Thanks to everyone who came out for the Youth & Grownups Dinner on August 17th! We had a great dinner, the discussion was fruitful, and Emily enjoyed her birthday! The dinner provided a space for Cathedral Youth and their Grownups to share dialogue with Emily and I in response to three questions:
Who are we, What do we believe, and What is our path?
Who are we? Well, this question was answered both by Emily and I and by the Youth. This was our first meeting with some at the dinner who had their questions about our journey to the Cathedral, our interests and experiences with Youth ministry, and our hopes for the next few years. We also discussed the composition of the Youth regarding age groups.
The age range for the Youth roughly spans 13-18 years old.
As part of our efforts to build continuity and inclusiveness,
we have also formed a Middlers group of 10-13 years olds.
These groups will provide space for maturity-based programming and discussions. However, these divisions will also require greater involvement of more consistent volunteers and chaperones to maintain these groups.
The weekly Bible & Go ministry is tentatively planned for the Youth (13-18) on Sunday nights from 5:00-7:00pm. There will be a combined event for the Youth and Middlers each month.
What do we believe? We believe the Cathedral Youth are not the Church of tomorrow; they are the Church. As the Church, we look to what we proclaim and affirm for our beliefs and our ministry.
We believe, as taken from the Episcopal Church Youth Ministries website, that Youth ministries is a “bridging ministry of education, connection, formation and, hopefully, transformation.” Again from the Episcopal Church, “Youth Ministries calls for passion, patience, and faithfulness--pointing out the sacred in the midst of the chaos of adolescence and walking faithfully with young people as they transition from child to young adult.” It is with this understanding that we make and make known our path together.
What is our path? One of my favorite Psalms has an almost imperceptible detail that magnifies its possibilities. Psalm 16:11 can be read “You make known to me the path of life” or “You have made known to me the path of life” or “You will make known to me the path of life.” But I’ve never read it as an either/or situation but an all-the-above scenario. We both know the path before us and it is being revealed to us with every step. Is it any different with our Youth? We (the Grownups) have all been youth, even if we don’t remember it or our young people don’t believe we were ever anything close to their age. We may know how we made our way through adolescence, and yet it may not be the same path for our Youth.
Part of our path together is recognizing the importance of relationships in this season and the potential for harm or growth. Among myriad challenges, modern technology raises new concerns about boundaries and communications expectations. As we grow our relationships together, we do so according to Safeguarding guidelines, with open, public communication lines rather than private or personal messages. Out path together also includes more Youth led services and events. The predominant Youth led programming for this year is the weekly ministry Bible & GO. We are also looking to the Grownups of Youth to assist with planning and chaperoning various events. We will discuss these and other opportunities at an upcoming workshop dinner to discuss the different seasons and styles of being Grownups to Youth, i.e. how can we support the various parents and guardians of Youth alongside our support of the Youth?
stay tuned for a workshop for grandparents of youth