Ou weekly youth gathering happens Sunday mornings during the 11:00 worship service. Sixth through twelfth graders attend worship, then leave during the sermon for their own age appropriate Bible study. We host retreats, mission trips, lock-ins and fellowship events throughout the year.
Latest Youth Ministry News
What a "blessing" it was to witness some of our beautiful children receive a special gift from Pastor Bryan to place on their backpacks for the new school year. With ever changing COVID news, family vacations, and uncertainty that so many of our San Antonio churches have faced, it was a beautiful scene to watch in worship.
We've waited throughout the summer to ensure a sizable number of our families would be in worship. Now that we've confirmed folks are ready for our new schedule of children and youth programs, we are thrilled to add this element of family participation back into weekly worship.
The tags the children received read: "This Child is loved by God, prayed over by the San Pedro church family, and blessed to be a blessing to others." The children's message reminded the kids, and all of us, that we are called to be a friend to make a friend. Don't wait for others to love and care for you - instead make the commitment to first bless others. Tags are available for those who could not be in attendance.
In other great news for opportunities for kids in worship, read about the return of our acolyte ministry HERE.
The following is Kaela Williamson's Senior Testimony presented to the congreagation on Sunday, May 23, 2021.
Good morning, I am Kaela Williamson. I will be graduating from Reagan High School as a Summa Cum Laude in a few weeks and will be attending the University of Alabama to study Hospitality and Management.
I have been attending San Pedro since I was 14, so only about 4 years. I have however been attending church my whole life. My parents raised my sister and I on going to church every Sunday and attending the preschool that was located in our church in Georgia. We celebrate Easter and Christmas, and did VBS almost every year. Christ has been a part of my life since I was a baby. Now how did I end up here you may be asking, or not and that’s cool too. We moved to San Antonio right before I got to middle school in 2014. We had scoured the city of San Antonio to find a church just right for us. Not too modern, not too big, something just right. It took us years, when finally a friend of mine Maggie Joyce who attended this church started to go through confirmation. Her mother had asked me to join her as she was not the closest with anyone here. I reluctantly accepted as it was nerve racking. I was going to commit myself to a year long church activity to a church I had never been to. Even after the first meeting I was still a bit unsure as the first impressions were extremely intimidating. But I still went through with it, and I am so glad I did. This church has such an accepting environment and the youth program is amazing.
One of the fondest memories I have through my years of attending San Pedro is my first Youth Sunday. The Theme, Make An Impression. Which is kinda funny considering how much of an impression it made on me. I volunteered to act in the play we produced. I am not and have no plans on becoming an actress so, so sorry for all the mediocre performances I have done. This was an experience that was so different from anything I had ever done for church. It is such a creative way to get the youth involved in spreading the word of God. It makes the youth listen to the message as well as the audience. This is such an impactful memory as I saw for the first time, how much everyone truly cared to make the event work. No one slacked on their parts and made sure they were not the one to ‘mess it up’. Because of the amazing experience I had the first time I was compelled to keep doing it. Sure Dave’s pressure did have an impact on my decision, but it was not a burden. I would have volunteered anyways. It's my favorite week of the year and I am sad I will not be a part of it next year. This event always helps me to strengthen my trust in God by understanding his messages in a new enlightening way.
Mrs. Cindy and Dave have had the most impact on me through my years in the youth program. They have always pushed me out of my comfort zone in order to be more involved. Without them I would have never attended my first lock-in. Which was so much fun. They teach everyone in the youth program how valuable they are as people and how they can have an impact on everyone’s lives. I also want to thank my parents for raising Landry and I in such a caring environment. Attending church from such a young age has taught me valuable life lessons and shaped my personality. I do not know who I would be without Christ in my life. I hope to find a church as homey in Tuscaloosa as it is here at San Pedro.
San Pedro has been able to teach me more about the Bible and life lessons that I can use. It has most importantly taught me that God is there for me. He cares about me and knows what's best for me. San Pedro has one of the best youth programs and I am glad I got to grow up here if only for a short while. I encourage any youth on the fence about participating in youth activities that you should definitely include yourself. It may seem intimidating at first but everyone here is so nice and Dave will make you feel included. Thank you so much for making me feel welcome here and I will miss coming to church here every Sunday, well most Sundays.
The following is the senior testimony of Parker Mapes presented to the congregation on May 23, 2021.
Hi good morning everyone , most of yall already know me but if not my name is parker mapes , i'm a graduating senior from johnson high school and will be attending the university of north texas in the fall. I will be studying speech pathology and hope to be a speech therapist one day to kids. I've been here at san pedro my whole life, yep, all 18 years. So many of y’all have seen me grow up here and share memories with me from when I was a kid, that I usually don't remember, but hey it is always amazing to hear about. This church is my 2nd family and growing here gave me nothing but great memories and lifelong friends.
I came to know about Jesus at a very young age, and have always been surrounded by the church growing up. I felt the love of not only Jesus but by everyone here in this church who constantly helped me grow. Mrs carol shelfer for being the best confirmation sponsor, Mrs pj and Mrs dawn for including me on wednesday nights with the kids and treating me so well, dave for always encouraging me with my faith and every individual here that i've met whos always only wanting the best for me. I truly love each and every one of yall.
Here at San Pedro I've been given endless opportunities to put myself out there with Jesus by my side, and do what I can for him. All the mission trips i've been on (which will never be enough) have let me learn so many things and helped me get to know myself as well as grow with those around me. Several years ago i gave a youth sunday speech and briefly brought up heifer ranch (one of the most “unique” trips i've been on) this trip has stuck with me and always will. We were put in poverty scenarios for 3 days and had to live without air conditioning, proper food, showers, electricity, and worst of all, We couldn't even...have… our phones. I know it's unbelievable. 3 days living like this and you'd never think you could. But in reality there are people, families, and children who live like that everyday and yet all we continue to do is still complain about the things we don’t have. Yet they continue to be thankful to have each other and a roof over their heads. It has shown me how absolutely blessed I am to have everything I do and I thank the lord everyday for it. I don't need a whole bunch of fancy food or the best technology they have to offer, or the new clothes everyone's buying, all I need is those around me who continue to love me and care for me for who I am.
I'll always try to stay involved in church as much as I can, yes even in college I know I know, because the church has endlessly shown me the best version of who I am and who I can be and it will always be here for me, I've loved my time here at San Pedro, and the memories and photos are there to prove it, and my connection with you guys, God and Jesus will be here to keep growing with me every single day and i will be forever grateful for that.
Inviting people to church is vital for church growth. In a recent survey it was discovered that 71% of people would attend church if someone invited them. The Williamsons are one such family. Several years ago, Kaela, the oldest daughter, was invited by a friend in her Irish Dance troupe, Maggie Joyce to a youth event. Kaela and her family slowly started attending church services and youth events.
When the Joyce family moved away, I wondered if the Williamsons would begin to look elsewhere. Thankfully, that was not the case. Kaela and Landry have been active members of our youth program, attending small groups, going through confirmation, and performing in Youth Sundays. Their mother, Gina has been a youth leader and adult small group leader. She currently leading one of our Good Life small groups!
You never know what will happen when you invite someone to church, but you do know what will happen if you don’t. Inviting people to church can seem intimidating, here are a few suggestions. Invite them to an age-appropriate event. Share with people why you love San Pedro. Ask them what they are looking for in a church.
But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!” - Romans 10:14-15 (NLT)
It has been almost nine years since I started here at San Pedro. I remember hosting my first Riser Sunday here and only recognizing some of our high school grads and none of our college grads. It is exciting being here so long that I have the pleasure of knowing both of these groups, high school and college grads. I even know our rising elementary students and am excited to welcome them into youth program.
This year's college graduates were about to enter their 8th grade year back in 2012 and now they are setting their sights on this great big exciting world. Our high school graduates were still in elementary school and now they are about to open up the next chapter of their lives. It has been such a joy watching both of these groups grow into men and women of God. I am blessed to know that God has used me, in some part, in these students' lives and I am excited to see how God will use them in the years to come.
I am working with our High school graduates to help share their story with the congregation. It is always a beautiful thing to hear how God works through our faith family to nurture students in the faith. I hope you will join us on Riser Sunday as we hear these powerful testimonies. I want to take a moment to thank all of our youth leaders, past and present, for how they have poured their heart, time, and energy into our students. You are a vital role in souls of this rising generation.
As we start planning our 2021 Riser Sunday, one of the thing we look for is a list of people from our congregation who have graduated from college. If you know someone from our faith family that is graduating from college or acquiring a post-graduate degree, please let me know. Send their name, Institution, degree, a way to contact them (email or phone) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Riser Sunday will be on May 23. It is also Pentecost Sunday so we are encouraging everyone to wear red!