Welcome to the Joint Youth Ministry!
If you are receiving this e-mail, it is because you have a new 6th grader in your family - Congrats!
Some of you attend one of our churches, some have gone to VBS or Crosswalk in the past, some attend Lisa's boot camp, and some just know someone who currently attends our youth group!

No matter your connection, we want you to know that your student is welcome to any of our events. They are also welcome to check out a couple and decide the Joint Youth Ministry is not for them. There is no "membership" for our youth group, students are welcome to decide how much (if at all) they want to be involved!

You are also welcome to forward this e-mail to anyone else you know who may be interested in checking out our youth group.
We are excited to get to know you, your family, and your 6th grader. We are excited to integrate them into all the different programs and levels of support we have for adolescents and families!  
This e-mail has all the details of what exactly our youth group is, as well as a few upcoming events we hope your 6th grade student will join us for!

What is the JYM?

The Joint Youth Ministry is the collaborative effort of Almaden Hills, Cambrian Park and Willow Glen United Methodist Churches to support  faith based youth programing for 6th-12th grade students. The JYM has over 130 active students from San Jose, who participate in a wide range of programs. We have alumni that come back to help out, and a diverse volunteer staff that makes our ministry unique. 
While 60% of our consistent JYM teens are from our three churches, 40% of our teens are involved in the program because they've heard about it from friends, their parents come to the Boot Camp Lisa leads or their own home church youth program isn't meeting the needs of their family. If you have never stepped foot in a church before, don't worry! You are not alone.
You don't have to sign your life away to our churches or the JYM if your student comes to events. There isn't a specific set of beliefs you or your family need to hold to have your student involved. You don't have to feel worried if your student can't come to every event (you will quickly learn that we have far too many events for that to be the case). We have a lot of  programs because we have a diverse group of differently talented students in the JYM and not everything meets all their needs. The basic point is that ALL of you are welcome regardless of your church affiliation.

How did we start?

I n the summer of 2002, the three United Methodist churches decided to pool their resources and begin a combined youth program. We started with 20 teens total, one event a week and lots of prayer! God has done marvelous things over the past 13 years. We've seen spiritual, physical, emotional and numerical growth like you'd never believe. Many years ago we made a mission statement that we still base our ministry off of today.   
"We exist to create a safe place for young people to grow in their knowledge of who they are and who God is. Our desire is that we cultivate a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and that their spiritual gifts are encouraged, affirmed, and celebrated in their youth group family. We seek to equip the youth with the tools necessary to continue on a lifelong journey within the body of Christ." 
 All the things we plan and do are based off of this vision for students and families.  
How Does it Work?

While a combined youth ministry isn't unheard of, it sometimes does get logistically confusing.  The JYM church rotation (where we meet and when) is sometimes tricky when you are new. Plain and simple- Every youth event for two full months is at one church.

July & August is at Willow Glen UMC on 1420 Newport Ave
We then rotate to:
Almaden Hills UMC on 1200 Blossom Hill Rd in September & October
Next we travel to:
Cambrian Park UMC  on 1919 Gunston Way for November and December.

The rotation then returns to  Willow Glen in January and continues in the same order.

All of our Sunday night youth programs, Wednesday Night program, and any additional monthly events are at the same place those months. Teens are encouraged to continue engaging in their home church on Sunday mornings for worship, Sunday school and family events. Staying plugged in to inter-generational worship is an important aspect of a teenager's spiritual development and the JYM is not meant to replace family worship time.

We have many programs specifically tailored to help teenagers not only survive the tough junior high and high school years, but to thrive throughout their seven years! We have Sunday night/Wednesday night program, road trips, sleepovers, messy events, sporting events, summer camps, and plenty of service projects all over San Jose for them to learn hands on ways to serve those in need. 

We also have a mentoring program where students can be paired with another teenager or adult in their church who will support them, encourage them and meet with them on a regular basis each year. 

We do events that include the entire family as well! Such family events include Family Matters Sunday nights, Memorial BBQs, dinners, our "Evening at the Luau" fundraiser, discussion groups and more.

Donations & Fundraising

Since we have so many events, mission trips, and camps, fundraising is a huge part of our success. We focus on two big ones: a Walk-a-thon in October and a Dinner, Auction and Talent show in March. For students that volunteer hours to the JYM, they are eligible for scholarships towards the cost of mission trips and summer camps. These trips are a great way to get them involved and can be a life changing experience. Teens are never excluded from an event because of financial means. We have very generous families and supporters of the JYM so if your family is ever in a financial bind, we will make sure your teen can participate in all aspects of the program
Do I have to pay to attend? 
You do not need to pay in order to be a part of our youth group.
However, if you appreciate the program we put on and are able to make contributions to fund Lisa and Kat's salaries, pay for food, supplies, professional speakers, and all the other things that make our ministry possible, we would greatly appreciate that. Whether a reoccurring monthly donation or a one time donation when you are able. While our large fundraisers are extremely helpful to our finances, when people sign up to give monthly, it does a lot to provide us with a stable source of income for our year and help us budget accordingly.  
Staffing and Volunteers
The Joint Youth Ministry currently has two full time staff
members paid by our churches and the members who pledge for our salaries. Salary is also funded by members of the JYM who pledge reoccurring monthly donation. Lisa and Kat divide their responsibilities by grades. While they will both work together and collaborate, especially on our many combined grade programs, there will now be a specific contact person for Sr. & Jr. high questions. Youth ministry is a relational thing, and any student should feel free to connect with either Lisa or Kat, regardless of their grade.
Lisa Jacobs has been in charge of the entire program since it first began. She was hired in September 2002 to create a combined ministry for our churches after graduating from Westmont College with a degree in Religious Studies. She loves youth ministry with a passion and felt specifically called to be a pastor when she was 15. 
Lisa is the Sr. High ministry coordinator, but is excited to get to know your 6th grader and be available in anyway possible to you and your family. 

Kat Kraynick-Baker is the associate youth director, and has worked with the youth group for more than five years, becoming a full time staff in 2014. She is a returning JYM alum who grew up going to Cambrian Park UMC, happened to also go to Westmont College and loves being creative and goofy with students of all ages.
Kat is the Jr. High ministry coordinator, and is happy to answer any and all questions for you and your 6th grader! She will also be the one primarily reaching out and communicating with your student. 

What does a full time Youth Pastor do all day?
A lot of our job includes event/activity/trip planning, teaching and writing curriculum, leading in worship, as well as individually connecting with families, students and leaders. Some weeks we spend a majority of our time dealing with logistics of an event or trip and other weeks we spend a majority of time in local schools, watching students sports/musical events, meeting with parents and leaders, dealing with crisis's, setting up counseling sessions for families and mentoring students. We recruit leaders, shop for food for events, write letters to families, pray, read our Bible, pick up students from school and invent ridiculous events with messy games. Our hours are all over the place, based on the needs of teens that week as well as events and programs.
Since the Joint Youth Ministry is an enormous program with a diverse amount of programming specific to each age group it serves. It is absolutely impossible to function without our large pool of volunteers. We have Sunday night small group leaders, Wednesday night leaders, trip leaders, mentors, event planners and logistic volunteers. it takes a team of at least 30 leaders to make our year happen.
When can they join? 
Our calendar of events for August is at  www.jointyouthgroup.com/calendar You can also find us on Facebook under Joint Youth Ministry, or on Instagram at JYMrocks. Our 6th grade students will be welcomed in to youth group in a variety of ways. We will send your student letters & care packages in mid-August to introduce ourselves, send reminders home and make sure they feel extremely welcome in the JYM!

August events are at WGUMC 1420 Newport Ave San Jose, CA
August 20th @ 12:30pm - 1:30pm: Pizza lunch & Ice Cream social at Willow Glen UMC for 6th grade students only! You are welcome to come in to drop them off and pick up some paperwork, otherwise it is just a time for Lisa & Kat to get to know your teens.
August 27th @ 5:00pm - 7:00pm: All youth group kick-off! 6th grade students join our middle school students at Willow Glen UMC. A night of fun games and getting to know all of our students  

September events are at AHUMC 1200 Blossom Hill Road San Jose, CA

September 4th @ 5:00pm - 7:00pm: Water Olympics! Taking the place of our typical "Messy Olympics", we will have a fun afternoon filled with creative water games. A perfect way to say goodbye to summer :)
September 10th @ 5:00pm - 7:00pm: Our first "small group Sunday" Your student will meet the adult leader who will be meeting with them consistently on Sunday nights. In Jr. High small groups are divided by gender and grade, so there will be a 6th grade boys group and a 6th grade girls group.

September 10th @ 7:00pm - 8:00pm:
  (After youth group) All parent meeting! Whether a new family or one that has been coming to youth group for 7 years, this one time parent meeting is necessary for anyone to come to. You will hear about the new things we are planning for the youth group, as well as sign-up for different volunteer jobs we need.
Late September: We will be having a "6th grade only" dinner to connect with your students and see how they are doing with middle school and youth group.
lock-in lock in
All are Welcome!

Congratulations on making it to the end of the e-mail!! You will be hearing more from us soon, but in the meantime if you have any questions please feel free to e-mail Lisa (lisa3cyouth@gmail.com) or Kat (katrina3cyouth@gmail.com).
Kat will be in Mexico July 29th - Aug 5th for a mission trip, so if you have questions needing an immediate response please e-mail Lisa.

As stated earlier, our youth group is for anyone. If your student has a friend you think may be interested - please feel free to pass this information along and invite them to the ice cream social on the 20th! They are in no way making a lifetime commitment by checking out a few events with us.

In Peace,
The Joint Youth Ministry
Kat Kraynick-Baker
Lisa Jacobs 
Joint Youth Ministry | http://www.jointyouthgroup.com 

| Lisa3cyouth@gmail.com | katrina3cyouth@gmail.com