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What's happening with the diocesan Youth and Young Adult Ministry?

The Rev. Sheelagh Clarge at St. Luke's in Montclair's Pumpkin Fest. KATHY DEWALT PHOTO
The Rev. Sheelagh Clarke, Interim Coordinator for Youth & Young Adult Ministries
The Rev. Sheelagh Clarge at St. Luke's in Montclair's Pumpkin Fest. KATHY DEWALT PHOTO

It’s been six weeks since I started as Interim Coordinator for Youth & Young Adult Ministries on September 1, and I wanted to give an update on what’s been happening with this important ministry.

New Beginnings

The diocese now has a Youth Leadership Cohort of twelve active and passionate youth leaders who have met twice to discuss how to set about reimagining youth ministry, and how to support youth leadership across the diocese. At our next meeting in November we will discuss the core values that youth and young adult ministry in our diocese needs. Diocesan Council has also formed a group to support that work.

Our Confirmation Retreats are continuing with a new look for 2018. There is a small planning group working on one-day events. Registration for Confirmation Retreats will be open in December.

Supporting Youth leaders and Christian educators

To support our youth leaders, we have set up a listserv for youth leaders and children’s educators across the diocese. Let me know if you want to be included in that communications network. We will meet monthly at a church for conversation, networking, support, fellowship and sharing of good practices. Nate Huddleston is convening the meetings, and the first is Thursday, October 19, 6:45 PM at St. Luke’s, Montclair. It’s open to all youth ministers and children’s educators –– come and bring a brown bag supper and a colleague!

Mapping our ministries

Since early September, I have been reaching out to clergy and youth leaders across the diocese, to map out what we are all doing for our children and youth. The purpose is to create a network, so that smaller congregations with only a few youth can connect and make new relationships, with an eye toward possible shared ministries, mission trips and group activities.

Let’s get connected

We are working on a diocesan and Cross Roads event calendar for the year, listing all the events that are available. Please be aware there are scholarships to support attendees if needed. Please let me know if you know of other great events that are going on – or if you are offering something we can advertise through our listservs, web page, and our youth Facebook pages (under construction right now).

Visits and Conversations

I am making visits to as many youth and young adult events as I can – to meet, greet and listen to the dreams and ideas of what youth ministry could look like. I met some great Episcopal youth, young adults and leaders at the Cross Roads Volleyball Rally. Last weekend, I was at a Pumpkin Fest at St. Luke’s, Montclair, and enjoyed dinner with youth at St. Paul’s in Englewood. Next, I plan to dress up in a costume and visit a Halloween Party in Montvale – more to come!

The Youth and Young Adult Ministry is your ministry – let me know how we can all support one another.

Contact the Rev. Sheelagh Clarke at