EYE14 Pre-Conference to be Hosted by Diversity and Ethnic Ministries Team

eye_logoIn order to be intentional about supporting and fostering cultural and ethnic diversity at the triennial Episcopal Youth Event (EYE14), the Ethnic Missioners from the Diversity and Ethnic Ministries Team are hosting a pre-conference where registered EYE14 participants from diocesan delegations may arrive early to build relationships with their peers and leaders. [Read more…]

Incorporating the Experience of Mission into the Fabric of EYE’14

Mission MondaysThe Episcopal Youth Event (EYE’14) is the single largest gathering of young people in our church.

3 Days of Urban Mission will most likely be the largest single-event mission opportunity our church offers.

Each person traveling to EYE’14 is Marked for Mission. Recognizing this, we are offering 3 Days of Urban Mission as a continuation of the EYE experience; an opportunity to put faith in action and begin flexing our mission muscles.

Three years ago at EYE’11, we ran our very first 3 Days of Mission. While it was a “beta” experience, what we learned was that Episcopalians are hungry to build relationships, take a stand for justice, and invest in meaningful mission experiences.

We are excited to carry forward this enthusiasm and purpose into 3 Days of Urban Mission.

As you put together your itinerary for EYE’14, we urge you to plan to participate in 3 Days of Urban Mission: July 13-16. We anticipate the inclusive price for the program will be $275 – $300 per person and will finalize the price as soon as the lodging contract is executed.

In the meantime, I offer a few reminder links as you to prepare for EYE’14:

Here is the newly prepared EYE’14 FAQ: https://episcoyouthministry.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/eye14-faq-final.pdf

Here is a link to the registration information for EYE’14 (including instructions for diocesan registrars): http://www.episcopalchurch.org/page/episcopal-youth-event-2014-page-two

Here is a link to sign-up for the EpiscoYouth newsletter (this is how we will communicate important EYE’14 related information): http://library.episcopalchurch.org/page/episcoyouth-e-newsletter

Here is the last EpiscoYouth newsletter, which focused on EYE’14: http://createsend.com/t/r-5F3D95EF29435CA32540EF23F30FEDED

Staying in Touch with the Office of Youth Ministries

“The thing that we are trying to do at Facebook, is just help people connect and communicate more efficiently.” – Mark Zuckerberg

communicationsEfficient, effective communication is extremely important to the Formation and Vocation Ministries Team. Together, we work to make sure we are regularly blogging, updating social media networks, and watching for questions and communications that require further engagement.

With this in mind, here is an overview of the various ways you can stay in touch with the Office of Youth Ministries:

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/EpiscoYouth
(You will want to “Like” our page for it to show up in your “News Feed.”)

Twitter: www.Twitter.com/EpiscoYouth
(This will only be useful to you if you have a Twitter account. If you are already on Twitter, you will want to “Follow” us.)

YouTube: www.Youtube.com/EpiscoYouth
(You can “Subscribe” to our channel on YouTube. There is only one video there now but watch for more in the future.)

E-newsletter sign-up: http://library.episcopalchurch.org/page/episcoyouth-e-newsletter
(Please note: E-newsletters are issued only occasionally and on an as-needed basis. We do not send e-newsletters unless there is time-sensitive, important information we need to communicate.)

EpiscoYouth Blog: This blog serves as the hub of information. Check here regularly. You can have new blog posts on EpiscoYouth emailed to you using the “Follow EpiscoYouth” button in the column at right.

EpiscopalChurch.org website: The Youth Ministries page of the Episcopal Church website is here: http://www.episcopalchurch.org/page/youth-ministries. On this page you will find links to reports and other content more static in nature.

Communications networks specific to the Episcopal Youth Event (EYE):

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/EpiscopalYouthEvent

Twitter hashtag: Use or follow #EYE14

EpiscopalChurch.org website: Click HERE to visit the main website page for EYE. Registration and other information will be posted here as it becomes available.

Wondering about Tumblr, Instagram, or another of your favorite social media networks?

We anticipate adding to our social media portfolio as EYE nears. I will be working with Randall Curtis and a team of young adults to develop appropriate communications outlets next spring.

As these and other communications opportunities grow and change, we will post updates on this blog – and we will create new icons in the right sidebar to help make it as easy as possible for you to stay in the loop.

Good communication is both collaborative and collective. Please be in touch if you have any suggestions, ideas or corrections.

In peace…

Wendy Johnson
Social Media Coordinator

Volunteer with the Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Efforts

Below you will find an excerpts from an interview with Elizabeth Heenan, Volunteer Coordinator for Hurricane Sandy Response, which was recently published by Episcopal Relief & Development in their Lamplight newsletter.

Episcopal Relief & Development logoAs part of the rebuilding efforts following Hurricane Sandy, Episcopal Relief & Development is supporting a coordinated volunteer response among three Episcopal dioceses: New York, New Jersey and Easton.

Any type of group can be accommodated, including individuals and groups that come for the day or week-long trips. All three of the diocesan programs are doing reconstruction in private homes, and have several houses they are working on at any given time. Volunteers are also sent to a soup kitchen in Keansburg, NJ that is still feeding disaster survivors.

Skilled Volunteers Needed
Volunteers over the age of 18 with skills in electrical and plumbing are especially needed. In addition, the dioceses of New York and New Jersey are looking for people skilled in “finishing” work, such as painting and putting up drywall and cabinets. Groups with one or two skilled workers are most valuable because they can help manage the rest of the volunteers.

Currently, minors can do some clean-up work and volunteer in soup kitchens. Due to state laws, it can be difficult to place minors at reconstruction sites. But some laws may be changing in response to the need for Sandy volunteers. New Jersey, for example, now allows 16-year-olds to volunteer as long as there is one adult for every three youth under 18.

Visit relief.episcopalny.org to learn more about volunteer opportunities in the Dioceses of Easton, New York and New Jersey. Email Elizabeth at regvolcoord@episcopalny.orgwith questions or to send a group to volunteer.

The Most Important Word in the Bible

PilgrimageToday I welcome as guest blogger Wendy Johnson, who works with my office as a social media consultant. Since taking her first job in youth ministry in 1999, Wendy has been an vocal advocate for the power of youth mission and pilgrimage experiences.

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Mission WITH Meaning

Mission trips and pilgrimages often form the cornerstone of youth ministry programs.

For most of us in youth ministry, our summer trips are behind us and we are taking a week or two break before we start preparing anew for next year’s program. That makes this the perfect time to reflect on our recent mission experience and to consider ways to continue to deepen our ministry.

This article by Sara Miles, The Most Important Word in the Bible, appeared on Episcopal Cafe a couple of days ago. Sara is Director of Ministry at St Gregory of Nyssa in San Francisco and she’s the author of Take This Bread, Jesus Freak, and the upcoming release, City of God. As a lay person working in a church renown for its deep relationship with the community, Sara has been a consistent voice for grounded, faithful service and mission.

Having had the opportunity to travel on countless mission trips and pilgrimages over the years, I believe in the transformative power of these experiences. That’s why I highly commend this article to your reading and I hope that it inspires new dialogue in your faith community about how we can create ministry opportunities focused on abiding WITH rather than working FOR.

And, of course, I welcome your thoughts and impressions on this important topic.

God be with you.