The diocesan youth ministry program seeks to provide resources for youth leaders, from full-time parish staff to occasional volunteers. The face of youth ministries is changing rapidly. Traditional modes and methods of youth ministry may not be as effective in today’s parish as they were just a few years ago. With support from the diocesan office, youth leaders are working together to create cooperative ministry groups. As a result, the work of creating and implementing meaningful youth events is shared among parishes, the events are well-attended and communities are built. For some parishes, cooperative youth activities are in addition to parish youth events. For others, cooperative youth events are the youth program for that parish.
Working with parish youth leaders, the youth ministry program sponsors biannual diocesan-wide gatherings for youth in middle and high school. Participation and support in attending national and provincial youth gatherings is promoted among senior high youth. These events, in addition to a variety of opportunities for youth to participate or be a leader in the diocesan camping program, are building the faith of our youth and strengthening their identity as Episcopalians.
Episcopal Youth Event ’17
July 10-14, 2016
University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, OK
Open to youth currently in 9th – 12th grades, or equivalent
Our Diocese will be sending a group of high school students and adult mentors. Participants will be chosen with an application process. Applications are due into the Diocesan office by February 15, 2017.
Concerning the price
Each individual, with the support of her/his congregation, will be expected to raise $300 toward the total cost of the event, which is estimated to be $700 per person: $350 for the event and approximately $350 for travel. The Diocesan Youth Ministry budget will cover the remainder of EYE expenses above the $300 contribution.
We see our delegation as pilgrims that we are sending forth to this experience, which is why it is expected that the sponsoring congregation will help the participant come up with a portion of the money. Do not let the cost of the event prevent you from attending! If you might need financial assistance, contact Carol Sedlacek, firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is the Episcopal Youth Event?
EYE is a triennial event for the entire Episcopal Church (pronounced E-Y-E). About 1000 people (high school students, their adult mentors, and Bishops from around the church) come together and live on a college campus for a little under a week. Time is spent in worship (amazing, awesome and very memorable worship), large group presentations, small group discussions on the presentations (youth led), workshops on a variety of topics (from meditation to outreach to knitting, and everything in between), and a lot of time hanging out and meeting people from around the world.
Why would a student want to go?
It’s excellent! You can meet people from all over. You’ll get to know people who share your beliefs and also some who disagree with your views, but with whom you can discuss differences and still be friends. You’ll be able to take part in HUGE and EXCITING liturgy (people can volunteer as acolytes and Eucharistic Ministers). You may even learn some new things, grow and change as you broaden your experience and watch God move in others (and in yourself). And you’ll be able to sleep in a college dorm and experience college cafeteria food (ok, maybe not a selling point, but still an experience!).
Why would you want your child/parishioner to go?
In Oregon, because of the size of our Diocese, teenagers may not get to know that many other Episcopalians their own age. This is one time where they will be SURROUNDED by them. This is also an opportunity to serve others by being part of an intentional Christian community.
Back in the Middle Ages, communities used to send forth pilgrims. Knowing that everyone couldn’t travel to a holy place for prayer and supplication, a community would choose one person and send him to go to represent all. This is what you would be doing. The young person you send will grow and experience things in ways that we cannot yet imagine. Then that one person will come back and bring that experience into your community. You will all grow and change because of this one person’s experience.
While we encourage everyone to apply, we will be discerning the members of our delegation – meaning that some people may not be able to go. Preference will be given to Episcopal students (those of other denominations may apply), and we will do our best to make sure the delegation shows the diversity of our Diocese. This isn’t intended to be a parish youth event – all those attending will be representing the entire Diocese, so we need to make sure that our delegation represents the whole of our Diocese. All this being said; we have NEVER hit our quota of students in the past, so please do not discourage people to apply.
Who should apply?
While we encourage everyone to apply, we will be choosing people through an application process to ensure that the selected youth are ready to experience the greater Church and her diversity. Those selected should also demonstrate a capacity to bring home what they have experienced and learned, in order to share with their peers and members of our diocese. Please note that our diocese has never had to turn away people, as we have never filled our delegation.
We hope to have a diverse group of faithful, mature high schoolers, along with adults enthused about learning with them, and empowering and equipping them to be disciples in the world. All members of our delegation will need to be able to handle travel, to speak up in groups, to have the language to share their own faith journeys, and to be trustworthy in honoring the covenant for behavior required of all participants.
Why is the application deadline so early?
Yes, applications are due February 15, but we don’t leave for several months. Why? 1) Because the event registrations will close when the spots at EYE are full. Since the event registration opens in January, we want to be sure to get several spots for our Diocese. 2) Travel needs to be arranged in advance, because we’ll be flying as a group to Oklahoma.
Have questions? Contact:
The Rev. Canon Carol W. Sedlacek
Canon for Christian & Leadership Formation
Episcopal Diocese of Oregon
541-401-4606 or 971-204-4124