Strengthening our Youth Ministries Network – an Update

Episcopal Youth Ministry Network (EYMN)
No, it’s not a new acronym or organization, it is simply a name that defines a group of people who hold in common a passion for mission and ministry with young Episcopalians across our international church. There are no membership dues and the communication and correspondence, all in digital form, are available to all through social media and email.

The network has some formal structure that has been in place for some time as well as some new structures. Essentially it is my hope and prayer that all Episcopalians engaged in ministry with youth consider themselves part of this vital network that is in partnership with local parishes and parents in raising the next generation of faithful

Provincial Youth Ministry Coordinators
For more than two decades each of the nine provinces of the Episcopal Church have identified and empowered a coordinator for youth ministry. Those nine coordinators have been responsible for connecting the diocesan youth ministry coordinators and serving as a communications conduit from the church-wide Youth Ministries Office. The Officer for Youth Ministries has convened them and utilized their wisdom and skills to serve as staff for church-wide youth ministry initiatives and events with measured success.

In the current context that model has proved too great a burden for many serving in multiple roles and often as volunteers. So we have added a group to strengthen the network and the church wide office for youth ministries: a Council for Youth Ministry.

Youth Council

Council for Youth Ministry
In convening the Council for Youth Ministry I have recruited, discerned and invited a diverse group of individuals to serve as liaisons for youth ministry. Some are former Provincial Youth Ministry Coordinators and others are new to the church wide perspective of youth ministry.

There is intentional diversity within the group to bridge gaps in culture, age, ethnicity, geography, and formation. Each liaison has agreed to serve a three year term and to report back to a specific group of constituents within the church.

I will be introducing each of them over the coming months so you will get a chance to hear about each of them and the gifts they bring to ministry. This group helped me discern the location of the Episcopal Youth Event that will take place in Philadelphia in 2014. They have also helped discern youth who I will be inviting to serve on the EYE Mission Planning Team.

EYE Mission Planning Team
I am currently in the process of reference checks and invitations and hope to be able to announce a team in mid- March. Watch this blog, our Facebook page, and Twitter for information on this and all EYE planning.

Please hold this new Council, the EYE Mission Planning Team, and all Youth Ministry in your prayers.

Council for Youth Ministry currently discerning Episcopal Youth Event Planning Team

Council for Youth MinistryThe Council for Youth Ministry has convened for it’s winter meeting at the Duncan Conference Center in Delray Beach, Florida. (See photo at right and more below.)

During this meeting we are reviewing the over 80 youth applications that have been submitted to serve on the Episcopal Youth Event Mission Planning Team for EYE’14. Please join us in our prayers of gratitude for this tremendous response as we discern who might be called to serve.

The caliber of applicants is remarkable and the decisions will be difficult. Invitations to youth and adults to serve on the team will be extended during the last week of February. Public announcements about the team selection and the dates and location will be made in March.

Thank you to all of those youth and adults who applied and to all of the nominators and mentors. Your prayers are needed and felt.