Youth and Young Adult Ministries

Worship Experience

At times it may appear to seem increasingly difficult to worship.  As we move through different stages in life and perhaps even deal with hardships or tragedies, many times we attempt to try to find reason to worship.

It is in that moment that we have made the biggest mistake and brings us to our question.  How is the worship experience at your church or in your life?

Is it coached?  Is it free form and free flowing?  Is it filled with expressions through different methods?  Is it consistent regardless if it’s during a great moment in life or a challenging one?

Christian Education is Like Silly Putty

 

The wisdom of what a person says is in direct proportion to his progress in learning the Holy Scriptures—and I am not speaking of intensive reading or memorization, but real understanding and careful investigation of their meaning. Some people read them but neglect them; by their reading they profit in knowledge, by their neglect they forfeit understanding.

-- On Christian Teaching, Augustine of Hippo

Christian Education is like silly putty.

That’s the thought I had one day as I began thinking about the beginning of September and the beginning of all of our Church’s fall programming.

Now the thought didn’t happen naturally. I was pondering writing an article on Christian Education that would be useful for youth and young adults. And I was stuck. Other than saying Sunday school and youth group is important, how do I write about Christian Education in a fun way?

Then my eyes drifted around my office until they landed on a bag of silly putty.

August - A Season of Transition for Youth and Young Adults

In the middle of August the end of summer break is near. That end can be stressful and challenging since many issues become, salient such as:

For Youth

  • Beginning another grade. Common questions youth may ask are - What will it be like? What will my teachers be like? Will I be able to find my classes? And of course the fear that an upper-class person will describe that the pool is on the roof!
  • Beginning the senior year. Common thoughts youth may have are – This is my last year, I better make it great. What will I do after high school? Just one more year and I am done and out! I don’t care about my academics anymore, I just want to have fun. This is my last year, I have to pull my GPA up, or I will never get into a college.
  • Losing the autonomy of summer to the strict schedule of school, homework, and work in some cases.
  • Dealing with bullying and peer pressure again, as summer may have been a break from it.

Piltz to lead Youth and Young Adult Ministries

New Coordinator of Youth and Young Adult Ministries David Piltz (rear, second from right) poses with members of the Conference Council on Youth Ministries after a recent meeting.

Longtime youth and adult ministry leader David Piltz, of Bristol Pa., is the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference's new Coordinator of Youth and Young Adult Ministries, as of Aug. 4. The Certified Lay Minister and Conference Youth Ministry Advisory Council member is a specialist and trainer in instructional design and organizational development in both church and corporate arenas.

Over two decades as a youth ministry leader, Piltz has planned, participated in and led Sunday school classes, meetings, retreats, mission trips and other events across three conferences: Wisconsin, Susquehanna (formerly Central PA) and Eastern PA. His decade of mission trip experience extends from Appalachia to Nicaragua.

GET REAL… with your budget!

A lot of us are spending more than we make in a month, purchasing items we can’t afford, and will be paying on these items for years to come. We are spending money we haven’t even earned yet, and if we continue in this habit, we will never catch up! So we must start the good habit of setting a budget and sticking to it. We need to be good stewards of what God has blessed us with and also be prepared for financial emergencies that may arise. But the initial step is creating a REAListic budget.

Step 1 – Track your expenses for one month and summarize them in the following categories: Housing, Transportation, Food, Healthcare, Loan repayment, and Other. This is the starting outline for your budget. Compare your total spending to how much you earned during the month. Begin trimming unnecessary expenses where you can.

Step 2 – Determine the percentage of spending for each category (divide the amount in each category by the total spending for the month). Compare your budgetary percentages to those in the pie chart across. Use the pie chart as a guideline as your redistribute and reduce your total budget.

EPA Sending a Youth and Young Adult to the Global Young Peoples Convocation in the Philippines

The Global Young Peoples Convocation and Legislative Assembly (GYPC-LA) is a quadrennial gat hering of United Methodist youth, young adults, and adult workers from around the world. As a co-chair of the Division on Ministries with Young People (DMYP), I have had the privilege to represent the NEJ, and have helped plan the GYPC for the past two years. The first Global Convocation was held in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2006, the second was in Berlin, Germany in 2010, and the third one will be happening in Luzon, Philippines this summer from July 16 – 20. As per the Discipline, each Central Conference and Jurisdiction is allocated five youth, five young adults, and two adult workers as voting delegates. Two delegates from the Eastern Pennsylvania Annual Conference will be representing the Northeast Jurisdiction: Ashley Thompson, a youth from Wharton-Wesley United Methodist Church and Lauren Lomas, a young adult from Lima United Methodist Church.

Provide the Way

Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…” (ESV)

I have recently transitioned from active young adult ministry to youth ministry. Definitely a change!  In a culture that is losing its foundation and becoming more and more actively secular, my heart is crippled with the stories from both my suburban and urban youth.  There is a gap and lack of connection in many churches on the premise of creating a community that provides a way for youth to find Christ, to provide a way for youth to connect to Christ, and to provide a way for youth to remain in Christ (Fusion Youth Ministry Goals).  What then must we do?

I was speaking to one of my youth and they reported to me that here in Lebanon, PA we have multiple pregnancies in the 8th grade and drug dealing in the midst of dances and other school events.  This is where we developed our first goal, “to provide a way for youth to meet Christ”.  When youth from the church, community, streets, friends of friends, etc. step into our doors on a Fusion Youth Night, we want them to experience the joy and hope we have. We want youth that come from broken families, are stuck in addictions, or are in the most difficult circumstances to find comfort in all of the mess.  We provide a fun, exciting, relationally, and Christ-centered night so someone might come to believe and know Christ as their Savior.

Courage-ing

Nelson Mandela once said that “courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who confronts that fear.” To speak out against the oppressive Apartheid system and stand up for what he believed in, he spent 27 years in prison, then participated in creating a better nation for himself and his people after all he had been through. I think it is safe to say that Nelson Mandela was a man of great courage. Yet, I think it is easy to romanticize the story and forget that Mandela lived his life day by day and decision by decision, just like we do. Yes, those big things like the non-violent protests and anti Apartheid campaigns take courage, but it also takes courage to simply wake up and be ushered to breakfast… on the 856th day of a life imprisonment sentence.

More Grace

"But He gives more grace..."
- James 4:6

My most admired, effective, and Christ-centered professor Dr. Boucher stated these words in one of the first lectures, "Every morning I pray to God for more grace, more grace, more grace." At that moment, my inner being felt an impact almost as if it grabbed those words so I would never forget them. Fast forward about five months and I am in my basement, kneeling at the fire stove, the lights off and weeping in prayer to God. The next day comes by and I am in chapel at college partnered with seven other students and at the end of our discussion we prayed for each other. One of them asked if there were any other prayer requests and I quickly raised my hand. I will never forget that moment. 

Diary of a Camel Rider

The camel: one of the most revered animals in Arabian culture.  And this is the animal I found myself unsteadily sitting on a month ago in the deserts of Jordan, the location of my college study abroad program (specifically Amman, Jordan). 

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Bishop's Blog

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