24 February 2012

Relocation Project


We are engaged in relocating the EpiscoYouth blog and redesigning it in such a way that we hope will be more accessible and easier to search than this particular format. We will keep this site live for the time being as we continue to migrate helpful information to the new blog. Particularly the EpiscoLink list still resides here in the right hand column. We hope to have everything migrated and updated by Easter.

For new posts and more information about the Youth Ministries office, please click www.episcoyouth.org to visit the new blog.

To sign up for email blasts and the EpiscoYouth newsletter click www.episcopalchurch.org/youth at the Episcopal Church website.

To learn more about the Formation and Vocation Ministries Team and the Episcopal Generations Project click www.episcopalgenerations.org for a blog grounded in the CHarter for Lifelong Formation and Five Marks of Mission.

To be a guest blogger or to submit articles for the newsletter, please email me!

Thank you to our faithful followers and welcome to our newcomers. We are eager to help you connect with the church wide Youth Ministry Network. May your ministry be abundantly blessed with opportunities to invite, inspire, and transform disciples.


09 December 2011

Presencia Oficial de los Jóvenes en la Convención General 2012

¡Ya están abiertas las solicitudes! 
(Please scroll down for the English version if needed to the December 1 post)
En cada Convención General, la Oficina del Ministerio de los Jóvenes de la Iglesia Episcopal convoca y respalda que una Presencia Oficial de los Jóvenes participe del debate legislativo en el pleno de la Cámara de Diputados con asiento y voz (Resolución #1982-B045). Es nuestra costumbre aceptar nominaciones de toda la Iglesia a fin de escoger luego a 18 jóvenes, dos por provincia, que representen una muestra de adolescentes tan diversa como sea posible. Para tener derecho a ser nominado, cada uno de estos jóvenes debe ser comulgante activo en su comunidad de fe local, debe tener una edad mínima de 16 años en el momento de la Convención General y no mayor de 19 años, y debe estar matriculado aún en la escuela secundaria durante el curso escolar 2011-2012. Cada solicitante y un nominador deben  rellenar un formulario electrónico. El Coordinador Provincial del Ministerio de los Jóvenes se pondrá en contacto con cada nominador para discutir al solicitante durante el período en que estén abiertas las solicitudes, del 1 de diciembre al 15 de enero.
Los jóvenes que participen como miembros de la Presencia Oficial de los Jóvenes tomarán parte en un fin de semana de adiestramiento y orientación sobre la creación de nexos comunitarios, culto y funcionamiento del proceso legislativo, desde el jueves 12 hasta el domingo 15 de abril. Se les alentará a que asistan a reuniones del sínodo local antes de la Convención General y se beneficiarían de reunirse con los diputados adultos de sus propias diócesis para aprender más acerca del proceso que siguen las resoluciones.
En la Convención General, del 5 al 12 de julio de 2012, asistirán a las reuniones y sesiones del comité legislativo y se les animará a que aborden los asuntos en las sesiones y durante el debate en el pleno de la Cámara de Diputados. Estos individuos deben mostrarse seguros de sí mismos, elocuentes y activos. En las mejores circunstancias, la Convención General constituye un reto increíble para el grupo, una experiencia en extremo gratificante y, con frecuencia, un acontecimiento transformador para la mayoría de los que participan.
Cada candidato debe rellenar un formulario electrónico que se encuentra haciendo un clic aquí.
Cada aspirante debe contar también con [el respaldo de] un formulario de nominación que también se rellena electrónicamente.
El[la] joven puede presentar su solicitud y luego nombrar a un adulto que rellene un formulario de nominación, o un adulto puede nominar a una persona joven al rellenar primero el formulario de nominación para luego animar al[a la] joven a presentar su solicitud. Cerciórese de leer los criterios y datos que se requieren para participar, que aparecen al principio de todos los formularios, antes de rellenar cualquiera de ellos. Las preguntas deben dirigirse a su Coordinador Provincial del Ministeriode los Jóvenes o a la [Funcionaria] Encargada del Ministerio de los Jóvenes, Bronwyn Clark Skov.
El período para presentar solicitudes y nominaciones se extenderá desde el 1 de diciembre de 2011 hasta el 15 de enero de 2012. La Oficina para el Ministerio de los Jóvenes, junto con colegas del personal y los coordinadores provinciales del Ministerio de los Jóvenes, escogerá —de entre el grupo de solicitantes— a qué jóvenes invitará a participar, y cursará esas invitaciones el 6 de febrero de 2012.
Sírvase llevar en sus oraciones a todos aquellos que se sienten llamados a este singular ministerio, y aliente a los que den muestra de poseer los dones para este tipo de ministerio a que presenten su solicitud.
Mañana empezaremos a escuchar testimonios de la Presencia Oficial de los Jóvenes del grupo de 2009, comenzando con Amy Esposito de la I Provincia. ¡Manténganse en sintonía!

02 December 2011

Amy: Official Youth Presence 2009

Amy Esposito
Recently Amy Esposito, Province I Official Youth Presence 2009, reflected upon her experience at her first General Convention. Consider Amy's story as you pray about who might be called to serve as a member of the GCOYP in 2012 in Indianapolis.  Read about the application and nomination process open now through January 15, 2012 by scrolling down to the previous post from December 1.

Why did you apply for the Official Youth Presence?
I attended the Episcopal Youth Event in 2008 and was absolutely blown away by the number of active and engaged youth I met there.  Coming from the tiny diocese of Rhode Island with an even smaller program for youth, I had no idea that such a large and welcoming community existed within The Episcopal Church.  On returning to Rhode Island, I knew that my generation of young adults in the Church could and needed to make a difference.  As our society evolves, so must the Episcopal Church.  I applied to represent the youth at GC09 because I believe that the youth is the future of the Church.  With just a mere 2% of delegates under the age of 25 at GC09, it is up to us to speak up and be heard.  We can make a positive difference in the Church, by engaging with our brothers in sisters in Christ.

What was the most rewarding moment of GC09?
The most rewarding moment at GC09 was writing and speaking to the resolution I co-wrote with my fellow GCOYP delegate, Jackie Bray.  Although the resolution did not reach the House of Deputies due to a time constraint, knowing that as a 16 year old girl, I was expressing my opinion to a committee who actually listened to me was extremely rewarding.*

What was the most frustrating moment of GC09 and how did you get through it?
At GC09, I met and worked with people from all over the country and world.  Coming from extremely liberal New England, I was exposed to other youth and deputies who did not necessarily share my opinion.  What I believed to be a wonderful development in the Church others saw as detrimental.  Learning to respectfully listen and understand opinions that differed from mine was challenging, especially when those opinions put a strain on friendships.  As frustrating as this was, I learned that it is important to respect everyone’s opinion regardless of how I felt about the subject.  

How did you feel God's presence at GC09?   
Although General Convention is centered the politics of the Episcopal Church, it is important to remember that God is with us at all times.  Even in the midst of a debate on whether or not to ordain LGBTQ bishops or which group should receive the most funding, God’s unfailing love is present in the words and actions made.  At the end of each day, Delegates and Bishops remember that they are there to do God’s work on earth.  I felt God’s presence most strongly when gathered together with my fellow OYP delegates and when sharing the Eucharist with all present at GC09.  The presence of God continued to grace the OYP as we discussed certain policies, questioned our faith, and grew closer than ever. 

What difference has GCOYP09 made in your life?
GCOYP09, above all, introduced me to some of the kindest people I have ever met.  I am still close friends with some of my fellow GCOYPers and although we may live on different sides of the country, we continue to keep in touch.  Attending GC09 changed the way I view the Episcopal Church.  It motivated me to continue to be an active participant, not only in terms of my faith, but in the political aspects of the Church.  My experience as a member of the GCOYP has encouraged me to continue to learn about the Episcopal Church and inter-religious dialogue.  I can’t wait to attend GC2012 as a deputy to continue helping shape the future of The Episcopal Church! 

Our next GCOYP'09 story comes from Michael Sahdev from Province IV. Stay tuned to learn about his amazing ministry of youth in leadership in the councils of the church. 

*Amy and Jackie, with help and support from other members of GCOYP'09, diocesan chancellors, and clergy , co-authored a resolution for the Official Youth Presence to have vote in the House of Deputies in addition to the seat and voice the group already enjoys. There were canonical issues attached to the resolution in need of deeper reflection and research and the resolution was referred to the Committee on Constitution and Canons. A full report on the resolution will appear in the "Blue Book" for GC'12 and will be reported here as well.

01 December 2011

Official Youth Presence at GC12

Applications are now open!

Each General Convention the Office for Youth Ministries of The Episcopal Church convenes and supports an Official Youth Presence to take part in the discernment of legislation on the floor of the House of Deputies with seat and voice (Resolution # 1982-B045 located at bottom of blog).  It is our practice to accept nominations from across the church to discern 18 youth, two per province, to represent as diverse a cross section of teenagers as possible. To be eligible to apply each of these young people must be a Communicant in Good Standing in his/her local faith community, must be a minimum of 16 years of age at the time of General Convention and no older than 19, and must still be enrolled in high school during the 2011/12 school year. Each applicant and one nominator must complete an electronic application form. Each nominator will be contacted by the local Provincial Youth Ministries Coordinator to discuss the applicant during the application period, December 1 – January 15.

Youth who serve as members of the Official Youth Presence will participate in a training/orientation weekend of community building, worship, and legislative process education Thursday, April 12, through Sunday, April 15. They will be encouraged to attend local synod gatherings prior to General Convention and would benefit from meeting with the adult deputies of their own dioceses to learn more about the process of resolutions. 

At General Convention, July 5 - 12, 2012, they will attend legislative committee meetings and hearings and will be encouraged to speak to issues in hearings and during debate on the floor in the House of Deputies. These individuals must be self-confident, articulate, and energetic.  In the best of circumstances General Convention is incredibly challenging for the group, highly rewarding as an experience, and often transformational for most of those involved. 

Each applicant must complete an electronic application form found  by clicking here
Each applicant must also have an adult nomination form completed electronically as well. 

Youth may apply and then name an adult to complete a nomination form, or an adult may nominate a young person by completing the nomination form first and then encouraging the youth to apply. Please be sure to read the criteria and dates required, listed at the top of the forms, for participation before completing either form.  Questions can be directed to your Provincial Youth Ministry Coordinator or the Officer for Youth Ministries, Bronwyn Clark Skov.

The application/nomination period will be open from December 1, 2011, through January 15, 2012. The Office for Youth Ministries, with staff colleagues and Provincial Youth Ministry Coordinators, will discern which youth to invite to participate from the pool of applicants and will make those invitations on February 6, 2012.

Please keep all those who feel called to this unique ministry in your prayers, and encourage those who demonstrate the gifts for this type of ministry to apply.

Tomorrow we will begin to hear stories from the Official Youth Presence class of 2009, beginning with Amy Esposito from Province I. Stay tuned!

11 November 2011

Digital Christians

It was my turn to post to our Formation and Vocation Ministries Blog, Episcopal Generations, yesterday. Here's the link so you can check it out:

The current post points to an amazing summer camp creative art/media project undertaken by the senior high kids and their amazing counselors and mentors at Camp Marshall in Montana. If you haven't already seen it, you really should. And if you already have seen it, you should watch again and share some more! It's called digital evangelism! Join us!