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Youth Summer Mission Pilgrimages are an important and enduring part of youth ministry at First Church, Simsbury, and have been for a long time!  Most recently, these trips have alternated between urban and rural settings, giving our young people the opportunity to serve and learn across a variety of contexts.  Through our mission trips, our youth have helped resource-poor individuals and families, witnessed and gained an understanding of the harsh realities of poverty, and returned home with a deepened sensibility for the compassion and justice of Jesus.  We hope you will consider registering for this unforgettable, transformational, meaningful, and totally fun mission pilgrimage to Biloxi, Mississippi!

How Much Does it Cost?

The total cost of the trip is $888.00*.  To review the cost breakdown, please Click Here.

* If the cost of the trip would prevent you from attending, please speak directly with Rev. Kevin for a confidential discussion about scholarships available.  Our desire is for every student who wishes to participate to be able to do so, regardless of his or her financial situation.

* For those able and willing to donate an additional quarter ($222), half ($444), or even full scholarship ($888), your generosity would go a long way to help us assist others.

Ready to Sign Up? Follow these 6 Simple Steps:

  1. Use our Sign Up Genius to add you name to the list: Sign Up Here
    Be sure to use an email address that is monitored regularly – this is the address we will use to communicate with you about the trip.
  2. Submit a $150.00 minimum deposit to secure your spot on the trip.
    You can do this by either submitting a check to the Church Office with “PF Summer Pilgirmage 2017” in the memo.
    You can use our Online Payment System! Click Here to Make Your Payment Now!
  3. Complete The Information Form with Attached Rules and Covenant for students or The Information Form with Attachments for Advisers in it’s entirety.
    You can also complete this electonically, digital signature accepted.
    Please be sure to save and send to: Valerie Aldrich, admin@fccsimsbury.org.
  4. Review the Back Bay Mission Safety Manual, completely. Once reviewed, complete step #4.
  5. Complete the appropriate Back Bay Mission Waiver:
    Youth Waiver
    Adult Waiver
    These also can be complete electronically, digital signature accepted.
    Please be sure to save and send to: Valerie Aldrich, admin@fccsimsbury.org.
  6. All Final Payments and Balances, and Forms are Due by June 16, 2017.

Travel Information

Sunday, July 23, 2017:  gather at First Church at 8:00 am, depart for JFK at 8:30 am

JetBlue Flight: 575
Leaving JFK at 2:40 pm
Arriving New Orleans at 4:59 pm

Saturday, July 29, 2017: arrive back to First Church at approximately 6:00 pm

JetBlue Flight: 76
Leaving New Orleans at 9:00 am
Arriving JFK at 12:58 pm

Travel Light:

JetBlue Guidelines:  Each person traveling may bring one checked bag free of charge.  The must NOT exceed 62 inches in overall dimensions (length + width + height) and can NOT exceed 50 pounds.

Keep in mind, space is limited in the bus, to and from the airport, please consider packing as light as possible and, if undecided on the size of the suitcase, go with the smaller one!

Mission Trip Pre-Meeting: 

Monday, June 26th 6-8 pm (parents should plan to participate for the first hour, second hour is participants only) in Palmer Hall

Requirements for Participation

Annual Mission Pilgrimages are incredibly impactful, but it is participation in PF and Confirmation throughout the regular year that prepares our young people for these trips.  The consistent community building activities, faith nurturing conversations, service opportunities, candle prayers, and even games at PF Youth Group and Confirmation, teach our youth what it means to be part of a trusting faith community.  Consistent participation in Confirmation and PF Youth Group provides the necessary foundation for attending a Mission Pilgrimage.

It is with this in mind that the youth advisor team and I developed a policy for participation on the 2017 Mission Trip to Biloxi, Mississippi, for Confirmation and PF students.  This policy will take effect January 1, 2017.  The policy is as follows:

  • Confirmation
    • Fulfill the attendance policy already in place for the Confirmation program. If a Confirmand does this, he or she is eligible for the Mission Trip regardless of whether or not he or she decides to be Confirmed.
  • PF Youth Group
    • Attend a minimum of 50% of PF meetings and events.
    • Or, attend a minimum of 25% of PF meetings and events if you are consistently involved in an additional aspect of First Church life (tutoring at Simpson-Waverly, participating in Confirmation as a Confirmand or Small Group Leader, teaching Church School, serving as a JF Teen Leader, singing in the choir or participating in the Bell Choir, serving as a member of a First Church Board or Committee, etc.).

You might be wondering how it works if someone new comes to PF Youth Group.  Great question!  If a new student attends PF Youth Group for the first time in the month of March, for example, he or she can attend the Mission Pilgrimage as long as he or she attends 50% of the PF Youth Group gatherings from the time of his or her first meeting or activity and going forward.

There are a limited number of youth spots for this trip (34), which means abiding by the above attendance policy does not guarantee a spot.  Spaces will be given on a first come/first serve basis to those who follow the participation policy.

Finally, a note about the cost of the trip:  We recognize that due to the flight expense, this trip is twice the cost of previous trips.  To be as transparent as possible, we have created a cost breakdown with specific line items at this link.  As with every trip or activity, our desire is for every student who wishes to participate to be able to do so, regardless of their financial situation.  I encourage you to contact me for a confidential conversation regarding available financial assistance and scholarships should you have a need.  At the same time, we ask anyone who can donate a quarter ($222), half ($444), or even full ($888) scholarship to do so to others.

We are excited about this trip, and we believe this policy will make for a deep and rich experience for everyone on our Mission Pilgrimage to Biloxi, and during PF and Confirmation through the regular year as well.  If you have any questions, I’d be glad to answer them.  Please do not hesitate to contact me.

In Christ,
Rev. Kevin and the PF Advisor Team