Alexandria United Methodist Church
Thursday, February 29, 2024

All Youth, ages birth to 18

Although we do not currently staff a Nursery, we do have many amenities for families with babies, toddlers, and small children of every age.
On Sundays, the Preschool that is housed in our building (Butterfly Hill Nature Preschool) graciously allows us to use their space on days of worship as long as we are good roommates and pick up after ourselves.
In addition, located on the South end of the building, our restrooms house baby changing stations.
We have Youth Activity rooms with toys for every age, including a ping-pong table, sandbag toss stations, and fussball, and just off the sanctuary, the Lounge has rocking chairs, couches, a small fridge, and coffee table so that any parent can continue to enjoy Sunday worship should their child decide they need more freedom of movement.
Sunday School
Pr. Amy leads an interactive children's message during worship every Sunday!

Sunday School Teachers:
Amy Rieke, Lead Teacher
Ashley Rabeal
Connie Springman
Sub: Tess Evink
Ages 4 - Grade 8, October-May
2023-2024 Theme Verse, Psalm 86:10
Because You are awesome and a wonder-worker, You are God. Just You.

Each week, please consult the weekly calendar in the bulletin for any special updates from the teachers regarding programming and schedule.
Most Sundays, the children will head for Sunday school after Pastor's message and return during the tithes and offerings. Once a month, the children will do noisy offering and might share something with us after the offertory prayer that they are learning about in Sunday School. We are already working on plans for a Christmas program should we have children that would like to participate.
Each unit of the Celebrate Wonder curriculum has a "faith word". The Unit 1 faith word, which takes us through the fall season, is "creativity". For the next four weeks, our scripture study comes from Genesis, verses 1:1-19; 1:20-25; 1:26-2:4; and 2:10-23.
We specifically purchased a curriculum kit that serves the "one room school house" model where all ages can learn and grow together.
We welcome your questions and we open wide our hearts and doors to invite our children for an amazing year together in Christ's steps!
The Sunshine Team

Youth Group programming and information about Youth Confirmation
Age Grade 6-18
Youth Group Team:
Pr. Amy VanValkenburg, Lead Teacher
Tess Evink
Thomas VanValkenburg
Sub: Amy Rieke
The Faithful Five:
Prayers - we visited various stations that led us in different ways to pray
Presence - we listened to a presentation on noticing how our attention to our faith life is vital for our formation as Christians
Gifts - we took an 80 question assessment that revealed spiritual talents that we are using every day even if we aren’t consciously thinking about it
Service - we created a skit about a service project we might do in our congregation. Our group did a skit about starting a ‘kindness campaign'
Witness - we heard testimony from one of our group leaders about his own faith journey

When does the Youth Group meet?
**Wednesday evenings, 5:30 - 7:00 p.m.

2023-2024 Youth Group Calendar
by month/day/time

4, 11, 18, 25*
*October 25, we join CL and host the dinner and game night for the church, 6-7:30 p.m.

1, 8, 15*, 29 (no Youth Group 11/22, Thanksgiving Week).
*November 15, we join CL and host the dinner and game night for the church, 6-7:30 p.m.




6, 13*, 20 (no Youth Group 12/27 - Christmas Break)

*December 13, we join CL and host the dinner and game night for the church, 6-7:30 p.m.

Christmas Eve worship service, Sunday, Dec 24, 2023, 4:30 p.m.


17*, 24, 31 (No Youth Group 10/3 or 10/10 - Christmas Break continued)

*January 17, we join CL at Fat Daddy’s for dinner and bowling, 6-7:30 p.m.




7, 14, 21* (no Youth Group 2/28, Pr. Amy at Seminary)

*February 21, we join CL and host the dinner and game night for the church, 6-7:30 p.m.




6, 13*, 20 (no Youth Group 3/27, Pr. Amy at Seminary)

*March 13, we join CL and host the dinner and game night for the church, 6-7:30 p.m.

Confirmation Gathering  - March 8-9 - (MN Conference-led event) Camp Koronis, Paynesville

Join Confirmation Classes from all over Minnesota as we explore the Wesleyan Quadrilateral together.  Through games, experiential activities, and small group discussion time, we'll explore these core four elements of faith: tradition, reason, scripture, experience.  Enjoy all Camp Koronis has to offer - a beautiful tabernacle space to learn and worship, a game room and open gym, sledding hill, and broomball court on Lake Koronis. A note about lodging: Adults will lodge with adults from their or other churches in close proximity to students; students will lodge with only other students from their church in rooms that hold 2-6 people.  If individual rooms would be preferred for students or adult leaders, please share in the "considerations" section of the registration form. Cost for the Confirmation Gathering is $85/participant to cover lodging, meals, and materials.





3, 10, 17* (No Youth Group 4/24, Pr. Amy and her family will be traveling to the Holy Land, April 15-24, 2024)

*April 17, we join CL and host the dinner and game night for the church, 6-7:30 p.m.




1, 8*

*May 8, we join CL and host the dinner and game night for the church, 6-7:30 p.m.

**be sure to join REMIND for updates to our schedule




Youth Group Field Experiences

·       Dates subject to change; please join REMIND, our church’s main way of communicating event information, and be sure that Pr. Amy has your most up-to-date contact information.

·       Please RSVP five days in advance for each individual field experience. Send your RSVP directly to Pr. Amy: or by calling/texting, 320-309-5574.

·       There are costs related to our field experiences. For the most part, we try to cover most costs for travel and food but there may be fees associated to lodging and registration for some of our activities. Please consult Pr. Amy for additional information.




June 7 & 8 - Glensheen Mansion and the Peace Bell, Overnight trip, leaving from the church. Thinking Theologically: Exploring family systems and cultural systems - love, money, work, death, war, deceit, murder, and more…just like the Bible! We will visit the Glensheen Mansion and make our way to the peace bell (a replica from World War II), installed at Enger Park.


SUMMER DATE TBD - Minnesota State Capital and Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church, Day trip. Thinking Theologically: As we explore our values as 21st Century Christians, we will also be unpacking the politics of ancient Israel during Jesus’ time. We will be asking questions like, “How might building the Kingdom of God be the same or different from Kingdom-building empire/government in ancient times and now-times?” Taking a grip to our own state capital endeavors to understand why laws are both important and complicated.

About Confirmation

What Confirmation is not:
Confirmation is not a program.
Confirmation is not a youth group.
Confirmation is not ‘graduation from church’.
Confirmation is not the end to something you did.
Confirmation is not a sacrament.
Confirmation is not something we do because “my parents” said I had to.
Confirmation is not a test.
And, Confirmation does not always end in a service of Confirmation.

What Confirmation IS:
Confirmation is a covenant.
Confirmation, not being something you do, but something you live out - a lifestyle.
Confirmation is fun!
Confirmation is a time to explore, learn, grow, and discern God’s calling for you in your life
Confirmation is learning about what it means to be an adult in the Methodist expression of the Christian faith.
Confirmation is a time to think theologically about the values and Christian ethics that created the Methodist movement in the United States.
A movement that began in the home of Susanna Wesley, the first founder of Methodism, and then brought more fully into form by her sons, John and Charles Wesley, two Anglican priests.

Confirmation requirements for Confirmation in the Alexandria UMC
Should you decide to make the covenant official by a service of Confirmation during a worship service with our church family, these are the expectations:
10 Sermon Notes (in-person or YouTube), written format
Community Service, 75-hour requirement
Completed Units:
Methodism - history, polity, and doctrine
Methodism - our social principles and social creed
Methodism - the sacraments of Holy Communion and Baptism
Final deliverables regarding the units
1) Sharing your call story with Pr. Amy in the format of your choosing: orally, written, video, …I am very flexible on this.
2) In-person meeting with Pr. Amy, your parents, and a sponsor, to share what you would like to share about your faith journey and how you would like us to support you as you continue on your faith journey as a Methodist!

If you have a youth interested in our weekly programming or in our Confirmation programming, please contact her at If you are an adult interested in learning more about Confirmation and/or helping with our youth programming, please contact Pr. Amy and schedule an appointment. Pastor's office hours are posted in the weekly bulletin or call Ginger at 320-763-4624.

FAMILY CAMP on the shores of Lake Andrew!

Join Pr. Amy VanValkenburg and Pr. Christa Forsythe as they embark on their fourth year together offering Family Camp on the shores of Lake Andrew (Spicer)! More details will be released when we get closer to the 2024 date!
Sponsoring a youth camper!
Youth camping - many dates and programs from which to choose - Northern Pines (Park Rapids) and Koronis Ministries (Paynesville) has camping for youth starting at age 6. Our congregation is encouraged to sponsor a youth to attend camp for a week of their own choosing. Depending on which week a camper chooses, costs vary, see pamphlet on bulletin board or go online to .