We had another good turnout for our Parish Conversations...this one to discuss the youth programs including Sunday School and acolyting. Thank you to those that could join us and to the others who sent in some important comments and thoughts. It was good to have parents, Sunday School teachers, past youth leaders, and others that were all clearly interested in a vibrant formation for our children.
What would an outsider have learned by attending?
* The general attitude seemed to be: We know what it takes to have a rich
and thriving youth program...we need leadership to rally the whole congregation to recognize the many ways the congregation as a whole can deliberately plan and support Christian education and spiritual discussion opportunities for youth.
* This discussion group appeared to recognize that there is a natural ebb and flow of children and youth programs...and all attending wanted to help get past the current ebb!!
* There were many specific suggestions (partial list):
* When thinking about children, think about family
* Have the whole congregation aware of day's lesson for the children
* Help parents discuss what the children are learning though discussion of their craft
* Plan activities that youth can bring their friends
* Provide a space for youth to discuss their spirituality and other topics
* Find ways to integrate the Parish School, perhaps through music
* Have children and youth participate occasionally in regular service
* Start a mentoring program -- resurrect confirmation!
* Look for ways to involve youth and children, not separate them from community.
* Although Vicki was not present because of a prior commitment, it was clear that she already had some plans in place to address some of these needs. Clergy emphasis on this part of our community life is important to support the leadership.
Our next Parish Conversation is August 4th (Sunday) on Adult Formation. We'll start at 9 AM in the Parish House living room. Please come to listen and be heard.
Other Parish Conversations to get on your schedule include:
- Sunday, August 11th, between services: Fellowship/Social/Newcomers
- Wednesday, September 11th, after Eventide dinner:
Parish & Neighborhood Demographic Profile
Sunday, September 15th, between services: Pastoral and Congregational Care