07 January 2011

Continuing Education for Adults Who Work With Youth

Following is a teaser about Kanuga's annual summer conference for Adults Who Work With Youth. Please note the conference does over-lap with Episcopal Youth Event dates, however not everyone in The Episcopal Church can be accommodated at either venue, so please make an informed choice to participate in one or the other. I am praying for both to be great successes!

Youth and the Church of Benign Whatever-ism

Not quite Christian. That's the verdict of the National Study of Youth and Religion which reports that a majority of American teenagers have embraced a "Moralistic Therapeutic Deism" (or M.T.D.) -- a mishmash of feeble, self-serving, feel-good beliefs that bear little resemblance to traditional Christianity. But the most shocking claim of this ongoing study of adolescent spirituality is that teens are learning this flimsy faith from parents and churches who model and preach a bland religion that offers little and demands less. At AWWWY 2011, we'll explore how youth ministries can nurture a more robust faith in our young people by fostering four assets: a creed to believe, a community to belong to, a call to live out, and a hope to hold onto.

Coordinators are The Rev. Ben Robertson, rector of All Saints’ Church in Gastonia, NC and Sara Bailey, Lead Consultant with Youth Ministry Architects. The musician for the week is Fran McKendree of Hendersonville, NC.

The keynote speaker is Andrew Zirschky who is the Academic Director for the Center of Youth Ministry Training in Nashville, TN. Andrew has a decade of experience as a youth and college minister at churches in Idaho, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. He holds an M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at Princeton in Practical Theology (Christian Education). He has been named a Timothy Scholar in Youth and Young Adult Ministry by the United Methodist Foundation for Evangelism. Andrew is an ordained minister in the Church of the Nazarene and a staff consultant for Youth Ministry Architects.

Andrew has been married to his wife Kristina since 1995, and they have two small children, Evan and Anna. When in Idaho he enjoys snowboarding and white water rafting. In New Jersey he reads, writes, and takes an occasional jog.

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