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NEWS | March 18, 2014

Fort Eustis chapel kicks off Spring Youth Ministry Program

By Senior Airman Teresa J.C. Aber 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

In order to provide religious education for younger community members, the Regimental Memorial Chapel at Fort Eustis kicked off their spring non-denominational youth ministry program for youth ages 12-18 beginning Feb. 23.

RMC reaches out to the local military community through church services, prayer breakfasts, youth groups, choirs, Bible studies and relationship-building programs.

Genevieve Hughes, RMC religious education director, has been recruiting volunteers and preparing for the kick-off since her arrival at Fort Eustis last October.

"I served the community [at Langley Air Force Base] for more than five years and developed a youth ministry program that currently serves as the model for Fort Eustis," said Hughes. "We have been training our future volunteers for Fort Eustis every Sunday at Langley during their congregation, which has given our folks some hands-on-training and allowed some of our teens at Fort Eustis to participate as well."

Teens who participate in the program will have opportunities to attend retreats and worship services to discuss relevant topics they may be struggling with in school, at home and in society.

Topics include the Christian response to bullying, challenges to discipleship, making moral decisions, justice and truth, dating with purpose and dignity, finding their path, and choices and commitments. Sessions include chaplain activities such as icebreakers and small and large group discussions.

The program also integrates the use of technology using Youtube clips and an online curriculum. The chapel has implemented joint activities with the Langley Chapel, which will help offset the costs of the program and provide unity and shared experiences among the youth.

One of these programs is the Disciples Ready-In Mobilized Evangelization Team, a group Hughes describes as a form of "body worship combined with flash mob dance."

"We have a group of teens ages 14-18 who have performed in various venues including Busch Gardens in 2012," said Hughes. "The DRIME Team consists of both Catholic and Protestant teens working together to reach out through their faith to the community and perform."

The Youth Ministry Program sessions meet at the RMC every Sunday through May 11. Hughes and the volunteers plan to implement a summer program and continue services into the fall and throughout the school year.
"The chaplains, the volunteers and I look forward to expanding the Youth Ministry Programs and working with the Youth of the Fort Eustis community," said Hughes. "The only thing they have to do now is show up and get involved." For more information, call the Fort Eustis Regimental Memorial Chapel at 878-5482.