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.

After Graduation: How You Can Help Young People Connect with Faith Communities

We are again fortunate to welcome the Rev. Shannon Kelly as our guest blogger. Her topic for today is how we can help young people connect with new faith communities as they transition out of high school and into college or new jobs.

Making Connections

young_adultWhen any of us leave one community and move to the next, either because of school or jobs or life, there is a huge period of transition, of finding your way around, of making new connections, and wondering what life in this new place will be like or with whom you might make friends.

For young people, this is an especially daunting task because this is usually the first time they have done this alone, without family or friends.

In our service of Holy Baptism, those present make a significant promise, that can be all too easily forgotten once children grow up and begin moving away.  In the service, we ask, “Will you who witness these vows do all in your power to support these persons in their life in Christ?” and the congregation responds, “We will.” This powerful moment in the service is evidence that our lives as Christians are not just individual journeys, but journeys of community and commitment to one another.

As young people graduate, get jobs, go off to school, or are in various states of transition, we need to remember this promise.

A few weeks ago, the Rev. Canon John W. Newton reminded us in his guest blog post how a simple phone call can change the life of a young person. Helping each other make connections and transition into new communities can make a huge difference and is one way we can continue to “uphold these persons in their life in Christ” even if they are no longer worshipping with us regularly.

The Office of Young Adult and Campus Ministries invites you to help young people connect with new faith communities.  You may not personally know if there is a campus ministry or a young adult community near to where the young person is moving, but we can help with our online map and database of young adult and campus ministries.

Do you know a young person moving away?  Help them find a community by making a phone call, sending them a link to the nearby church, or both!

Are you part of a campus or young adult ministry not on our map?

Make sure you have filled in the information survey so that we have the most up-to-date information about you. Your ministry will be mapped! Once your ministry has been added, you can submit changes using the same form.

Deadline for Taize-Pine Ridge Extended

The registration deadline for the Taize-Pine Ridge “Pilgrimage of Trust on Earth” was just extended to May 10.

The extension is not for lack of registrants, which are numbering far beyond expectations. Instead, the deadline is extended to accomodate everyone who is called to participate.

The “Pilgrimage of Trust on Earth” will be held in the “Far West” of the United States — in Red Shirt, South Dakota, a tiny village at the edge of the Badlands on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The outdoor gathering will include meditative prayer together three times a day, Bible study, workshops, small group sharing, and meals together, provided by the local Lakota people.

The event is meant for young people aged 18-35 but is welcoming youth and adults of all ages.

Register online now.

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.

Apply for an ECF Fellowship

Since 1964, the Episcopal Church Foundation (ECF) has provided financial support to emerging scholars and ministry leaders – both lay and clergy – throughout the Episcopal Church.

Through its Fellowship Partners Program, ECF  helps these individuals share their knowledge, experience, and best practices with the wider Church in practical ways.

Here are two great examples of the transformational ministries funded by ECF:

The application process for the 2013 Fellowships is now open. Here are three points to consider in making a decision to apply:

  • ECF is deeply committed to strengthening the leadership capability of the Episcopal Church. Applicants to the academic and ministry tracks are asked to describe their commitment to developing the next generation of leaders for the Episcopal Church, whether this is in the context of a seminary, a local congregation, through a church-wide network, or in another context.
  • An ECF Fellowship provides both financial support and networking opportunities. ECF has typically awarded three to four Fellowships per year. New awards range up to $15,000 for the first year and are renewable for an additional two years. In addition to this financial support, new Fellows join a wide network of past Fellows and are empowered to share their knowledge, experience, and best practices with the wider Church.
  • The application requires a significant commitment of time and effort and is due on March 15, 2013. The selection process for an ECF Fellowship is highly competitive and a strong application requires a significant investment of time and effort. We encourage all applicants to begin this process early.

The Fellowship Partners Program is one of the most exciting ways that ECF supports innovative scholars and ministry leaders throughout the Episcopal Church. Please email Miguel Escobar or Brendon Hunter if you have any questions about the ECF Fellowship Partners Program.