cheesesteaks
Hobbies/interests: Hiking, traveling
Favorite verse and why:

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Erika Tack
Birthdate: September 2
Where you grew up: West Chester and Lancaster
In high school, I was musical.
Current job/school: Baker/student at Liberty University
Favorite food: Sushi
Hobbies/interests: Painting, hiking, taking pictures, talking :)
Favorite verse and why: Phillipians 4:11-13

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Corey Thudium
Birthdate: March 4
Where you grew up: Lancaster, PA
In high school, I was outgoing/into sports.
Current job/school: Realtor
Favorite food: Steak
Hobbies/interests: Sports/family
Favorite verse and why: Phil. 4:4-9. As children of God we can know true peace and hope in someone who cannot fail use but instead make us righteous.

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Mandy Thudium
Birthdate: September 21
Where you grew up: Lititz, PA
In high school, I was extremely talkative and always busy!
Current job/school: Success Manager at Listrak
Favorite food: Lobster Mac'n'Cheese
Hobbies/interests: Reading, traveling, crafting, trying new kinds of coffee, spending time in downtown Lititz with my husband, Corey.
Favorite verse and why: Isaiah 41:10; it is perfect reassurance of God's steadfastness.

Mark Thudium
Birth Date: September 27
Where you grew up: Kansas, Missouri, Texas, and Oregon
In high school, I was funny and immature - I'm still the same.
Current Job/School: Real Estate Sales for 30 years
Favorite food: Good Kansas City barbeque!
Hobbies/Interests: I'm a Baltimore Orioles baseball fan – I love going to games with my family! I enjoy umpiring Little League baseball and I like playing/coaching our Westminster softball team. I enjoy my job, so it doesn't feel like work! I like doing anything with my family and my two shelties. I love my God and enjoy serving him. 
Favorite verse and why: 1 Samuel 16:7. The verse is just another reminder that the world looks at our outward appearance and our accomplishments but the Lord looks at the heart. It reminds me to focus more on what pleases God instead of what pleases man.

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Michelle Thudium
Birthdate: September 28
Where you grew up: Kansas City, MO
In high school, I was very shy.
Current job/school: 1st Grade Teacher at Smoketown Elementary School until November
Favorite food: Mexican food
Hobbies/interests: Exercising/playing with grandchildren
Favorite verse and why: Phil. 4:6-8 "The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus". I love that promise!!!  It helps me relax when I am stressed.

Chris Walker
Birth Date: October 14
Where you grew up: Hudson, OH
In High School I was consumed with my love of sports, particularly baseball.
Current Job/School: Youth Pastor, Westminster Presbyterian Church
Favorite food: Meat. Then anything with tomato sauce and fruit pies.
Hobbies/interests: Playing just about any sport, playing board games, and just about anything else competitive!
Favorite Verse and why: I am sure this changes frequently, but I continue to return to Psalm 37:3-7. I love the psalmist's charge to trust, to rest, and to delight in our God.

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Gretchen Weidler
Birthdate: October 30
Where you grew up: Lititz, PA
In high school, I loved coming to youth group and spending time with friends. Also, I was very involved in Irish Dance.
Current job/school: waitress at The Brickerville House in Lititz, and studying nursing at Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences
Favorite food: Steak, popcorn
Hobbies/interests: travelling, being outside, teaching dance
Favorite verse and why: Romans 8:37-39 because it describes how incredible God's love is for us.

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Andrew White
Birthdate: July 16
Where you grew up: Lancaster, PA
In high school, I was younger.
Current job/school: Chief Creative Officer at HEX Performance
Favorite food: Most of it. Also seafood. And landfood. Does chicken count as airfood?
Hobbies/interests: Most of them? There's not much that I don't enjoy. Music, movies, and games are up there, though.
Favorite verse and why: 2 Corinthians 12:9 "But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. - I love this because it sums up our relationship with Christ and our purpose in serving Him. It's not about our abilities; it's about God's grace, love, power, and glory. Also I love the counterculture idea of boasting in my weakness. I have a lot to boast about!

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Melissa White
Birthdate: July 26
Where you grew up: Bradenton, FL
In high school, I was busy with classes, friends, and work.
Current job/school: Youth Ministry Assistant at Westminster Presbyterian Church
Favorite food: Crab, steak, and most sweets
Hobbies/interests: baking, playing games, traveling, hanging out with friends, spending time with my hubby, etc.
Favorite verse and why: Galatians 5:1 "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." It's just such a great reminder of what Christ has done for us and a challenge for how we should live now.

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Katie Zapitella
Birthdate: November 21
Where you grew up: Hudson, OH
In high school I was obsessed with The Lord of the Rings. I also wanted to be an actress. Or maybe a baker.
Current job/school: 3rd Grade Teacher at Veritas Academy
Favorite food: This is very tough. I do know that it is NOT seafood.
Hobbies/interests: reading, piano, baking and cooking, running, crafting (in a non-perfectionist kind of way), learning history, and going on small adventures.
Favorite verse and why: Romans 8 – I love the reminder of God's mercy to us, and how our salvation is nothing we can earn. We are saved and secured through the love and work of Christ.

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Michael Zapitella
Birthdate: December 17
Where you grew up: Erie, PA
In high school, I was a baseball player, football player, and boyscout.
Current job/school: Attorney
Favorite food: Lasagna
Hobbies/interests: Reading, cycling, shooting, archery, hiking, travelling, and sports
Favorite verse and why: Jeremiah 17:7-8 - This verse daily inspires me to be a man that God uses to speak truth, to be an example to others of him, and to encourage others.

Outside Resources

The following websites provide helpful resources for understanding youth culture and for parenting children in the church.

http://www.cpyu.org/ The Center for Parent and Youth Understanding provides many resources for parents on understanding youth culture, ideas for parenting and handling different temptations, and resources on many different youth related topics.

http://www.ccef.org/ The Christian Counseling and Education Foundation is a go to source for a Christian approach to counseling and issues that you and your teens may be dealing with. From depression and anxiety to self-injury, anger, sexual temptation and so many more topics, these resources are immensely helpful.

http://www.thegoodbook.com/ The Good Book company has many good resources for personal devotions, bible studies, and practical growth in discipleship.

http://www.homeword.com
Jim Burns, Ph.D., is President of HomeWord, which seeks to advance the work of God in the world by educating, equipping, and encouraging parents and churches to build God-honoring families from generation to generation. Parents can sign up for a free monthly parent email newsletter.

http://www.pluggedin.com A website of Focus on the Family where parents can find reviews of music, television, movies, and video games.

http://www.newgrowthpress.org New Growth Press is particularly helpful for their minibooks, a series of short reading on many topics related to youth, parenting, temptations, suffering, and other struggles in life.

http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/ The Gospel Coalition offers helpful commentary and articles on many topics, from youth ministry, to parenting, to theology, to arts and culture, to specific issues you and your teens might be wrestling with.