Thinking Intergenerationally: Transitioning into the rhythm of the school year

backpacksMuch as I am an advocate for and practitioner of Youth Ministry, I have always been of the school of holistic and lifelong approaches to Christian Formation.

Youth Ministry should not function in a vacuum or a silo apart from the body of the congregation, but from within the center of the community.

Many of us with Youth Mission and Ministry in our job descriptions are also engaged in Children’s or Young Adult or Family Ministries, too. Others function only within the realm of teenagers. Either way, we should be about bridging gaps between generations and culture.

With that in mind, today I invite you to check out the Episcopal Children’s blog that is published within our Formation and Vocation Ministries Team. Today, Wendy Claire Barrie from St. Bart’s in Manhattan (one of my favorite worship spots near our New York Office) is the guest blogger, offering tips about helping the entire community transition back into the rhythm of the school year.

Take a peek!

And be sure to encourage students to visit the d365 Back to School reflections, which are meaningful devotions for youth and young adults as they transition into a new year.

It’s That Time of Year Again…Already


In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him and without him not one thing came into being.  John 1:1-3a

Yes, it’s that time of year again.

In some parts of the country students are already fully engulfed by their academic settings; engaged in homework, rehearsals, learning new music and marching routines, and practicing and playing fall sports.

College campuses are welcoming the first wave of freshman for orientation and all the fall sports teams are gathering for intense practice schedules prior to their academic start.

And some of us are enjoying the last throws of summer, looking forward to state and county fairs and the long Labor Day Weekend before we return to the school routine.

Churches are welcoming their youth back from summer camp, choir tours, and mission experiences. Sunday School programs and youth groups and Bible study communities are gearing back up. Folks are brainstorming fund-raisers, service learning projects, and community outreach plans. As the earth rotates toward a new season, those of us approaching fall are busily engaged with preparation for the seasons to follow. We are approaching harvest time in the northern hemisphere.

We are transitioning to a new phase in the annual rhythm of our lives.

Please join me in praying for all of those embracing the beginning of the school year, and let your young people know you are praying for them.

Invite them to check out the Back2School feature at .

God you were present at the beginning.
Be with all of those beginning a new school year.
Comfort them when they are unsure of their new surroundings.
Strengthen them when they stumble,
And help them remember that your light shines in all places.
All this we ask through you, our Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer.

Call on Me, A Prayer Book for Young People, prayer 103, page 106