What are you doing this summer? And why?

Summer MissionAcross the church youth groups are in varying degrees of discernment and/or preparation for spring break and summer mission experiences.

Some are called mission trips, others are pilgrimages, and some are cultural immersions.

Each of these perspectives is a form of short term mission in which we are attempting to join God’s greater mission in a part of the world other than our own back yard.

I strongly recommend that all who are planning or even contemplating this sort of youth engagement to read the recent article from Youth Worker. Andrew Root, a professor in Youth and Family Ministries at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, offers a careful exploration about short term mission that may transform your event in the planning.

He concludes, ” They are not to be used as tools to move kids  into religious commitment, but rather are opportunities to participate in tasting God’s future. It might be that in our small and insignificant actions of service we witness to God’s future, and by our witness—by taking action—we are pulled into participation.”

I am curious about your conclusions about the purposes of mission experiences. Share your thoughts in the comments below.

We will also be offering news of short term Episcopal Missions in which your youth group could participate this summer.

So stay tuned and let us know if you offer mission experiences in your neck of the woods. We want to make sure that all opportunities are on the Youth Ministry Network Radar.

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Comments

  1. Ed Milbrada says:

    While I’m not part of my church youth group’s pilgrimage to Scotland this summer, I will be working on God’s broader Mission in a different way. I chair the Episcopal Scouter’s display at the Boy Scout National Jamboree. In this display we are trying to introduce the 40,000 or so youth and adults who are Jamboree participants and the 100,000 plus visitors to the Episcopal expression of Christianity. Our display, one of the 30 or so displays from faith traditions that sponsor Scouting units, has as its theme: “Stops Along the Via Media”. At each stop we will introduce participants and visitors to a key event in the formation of the Episcopal (Anglican) expression of the Christian faith.

    I will also be helping insure that the 400 or so Episcopal youth and adult participants have an Episcopal worship service on the Sunday of the Jamboree.

    If any of the readers of this BLOG happen to be at the Bechtel Summit Reserve this summer, I encourage you to stop by our display and introduce yourself.

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  2. If you are in Province 7 check out our Summer Mission Experience in Dallas at http://province7youth.org/ . We will be serving for 4 days in various ministries in Dallas.

    For me short term mission experiences have always been about deepening our relationship with people who we often ignore. About being made aware of strangers that we in our busy-ness in life often take for granted. And when we come back from these experiences we are changed and hopefully our eyes are more open to look at the strangers next to us, and see the face of the Resurrected Christ.

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