Youth and Young Adult Ministries

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.

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). 

Seasons

Although the weather had demonstrated otherwise, we are exiting the spring season. In the church, spring means the Lenten season and Easter are upon us. Spring also means flowers, the smell of grass clippings when maintenance decides to mow the lawn at 5:30am, and for many, the end of the school year.

Then comes summer. Depending on what stage of life you are in, summer can mean a wide variety of things. Speaking from the perspective of a student, summer means extra cash, sunshine, adventure, and most importantly, sleep. Summer leads into fall, and although the cooler weather indicates the end of freedom and the beginning of school, it also signifies more serious things like a fresh start and the changing of the leaves and more petty things like pumpkins and oversized sweaters. Over time, fall changes into winter. The colorful leaves disappear, rain changes into snow, and Starbucks Peppermint Mochas once again find a home in our waistlines and our wallets.

We find so much joy in the uncontrollable, seasonal events of creation, even amidst the parts we don’t necessarily like as much as the others. With the coming of each season, we look forward to the gladness and the change that it will bring, whether that is butterflies, sunshine, pumpkins, or snow. We accept that the season is something we cannot control, and instead of moping for three months about cooler weather, snow, and ice, we find a way to embrace the season, knowing that a new season—spring—will come soon.

God's Great Love: YOU

People change as often as the weather shifts. Places change as frequent as traffic lights turn from red to green to yellow and back at red again. Everything around us changes. Isn’t it good to know that God never changes?

Ready!

Krystl Johnson

When Moses finally emerged from the wilderness, he was ready to take charge for God. What a great turning point in his life’s story, but let’s not forget that Moses was in his eighties. Could you imagine him being you and it taking you that long? We were all chosen to do something big for God. He wants us to be successful. However, some times we find ourselves anxiously waiting and wondering: “When?” Through our patience and prayers we can hear God saying, “Not yet! Get ready for the greater opportunity I’m preparing for you.”

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Bishop's Blog

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