Junior High Youth Ministry & Confirmation

“The focus of our youth ministry is to reach out to all youth, as we come together to honor God, as we educate ourselves in the ways of Christ and as we act on our faith by serving others.”

What is the Junior High Ministry About?

Some features of our ministry include

  • Team-based ministry with adults who love God and love students and are willing to give a great amount of heart and time to the students and to facilitate a number of programs.

  • Our adult team members are carefully selected, screened and trained.

  • We have a relational ministry. Great emphasis is placed on adults forming relationships with youth, youth with each other, and all of us with Christ.

  • The Confirmation Program, a two-year program for 7th and 8th grade students, is the focal point of our Junior High ministry. Students learn the fundamentals of the Christian faith, and experience their faith through mission opportunities and participating in worship. Students talk about how faith and real life issues intersect. Confirmation Program meets on Wednesdays, 5:30-8 pm with dinner.

On-Going Programs

  • Sunday School meets during the Worship service following the children’s sermon in the Junior High Room, which is directly below the sanctuary. Sunday School topics relate faith to relational and cultural issues.

  • Confirmation meets Wednesdays, 5:30-8:00pm, including dinner, October–May.

  • Weekend retreat in September at Dickson Valley Camp in Newark, IL

  • Fun outings planned year-round, such as a water park, laser tag, Epic Air, swim party, Christmas party, and more.

  • Many mission opportunities are offered throughout the year, such as the Giving Tree at Christmas, leaf raking, Feed My Starving Children, Northern Illinois Food Bank, nursing home visits, and fundraising events for various causes.

Permission Slips (Coming soon)



Confirmation Retreat 2016

Confirmation Sunday 2017

Junior high Pancake breakfast 2017

Junior high Leaf Raking 2016

Junior high Epic Air 2017

Junior High Days for Girls Mission

Click on the Bee for the latest newsletter

Click on the Bee for the latest newsletter

The Confirmation Program

  • Two-year program for 7th and 8th grade students on Wednesday nights, October through May, 5:30-8:00 pm, including dinner.

  • Group study of faith fundamentals, such as the mission and ministry of Christ, what it means to be a disciple, what it means to be part of the UCC, grace, social justice and more.

  • Confirmation Ceremony in May for 8th grade students who decide to confess their faith in Christ.

  • Each student receives a complimentary Teen Study bible.

  • Aside from attendance on Wednesday nights, other requirements of the program include attending and participating in worship services, mission work, and encouragement to attend Sunday School.

  • Goals of the Confirmation program:

    • Receive a basic understanding of Christian beliefs

    • Participation in the life and ministries of the church

    • Form relationships with fellow Christian peers and adults

    • Ultimately guide students to accept Christ as their personal Lord and Savior

  • Parents and leaders can track each student’s requirements online.

Contact Marcia Schneider for more information about the Confirmation Program.

Junior High Ministry Team Members

Marcia Schneider, Director of Youth Ministry

Marcia Schneider, Director of Youth Ministry

Marcia has been full-time on staff since 2000, having started out as a volunteer in 1996. She has a Bachelors in Social Work and some post-graduate work at Northern Seminary. Previous jobs have included 14 years as a rehabilitation and vocational counselor, and volunteer coordinator and public relations work for Mutual Ground domestic violence shelter in Aurora. Marcia lives in Batavia with her husband, Jim, and their two dogs, Gibs and Grace. She has two grown children, Jason and Allison who live nearby. Marcia says, “I can’t believe they pay me to do this!” Members of the church say “the alternative can be arranged.” You can reach Marcia at marcymess@comcast.net.

Ann Alexander

Ann Alexander

Ann Alexander has been doing Junior High Youth Ministry longer than she cares to imagine. We won’t let her quit. Happily married to Tom for 40+ years, they have 3 grown sons; Matt, James and Peter and three grandchildren. Ann is passionate about our church and she has had leadership roles on many teams. She works as a docent at the Art Institute in Chicago, and sits on the board at Tri-City Family Services. She loves drawing, painting, ceramics and gardening. 

Amanda Thomas

Amanda Thomas

Amanda Thomas. has been involved in youth ministries for the past 14 years. She loves to learn and teach about the Christian faith and worship. She is a high school Spanish teacher in Oswego and she also works at the family farm, Windy Acres in Geneva. Amanda is a big fan of baseball and she loves to travel with friends and family. Go Giants :) Amanda lives in North Aurora with her husband and daughter, Lucy. 

Mike LeResche

Mike LeResche

Mike LeResche has been a member of the church since childhood, and he was a faithful participant of the youth groups. After graduating from IMSA, he went on to IIT and received a BS in Mechanical Engineering and Material Science. In his spare time he likes to play board games and video games. Mike lives in Batavia. 

Lee Harms

Lee Harms

Lee Harms was born in the Philippines and came to the United States when he was five years old and grew up in a small farming town in Iowa. Lee has a Masters in Social Work from UIC and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). He has worked in residential treatment centers, as a child care worker and supervisor, and as a child and family therapist. Currently he works for Lutherbrook, a residential facility, where he does most of the staff training. He lives in North Aurora, with his wife, Michele and two boys, Connor and Evan. Lee is an avid sports fan who likes to watch and play sports, especially golf. He is a big Bears fan, too. In his spare time he is an Assistant Scout Master for Troop 104 in North Aurora. Lee is passionate about working with kids. He feels God has led him to this field of work for a purpose. He really enjoys teaching Jr Hi Sunday school. When he was growing up he had some really influential adults in his youth group. Because of those relationships, he developed his faith and became the person he is today. 

Taylor Churney

Taylor Churney

Taylor Churney has recently joined our team. She graduated from Batavia High School in 2016., and is currently attending Waubonsee Community College. Taylor has a passion for music, singing, painting and everything Korean, where she hopes to someday live and teach. Having been a faithful member of the high school youth group, she is excited now to share that experience with the junior high students. Tay lives with her family in Batavia.