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First Presbyterian Church, Conroe
 Discipleship Ministry 

DISCIPLESHIP MINISTRY
2020-2021 ANNUAL REPORT

Mission: To encourage people to meet in Small Groups and Sunday School classes for fellowship, encouragement, edification, training, prayer, and study of the Bible and to aid people in developing meaningful interpersonal relationships, and to experience the love of God as manifested within the Body of Christ through such fellowship.

Discipleship Ministry Team: Anne Spinks (Chair), Dena Sowden, Mark Sowden, Glenna Lang, Yvonne Rose, Mike Garrison and Virginia Tamborello

Youth Ministry Team: (Reports to Discipleship for oversight and approval of their recommendations and decisions).

Volunteer Youth Director: Mark Sowden

Youth Parent Advisory Committee: Mark Sowden (chair), Dena Sowden, Jr. & Sr. High Parents 

Vision: To empower, equip, and train youth to be the future leaders of the church through discipleship.

Children's Ministry Team: (Reports to Discipleship for oversight and approval of their recommendations and decisions).

Vision: To create a safe place for parents to bring their children where their the little ones will be given the opportunity to encounter God, learn faith and Biblical essentials, and experience a loving community that cares about their spiritual and emotional growth.

Essentials to achieve this vision:

  • To teach a love for the Bible.
  • To teach how to talk to God through prayer.
  • To make children aware of what God is doing in their midst.
  • To model God's love to each other through Christ.

2020 ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

  1. Sunday School Attendance Averages:
  • Nursery – 2 (No nursery offered during the months of March-September, during the height of the COVID-19 Pandemic)
  • Children – 4 (Online Zoom, Intermediate classes only. No in-person Elementary attendance)
  • Youth – 4 (No Youth in-person Sunday School during the height of the COVID-19 Pandemic, March-October)   
  • Adult -- 9 (Several Sunday School classes were put on hold during the COVID-19 Pandemic indefinitely, others resumed online via Zoom after a short break)
  1. Continued using Gospel Light Sunday School curriculum, David C Cook offered digital curriculum for ease of online transition. Teachers report that they are pleased with the curriculum.
  2. The annual Easter Egg Hunt for elementary children was cancelled due to being in the height of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
  3. Continued Tues/Wed/Thurs Online Chapel Time and Songs with Dena Sowden, Brandon Folts and Janet Klem when in-person classes were cancelled for PDS and kept going through the end of May.
  4. Coordinated and participated in a semi-successful Online VBS July 6 - 10. The theme was “Rocky Railway. Average online attendance was 10 children with 7 in-person volunteers, Mark Sowden, Dena Sowden, Alex Williams, Kyle Williams, Abby Stewart, Anna McNamara plus Debra Redden for Imagination Station and Dana Corbit providing pre-recorded Bible Adventure Stories. “Stay on Track Packs” were provided with the supplies needed for Imagination Station, Bible Buddies and VBS shirts the week prior to VBS. VBS is definitely more successful in-person than virtual.  No Day Camper VBS Activities or Family Night.
  5. Resumed Family Movie Nights to kick off Pumpkin Patch, serving hot dogs and popcorn on third Saturdays beginning in October, with average attendance around 20 people. Shirley Dukes coordinated help with refreshments and desserts during the October meeting, which was used as a Meeting of the Congregation. The October Movie Night had an attendance around 80 people +/-, including guests from the community.
  6. Coordinated the first Annual Pumpkin Patch, which was a great success. The Patch was open Tuesday-Sunday, from 12:00-7:00 p.m., during the month of October (10/17-10/31). There was also a Trunk or Treat on 10/31, from 2:00-4:00 p.m. with S’mores and hayrides from 6:00-8:00 p.m., hosting the entire group from Freedom Place. The Pumpkin Patch served as a location for at least one marriage proposal and one birth announcement, several photo shoots, and PDS class pictures. The hayride and weekend refreshments were a huge hit. Thanks to the Spinks for the use of their trailer, the Grahams for providing hay, Mark Sowden and Jay Swoboda for giving hayrides, Kristi Swoboda and Donna Stewart for sales, and to the Fellowship Committee for providing assistance and refreshments.
  7. Mark Sowden and Dena Sowden coordinated a 48-Hour Getaway in lieu of the Youth Group participating in Conclaves in 2020. The Baileys provided the use of their condo in Galveston. The weekend was a moving and emotional event. This took place during the weekend of 10/24 through 10/25/2020.
  1. Coordinated the annual Children's Christmas Pageant on Sunday, December 13.  In an effort to build bridges between FPC families and PDS families, the tradition has become to invite PDS Kindergartners and Pre-Kindergartners to join FPC Sunday School children in telling the story of Jesus' birth. (For 2020, only Kinder age kids participated in order to limit the number of guests in the building) The pageant was held during the church service, in what would normally be Children’s Time.  It was broadcasted on Facebook Live and YouTube. Extra seating and assigned seats were used and limited guests to allow for proper social distancing.

Youth Ministry

  1. Conducted Confirmation Class for six youth – Confirmation Sunday was held on May 24th (Alex Williams, Alison Spratt, Jeselyn Graham, Will Stewart, Henry Quekemeyer, Morgan Smith).
  2. Monthly Youth activities for JH and SH students were very limited due to COVID-19.
  3. Began “The Spark” Wednesday night meetings for fun, fellowship, and service. Average Youth attendance is +/- 17 Youth.
  4. Coordinated the annual Chili Cook-off on Jan 26. Over $7,600 was raised for the Youth Mission Trip expenses.
  5. Conroe area-wide DNow cancelled due to COVID-19.
  6. Limited participation in the Youth Presbytery Conclaves due to internal controversy in PYCC which youth leaders felt it was in the best interest of our youth to distance ourselves, three youth PYCC staffers and two adult PYCC staffers honored their obligation to the Conclaves weekends. 48 Hour Getaway in Galveston was done in place of Conclaves participation.
  7. Five people served on the PYCC (Presbytery Youth Connection Council):  Kyle Williams, Anna McNamara and Abby Stewart as youth and Mark Sowden and Dena Sowden as adult representatives.
  8. The annual Youth Live and Silent Auction was cancelled due to COVID-19. 
  9. Recognized graduating seniors during worship on Father’s Day, June 21. It was delayed from May due to COVID-19. The graduates received a gift from the church.
  10. Sr High Mission Trip was cancelled due to COVID-19.
  11. Conducted a successful Stay-at-Home Mission Trip here at FPC, where 13 youth, 1 young adult leader and 2 adults chaperones worked in coordination with Building & Grounds teams to clean the flower beds around the church grounds and scrape and paint the exterior storage building.
  12. Youth led worship services on Youth Sunday, September 27th. The sermon was delivered by several youth.
  13. Participated in several service projects: Assisted Building and Grounds Committee; Planted trees (donated by Roy Kessler) in public areas of Point Aquarius; served at the Soup Kitchen; decorated church Chrismon Trees; Christmas Pageant and VBS.
  14. Christmas with JH and SH lock-in was cancelled due to COVID-19.
  15. Helped in countless ways on countless projects.

General Discipleship

  1. Continued the concept of an 8-week Wednesday Night Live in the Spring.  We had another session in the Fall, beginning with a Blood Drive for MD Anderson.
  2. Conducted background checks on all teachers, VBS volunteers, and youth leaders.
  3. Recognized Sunday School teachers in appreciation of their faithful dedication.
  4. Used Youth in more worship services as Worship Leaders.

2020 OBJECTIVES

Children's Ministry

  1. Continue to move in the direction of family ministry (resulting in spiritual transformation in the children) and find ways to involve parents in the discipleship process for the glory of God.
  2. Plan more family events, gatherings, and seminars. Possibly have potluck lunches the first Sunday of the month.
  3. Collaborate with PDS for programming events.
  4. Grow and strengthen the Sunday School and WNL programs to the point where splitting classes into smaller age ranges is necessary.
  5. Conduct an Easter Egg Hunt.
  6. Conduct a Confirmation Class and dinner.
  7. Support and participate in VBS.
  8. Continue the Drop & Shop, possibly more dates, Gingerbread House decorating, and Family Movie Nights.
  9. Coordinate the annual Children's Christmas pageant, including the PDS Kindergartners and Pre- Kindergartners.
  10. Expand and continue the Pumpkin Patch as an outreach to the community, but not as a fundraiser for the church.

Youth Ministry

  1. Strengthen Youth Ministry through prayer, engaging curriculum, focused time, energy, parent involvement, and inviting new youth.
  2. Continue to build relationships with other church youth groups in the area.
  3. Coordinate fundraisers for Youth Mission Trips: Chili Cook-off, Youth Auction. 
  4. Fund and coordinate a combined Mission Trip to Milwaukee. Second Mission Trip to FPC Conroe.
  5. Recognize graduating seniors.
  6. Conduct Youth Sunday on the last Sunday in September and possibly expand Youth participation in worship.

General Discipleship

  1. Complete OPS assigned to the Discipleship Committee.
  2. Rebuild Children’s Ministry/Sunday School Team.
  3. Continue the development of additional WNL studies and Adult Sunday School classes.
  4. Place brochures and maps to Sunday School Classes at the three entrances from the parking lot.

Church Bus Usage

  • January - D-NOW, Soup Kitchen
  • February - Conclaves I
  • March - Conclaves II
  • April - Easter Lock-in
  • May - none
  • June - none
  • July - At Home Mission Trip, Youth Event
  • August - none
  • September - none
  • October - Youth Event
  • November - none
  • December - Youth Event, Collect Donations

First Presbyterian Church Conroe
10:00 a.m. Worship Service

2727 N. Loop 336 W. | Conroe, TX 77304 | PH: 936-756-8884