The Youths of STECI Philadelphia Parish are a very vibrant and spiritually active group. They are involved in all segments of the parish, and takes initiative and responsibility in leading various programs and activities.
The Youth group consists of young men and women of ages 13 and above. Youth Meetings are held every other month during academic months and every month during summer months in either Church or houses of different youths. These meetings have been a time of spiritual growth, prayer, short messages and testimony, fellowship, discussions, and games.
As part of an Evangelical Church, our mission has been to reach out and share the love and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to set an example for others through our lifestyles. Every year the Youths have been conducting outreach programs such as Nursing Home visits during Easter and Christmas, and also the Daily Bread and tracts distributions in the surrounding community of our members. We also help out in local food banks. With the help of the parish’s Mission Team, the Youths continue to look forward in getting involved with new outreach missions and activities that will bring glory to our God.
Our Youth Group financially supports two local missionaries, Mr. Prakash Khaterkar and family & Mr. Rajesh Barde & family from the Amla Mission Field in Madhya Pradesh, which includes an educational institution for children called the St. Thomas Mission School. On different occasions, the Youths have conducted certain fundraising activities such as water-ice and bake sales to generate income.
In the past, Youths have conducted multiple food and clothing drives, and have sent support and aid to poverty and damage struck areas.
Ever since the formation of the Philadelphia Parish, the youngsters have been an important part of its programs and activities. In the early years of our Parish history, the youths got together occasionally as a group. They participated in various programs and shared their testimonies during special prayer meetings and Sunday worship services led by the youths.
The youths were formalized into a Youth Group in 1996. This group usually met once a month at each member’s residence. These Youth Meetings gave the youngsters a time and opportunity to introspect and enhance their spiritual life, and to share their thoughts and testimonies. Rev. Biju Thomas, our Vicar presides over Youth Meetings whenever he was available. Rev. Biju Thomas plays a great role in the spiritual growth of the youths. In his absence, an adult member of the Parish was present to chair the meeting and to lead discussions.
The Youth Members are an integral part of the church and active participants in all major activities of the Parish. The Youths initiate and lead Youth Sundays, Youth Prayer Meetings, Youth Retreats, Praise and Worship nights and are actively involved in various other church projects. These are just a few of our activities to help us grow and live closer to Jesus. Currently, the Youth Group is thriving both charitably and spiritually under the leadership.