More Info on 3 Days of Urban Mission

Mission MondaysI’m excited today to share more information about 3 Days of Urban Mission, the mission immersion experience immediately following the Episcopal Youth Event (EYE’14).

3 Days of Urban Mission will be held July 13-16, 2014 at University of Pennsylvania. (EYE’14 will be July 9-13 at Villanova University.) Both 3 Days of Urban Mission and EYE’14 are being planned in partnership with the Diocese of Pennsylvania.

Other details:

  • 3 Days of Urban Mission will commence with a preparatory training and evening prayer service at 8 pm on Sunday evening, July 13.
  • 3 Days of Urban Mission will end on Tuesday, July 15 after a full day of work with dinner and an evening worship service. Travel home should be planned for Wednesday, July 16.
  • Lodging and evening dinners will be on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania in inner-city Philadelphia.
  • Following EYE’14, transportation to University of Pennsylvania will be provided for all 3 Days of Mission participants.
  • 3 Days of Urban Mission will deploy participants to Episcopal service sites across Philadelphia.
  • Exact deployments for 3 Days of Urban Mission will not be made until the event commences, however participants should expect to engage in hands-on labor, which might include everything from painting and hauling debris, to childcare and preparing meals.
  • Participants should bring work clothes, work gloves, and closed toe shoes.
  • The cost of 3 Days of Mission is $275, including 3 nights lodging, meals on Monday and Tuesday, breakfast “to go” on Wednesday morning, programming, and transportation.
  • This event is open only to EYE’14 participants.

With EYE’14 focused on the 5 Marks of Mission, it’s important to both understand the importance of mission and to experience mission. EYE’11 offered a similar mission immersion experience, which included more than 300 participants from across the Episcopal Church.

Delegations will register for 3 Days of Urban Mission online with EYE’14 registration. Participation is limited to 250, however, so registrars are encouraged to apply early.

More information about 3 Days of Urban Mission and EYE’14 is available in the EYE’14 FAQ.

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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

Searching for a summer service opportunity? Consider the Province 7 Youth Summer of Service

Summer of Service

Still looking for a summer service opportunity for your youth group?

Province 7 is offering a Week of Service (July 8th-14th) in Dallas for 8th-12th graders.

The total cost is $375 which includes a stay at the University of Dallas, 4 days of service with youth from all over the province and 1 day of Six Flags.

See the website http://province7youth.org/for all important details and to register.

The group has limited space available for groups from outside the Province so contact them soon if you are interested.

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.

Needed: Mission Carpenters

EYE Build Site

One of the most awe-inspiring aspects of last summer’s Episcopal Youth Event was watching an entire house being built on-site. I vividly remember being at Bethel the day the home’s trusses were delivered, which resulted in the fun picture at right. It was an exciting moment full of anticipation and potential.

The house we built was literally life-giving to the recipient family and symbolically life-giving to everyone participating in EYE. Through the construction of this house we broke new ground for the Episcopal Church, demonstrating the power we have to change lives when we work together.

This year, inspired by the good work of EYE, the Episcopal Church in Minnesota is setting out to build a house from the ground up next summer on White Earth Indian Reservation in northern Minnesota. It’s part of their annual Mission Project initiative – and by far their biggest undertaking to date. (Check out the Mission Project 2012 site, www.episcopalmission.org.)

With a project of this magnitude, they are welcoming all sorts of collaboration – from volunteer groups to help with the build, to folks with construction expertise to provide site management, to any and all donations.

Summer is just a few months away and I believe this is a great opportunity for Episcopalians – youth groups, intergenerational groups, mission groups – to experience the Church in one of its most remote locations.

I’ve spent time on White Earth and know the spiritual groundedness of the place and the welcoming spirit of the people. Folks who visit White Earth return transformed by the land, the culture, and the magnitude of life on the Reservation.

EYE House Blessing

If you have a group that is looking for a mission opportunity, I encourage you to consider making the trip to White Earth. For more information, contact Wendy Johnson, Missioner for Communications for the Episcopal Church in Minnesota, at wendy.j@episcopalmn.org, 651-428-9052.

If you are an organization or a diocese with a mission opportunity to offer to youth groups across the church, please write a blog post, include a picture and contact information, and send it to me for posting here! bskov@episcopalchurch.org