What on earth is a TOG? It’s probably the first question you asked when you heard the youth group’s new name. When I asked the group what they wanted to be known by, we ended up with a whole dry-erase board full of possibilities, but what they really latched on to was naming themselves after something that they all loved. They came up with two things and married them together, The Hunger Games and God. In the popular book series, those chosen to participate in the Hunger Games are known as Tributes, and so the group decided that they wanted to be known as “Tributes of God” or TOGS for short. The idea being that no matter who they are or where they come from, they have been chosen by God, to be loved, cared for, and watched over. They have been chosen to participate in the kingdom of God, and they wanted to celebrate that.
Who are the TOGS? TOGS are any and all youth in grades 7-12. Most of our events will be chosen for that entire age range, but on occasion we will do separate events for 7-8 and 9-12 grades, that way each group gets a little bit of one-on-one time. Any and all are welcome at all of our meetings and events. Please bring along friends – the more the merrier. We aren’t a youth group without youth!
So what exactly are you going to be doing? The goal of the TOGS is to provide a place where the youth can be themselves, to feel a sense of ownership of their church identity, and to just be together to learn about each other and to learn about God. We’ll typically hold one meeting a month, depending on frequency of events, and we will aim to have two events a month, one social event and one service event. If you’ve peeked inside my office recently you’ll have noticed a dry-erase board with the title ‘Stuff To Do.’ On that board are all the events the youth want to do. Since it has a lot on it already, we’ll be plenty busy. We want the youth to feel like this is a place where they have friends, where they have fun, where they are loved, and where they can serve God.
What’s coming up? We have a ton of stuff coming up, so there’s plenty of opportunity for youth to jump right in and get involved:
- October 31 at 4:30p.m. is Halloween on the Street. The TOGS will be providing entertainment for the children and families who will be coming to Grace for hot dogs during trick-or-treating. We’ll have a hay bale maze, a spooky, foggy cemetery, and a haunted house to go through.
- November 3, 6-7:30 p.m., a TOGS meeting will be held. We’ll be setting up events for December and holding a small Bible study, as well as getting things finalized for November events.
- November 16 at 7:00 p.m. until Sunday morning is our ‘Lock-In,’ followed by Youth Sunday. Bring friends, games, snacks, movies, all the things you need to have a night of fun. Dinner will be provided.
What did I hear about Youth Sundays? Every third Sunday of the month will be Youth Sunday in the Spirit Cellar. TOGS will be reading the lessons, as well as helping with worship in other ways, (hopefully providing skits!), as well as special, “What’s in the Box?” children’s sermons.
What if I have other questions? Feel free to contact Pastor Tina with any questions you have about the TOGS program!