At St. John’s we believe that young people are vital members of our community.  Just like adults, children and youth need opportunities to worship, grow in faith, enjoy fellowship, and reach out in service to others.  Because we know how important parents and other caring adults are to the faith development of young people, our programs emphasize building relationships between faithful and capable adults and growing in faith together.

For more information about our youth and family programs, please follow the links below.  If you have questions or need more information about how to get involved, please contact Pastor Paul Markquart or Jennifer Kooistra, Director of Youth, Family and Education Ministries.

Youth Ministry at St. John’s is made up of a combination of ongoing weekly events and special events for our Middle and High School students.

  • Middle School Youth & Confirmation Ministry
  • High School Youth Ministry

To find out more about upcoming special events, check out the news stories below!

St. John’s has adopted a Child & Youth Safety Policy.


Confirmation & Middle School Ministry

Our confirmation program begins in 7th Grade and focuses on preparing students to affirm the promises that were made by their parents and sponsors when they were baptized. The Confirmation program is self-paced and individual and includes:

  • Courses foundational to the Christian faith on the Bible, Luther’s Small Catechism, and the Christian life that all students are required to take.
  • An emphasis on short elective courses, which students choose based on individual interests and schedule. These courses are taught by both pastors and lay leaders of the congregation, allowing students to have a variety of mentors in faith.An emphasis on worship leadership and service to the neighbor.
  • A capstone faith statement project, which allows the student to tell the story of his or her faith development, as well as his or her plans to continue to grow in faith in the future.
  • In addition to confirmation, middle school students are invited to other events just for them, including:
    Annual weekend retreats and summer camp.
  • Periodic fellowship and service events at the church and off-site.

If you are interested in being a part of the St. John’s Confirmation program, or for more information about confirmation and middle school programs, please contact Pastor Paul Markquart or Jennifer Kooistra, Director of Youth, Family and Education Ministries.


High School Ministry

High School students continue to grow in faith and participate in the life of the church in many ways, including:

  • A Sunday morning youth group with a variety of activities including time for study and discussion and fellowship. Youth Group meets at 9:15 on Sunday mornings in the Rec Room.
  • Volunteering at the Oregon-Brooklyn Food Pantry on the first Sunday of the month during typical Youth Group time.
  • Monthly special events focused on fellowship and service.  This year we have plans for movie nights, open gyms, a trip to a corn maze, adopting a family for Christmas, and more.

Please contact Pastor Paul Markquart or Jennifer Kooistra, Director of Youth, Family and Education Ministries for more information about High School ministry.


Confirmation Classes

Parents please note: 

Please add February 1 at 6:30pm to your calendar. There will be an event for all youth who are currently involved in the confirmation program at St. John’s. More details will be available at the January 11 meeting.

News from the Newly Reformed Youth Ministry Team

The Youth Ministry Team was restarted in November and invites YOU to join the team. So, if you have a passion for high school youth, please join us at our meetings on the 2nd Monday of each month downstairs in the Recreation Room at 7:30pm.  December’s meeting will be on the 12th.

High School Youth should have received a postcard in the mail inviting them to events in December and January and requesting basic information.  If you know (or are) a high school youth who did not receive this postcard, please contact the church office or send an email to




Classes of 2018, 2019, 2020 & 2021

Plans are being made for the ELCA Youth Gathering in Houston in 2018! Every three years, the ELCA hosts a youth gathering for high school youth somewhere in the USA and it is attended by as many as 40,000 youth! This is something YOU WANT TO BE A PART OF!!!  Sure, 2018 seems far, far away. However, registration needs to be submitted by September 10, 2017, so put it on your calendar and watch this space for details in the upcoming months. Aren’t sure what the buzz is about? Talk to Jen or Theo Kooistra or Google Images from “2015 ELCA Youth Gathering”. You’ll catch on.

Okay, parents, you’re wondering what this is going to cost? Well, the pre-registration of $150 is due on September 10, 2017 and is non-refundable. The total registration for the gathering is $350. Then there is food, hotel, and travel. The Youth Ministry Team is working on ways to raise funds to cover most of those costs. Join the team and share your thoughts!

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God. — Ephesians 2:8

And THIS changes everything!