Youth

Making God’s Love Real in the Lives of Middle and High School Students

Merge brings real faith and real life together into the lives of our 6-12 graders. We do this through weekly worship, small groups, Bible study and fun monthly events. Students are encouraged to have a relationship with our heavenly father, build friendships in our community and participate in healing the city and the world.

Sunday Evenings

Middle and High School Merge

5:30-8 p.m. Sundays, Magnolia Building

Enjoy games, large group discussion, small groups, and end the evening with worship led by our Youth-led Praise Team. Friends are always welcome!

Dinner is served 5:30-6 p.m. ($5 for youth)

Sunday Mornings

Students are encouraged to worship with family and friends in one of our six services.

Worship is one of the seven spiritual practices we teach at Merge, and an important part of our church life together.

Youth are also encouraged to serve on Sunday mornings if they are here for more than one hour.

Youth Praise Team

  • The Praise team leads worship weekly at Merge on Sunday evenings with a variety of contemporary music.
  • They lead worship for the congregation, and our Children’s Ministries some Sundays during the year.

Praise Team Practice
4:30-5:30 p.m. Sundays

MID-WEEK

High School Home Groups

6-8 p.m. Tuesdays (Seasonally)

During Advent, Lent and Summer for High School students.
Meets in church member homes. Includes a home cooked meal, games and Bible study.

Contact Emily Felgenhauer for next specific dates and locations.

Middle School Bible Study

6:30-8 p.m. Wednesdays
Magnolia Building

Grow in a deeper and more biblical understanding of God. Don’t forget to bring your Bibles with you and invite a friend. We play fun games to get your student more familiar with their Bibles and connect the stories with their faith journey now.

FAITH STEPS

Classes and Groups for Youth and Parents

Middle School

Teach important markers of faith for an important stage of life.

Confirmation

7 Grade and up
When: Jan. – April 2017
Confirmation is the beginning of a life of Christian discipleship with the church. Students in confirmation classes will learn to fully engage in the life of the church through worship, service a retreat and small group study.

Warren Willis Camp

June 2017
Make unforgettable memories and lifelong friends at Warren Willis Camp! Students will grow in their relationships with others and God while zip lining, tubing, sailing, making crafts and more.
Learn more.

Middle School Mission trip—Jacksonville, FL

The summer mission trips at our Jacksonville location offer several amazing and meaningful opportunities for youth groups. Part of our outreach ministry will be in a community just south of our camp. This is an impoverished neighborhood where mission teams will minister to the children through our children’s outreach program and work to repair dozens of homes to bring them back to livable conditions. There is so much need and so much to be accomplished in this community that we can’t help but be excited about the impact your group can have showing the love of Christ to the families and children who live there. 

Lodging: Groups involved with our summer missions trips to Jacksonville will stay at a facility with bunk style cabins, chapel, dining hall, recreation areas, lake with swimming docks, canoes & paddle boats, basketball & volleyball courts. All meals are included except two lunches and two dinners during free time.

 Area Attractions: Beaches, St. Augustine, Hanna State Park, water parks, amusement centers
When: July 9–15
Cost: $400

Register Now

High School

Get support at this transitional time for parents and teenagers.

Warren Willis Camp

June 2017
Make unforgettable memories and lifelong friends at Warren Willis Camp! Students will grow in their relationships with others and God while zip lining, tubing, sailing, making crafts and more.
Learn more.

High School Mission trip—San Ramon, Alajuela, Costa Rica 


Our mission trips are designed to be a cross-cultural adventure of sharing Jesus Christ. We provide your team with training materials to equip them for the trip. From the moment you book a trip with us we concentrate on praying for, equipping, encouraging and empowering your team to do ministry in Costa Rica and in your home town. We emphasize teamwork so that your team will return home stronger than ever before. We help your team discover God’s vision for how they can serve the Kingdom of God when they return to their local church and community.

Schedule: Arrive early afternoon in Costa Rica on Sunday. Work full days of construction Monday—Wednesday, have a half a day of work on Thursday and enjoy local site seeing in the evenings along with Worship. Friday morning travel to Volcano where we will be staying until Sunday.

Construction Projects: We are currently helping a local Pastor (Pastor Carlos) build a church in a very poor area call Linda Vista. We also build bunk beds for families and home repairs.

Fun Days: Arenal Volcano in La Fortuna is a beautiful place to unwind in a 2 night hotel stay (Friday & Saturday). We will experience their Hot springs that are naturally heated by the Volcano. We’ll spend a day Zooming over the jungle canopy on a zipline tour or paddle the rapids on a rafting adventure.

When: July 23- 30
Cost: $1,500—Everything included!
Register Now

College Ready

12th Graders
March – May 2017
College will be filled with all kinds of eye-opening moments. This group will help you anticipate what’s ahead of you and develop a plan and personal vision for starting college right and finishing it well.

Belong Retreat

9th and 10th Graders
When: May 5-7, 2017
Explore what being a child of God means for the next stage of your life: Learn about having fun in high school. Learn that sex isn’t dirty. Understand yourself and God’s desire for your life.

Register Now

Money Matters

Feb. 2017
Money is important to God, and Bible talks about money more than any other subject. If you understand how to manage money God’s way, it will help you so much in the long term.

Register for Events this Year

Merge Family Camping Trip


From hiking to biking to horseback riding, our family camping trip is a fun and exciting way for families to come together and share a fun experience camping at Florida’s Little Manatee River State Park. Bring your sleeping bags, camping tents, and whatever food you might need, as you join us in becoming one with the nature that God has created for us.
When: Nov. 11— 13
Cost: $5 per vehicle, $10 per person, $4 per child (less than 15 years old)
Register Now

College Connection Retreat— Warren Willis UMC Camp

A weekend retreat at camp devoted to connecting high school juniors and seniors to college ministries. College ministries from around the state of Florida will be represented by volunteers, workshop leaders, worship bands, and speakers. This weekend is facilitated and staffed by college students and camp staff from around the state of Florida.  Our staff of college students will provide excellent supervision in the cabins and during the retreat. A great weekend to bridge the gap between Youth Ministry and College Ministry.
When: January 27-29
Cost: TBD

Family Mission Trip - El Ayudante “The Servant” Leon, Nicaragua

If you have ever felt called to serve the poor, this is a wonderful opportunity for you. No special training or particular skills are required, only a kind and loving heart and a desire to help and serve the poor. Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the western hemisphere. What the people lack material goods they make up in spiritual richness. The people of Nicaragua are some of the happiest and friendliest people you will ever meet. After a week in Nicaragua, you will feel like you received something … a life changing experience. (www.nicamissions.com)

When: June 3-10
Cost: Cost of the mission trip – Approximately $1,500 per person.
Includes round-trip airfare from Tampa through Miami to Managua; all transportation in Nicaragua; food and lodging at El Ayudante; and funds to pay for construction materials, snacks, and school supplies we will use in Nicaragua.

Register Now

Mystery Trip Retreat 


It’s a mystery! One of the best traditions we have at Merge! A great chance for our kids to grow closer together and have a fun. Parents will be given an itinerary of the trip as we are piling your student(s) on our bus that Friday afternoon. After all, a good Mystery Trip needs to stay secret as long as possible. The real question is, do you trust us with your kids over the Adult Gasparilla weekend?
When: January 27- 29
Cost: $150
Register now

Warren Willis United Methodist Camp—Fruitland Park, FL


Children who have completed grades 4-12 are invited to attend. Camp registration begins online Dec. 1 at warrenwilliscamp.org. If after you’ve registered you would like to sign up to ride the church bus, an online form will be available to reserve a spot on the bus. We have limited spaces available. If you are in need of a scholarship there is an application process to go through first. Please contact our Youth Director, Emily Felgenhauer or Kathy DiRaimo.
When: June 19-24
Cost: $420
Learn more.

Middle School Mission trip—Jacksonville, FL

The summer mission trips at our Jacksonville location offer several amazing and meaningful opportunities for youth groups. Part of our outreach ministry will be in a community just south of our camp. This is an impoverished neighborhood where mission teams will minister to the children through our children’s outreach program and work to repair dozens of homes to bring them back to livable conditions. There is so much need and so much to be accomplished in this community that we can’t help but be excited about the impact your group can have showing the love of Christ to the families and children who live there. 

Lodging: Groups involved with our summer missions trips to Jacksonville will stay at a facility with bunk style cabins, chapel, dining hall, recreation areas, lake with swimming docks, canoes & paddle boats, basketball & volleyball courts. All meals are included except two lunches and two dinners during free time.

Area Attractions: Beaches, St. Augustine, Hanna State Park, water parks, amusement centers
When: July 9–15
Cost: $400

Register Now

High School Mission trip—San Ramon, Alajuela, Costa Rica 


Our mission trips are designed to be a cross-cultural adventure of sharing Jesus Christ. We provide your team with training materials to equip them for the trip. From the moment you book a trip with us we concentrate on praying for, equipping, encouraging and empowering your team to do ministry in Costa Rica and in your home town. We emphasize teamwork so that your team will return home stronger than ever before. We help your team discover God’s vision for how they can serve the Kingdom of God when they return to their local church and community.

Schedule: Arrive early afternoon in Costa Rica on Sunday. Work full days of construction Monday—Wednesday, have a half a day of work on Thursday and enjoy local site seeing in the evenings along with Worship. Friday morning travel to Volcano where we will be staying until Sunday.

Construction Projects: We are currently helping a local Pastor (Pastor Carlos) build a church in a very poor area call Linda Vista. We also build bunk beds for families and home repairs.

Fun Days: Arenal Volcano in La Fortuna is a beautiful place to unwind in a 2 night hotel stay (Friday & Saturday). We will experience their Hot springs that are naturally heated by the Volcano. We’ll spend a day Zooming over the jungle canopy on a zipline tour or paddle the rapids on a rafting adventure.

When: July 23- 30
Cost: $1,500—Everything included!

Register Now

Meet the Merge Youth Ministries Staff

Emily Felgenhauer
Director of Youth Ministries

Kathy DiRaimo
Administrative Assistant

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