59 Cents CampaignAre you looking for a justice event for your youth and young adults. Here’s a good one. Make 59-Cent valentines for Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, in support of the 59 Cents campaign. This campaign is a response to recent government cuts to healthcare for refugees. It’s an important cause, and you can learn more about it here: http://www.59cents.org/ 59 cents represents the cost per Canadian to restore full funding to the health care program. This symbolic gesture sends an important message to our government that we want to take care of some of the most vulnerable people among us.
Tag » Youth Leadership
Are you looking for funding for a new youth and/or young adult ministry initiative? The Eastern Synod is committed to supporting faith and justice based programs involving youth and young adults. If you have a good idea and people to make it viable but don’t have the funding to make it happen, submit an application. 2013 ES-YAYA Grant Application
Are you looking for a life-changing event? Look no further. Canadian Lutheran World Relief has a fantastic event planned. In May 2013, Canadian Lutheran World Relief will take a group of young adults (18-35) to Peru to experience its unique culture and see first-hand the development and environmental projects it supports on behalf of Lutherans in Canada. This Global Encounter experience will give participants the opportunity to witness work in which CLWR engages through its partner organization, Diaconia, as well as visit a Lutheran congregation, and cultural sites. For more information about how you can get involved, check out http://www.clwr.org/Get-Involved/YouthGEPeru.htm
This July 3-7 twenty young adults will form a youth delegation at the first ever Anglican-Lutheran Joint Assembly in Ottawa. Four of those youth will be delegates from the Eastern Synod. There was a conversation on the floor of our last Eastern Synod Assembly where we talked about the importance of the youth voice on the floor of convention. In a previous post I commented:
We heard these same sentiments from our youth at Assembly this past summer. Our youth are tired of the tokenism we offer them in the life of the church. They are tired of the entertainment slots we give them at our gatherings. They want to be integrated into the life and purpose of the church the same way everyone else is. They don’t want to be ‘youth delegates’. They want to be delegates.
Consider the motion on the floor of the Eastern Synod Assembly this past summer that spoke to increasing the numbers of youth at Assembly. I spoke against that motion. We do need a larger young adult contingent at our Assemblies. But changing a number in a constitution will do little to make that happen. I applaud the energy and excitement people have for youth, just as I applaud the motives of the mover of that motion on the floor of Assembly this past summer. We need that energy, excitement and positive motivation to move youth and young adults more fully into the life of the churches we are a part of. That takes work. But imagine what our communities would look like if our youth and young adults were leading worship regularly, leading committee work, serving on council, elected as delegates to Convention and Assembly.
Many congregations are getting ready for their Annual General Meetings. This is the time that we vote for delegates going to Assembly this summer. This is your moment as a congregation. Will you vote in the same old warm body? Or will you actively seek out that young adult in your midst who represents that change so many of you called for on the floor of our Eastern Synod Assembly last summer? This is a choice. It will take work. But it is God-pleasing work that needs to be done if we want to fairly represent the demographic that exists in this Evangelical Lutheran Church of ours. Be the change that wants to happen. Like Greta, there are many of our young adult Lutherans watching and waiting for this kind of opportunity.
This Advent, a new campaign is being launched called 1gift4good. The concept is easy: in each household, in as many households as we can inspire to do so, families are being asked to place a gift under the tree that was given for good, with no chance of return. Perhaps each family member will want to participate. But when your family opens presents this Christmas, that 1gift4good should also be unwrapped, to remind each of us of the power of a single gift – and even more importantly to inspire that leadership among our own children and loved ones. Read more »
What if a church just gave their collection plate away – every penny of it? There’s an interesting new book out about a church that tried it. For one year, they gave money to serve needs in their neighborhood, including groceries, and medical bills Read more »
There’s a great story about the seven-year-old boy who called 911 after his Grandpa passed out while driving him to soccer. The little boy, Evan, figured out how to make the call on his cellphone and spoke calmly with the 911 operator for 13 minutes until a police car could arrive. It struck me Read more »
Why do we put our youth in a box? On Thursday night, I attended the opening of the 131st General Assembly for the Ottawa diocese, and heard Bishop Chapman’s charge to the synod. He had some interesting comments to make about the presence of youth in our churches. To distill it down, Read more »
Churches, let’s be honest, are lousy at marketing. In the old days, we didn’t need to worry about it – churches, and the services they provided, were the place where communities met, where you took a day from your labours, where your children were educated, and where you got medical treatment if you couldn’t afford to pay for a doctor. But that’s not the case anymore, as we all know: however valuable the lessons of the gospel may be, and however valuable the non-profit work that happens, we need to do a better job marketing ourselves. Read more »
If anyone was up on the politics of his time, it was Jesus. The gospel, as we know it, was one big lesson in getting civically engaged – standing up for those people who didn’t have a voice, questioning the status quo. So it’s always disheartening to read yet another study about how youth are disengaging from the democratic privilege of voting. This new study comes out of the United States, on the eve of the first presidential debate this evening. Even here at home, the entry of Justin Trudeau into the Liberal leadership race should make for some interesting political news. But this survey out of the Pew Research Centre, shows that young Americans, at least, aren’t tuning in: the percentage of those under 30 who are following “campaign news closely” is about half the number (to 18 per cent) during the last presidential election, and fewer young voters say they plan to mark a ballot when election day arrives. And before you say, well, those are American numbers, Elections Canada has found the same trend here.
Now many pastors tend to steer away from politics in the pulpit (a debate for another time) – but this is an area where we shouldn’t be quiet, especially when encouraging civil action in our youth. It’s part of our job to preach the clear link between being up on current events and being able to change society for the better. And there’s lot of fodder out there, to discuss with your youth (think Mitt Romney’s now infamous speech about the 47 per cent of Americans who just want government handouts). Not the least of which should be: what’s their obligation as citizens? Knowledge, as they say, is power.
If you want to check out the study, here it is: http://www.people-press.org/2012/09/28/youth-engagement-falls-registration-also-declines/