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News — Yale Youth Ministry Institute

November Newsletter

Chapter, Verse, and Season. A New Podcast from Yale Bible Study We are pleased to announce the launch of “Chapter, Verse, and Season: A Lectionary Podcast from Yale Bible Study” on November 22, 2021. We are excited to open yet another avenue for communities, clergy, and laypeople to access the wide variety of expertise and…

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October Newsletter

Mark Your Calendar!  October offers several events including our upcoming YMI event on grief and loss, Center for Continuing Education events on topics like leading in a liminal season, contemplating a career of consequence, and welcoming the stranger: immigration and faith communities. Plus an upcoming Bible Study on the Dead Sea Scrolls this December that you…

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New to Working With Youth? See Our “Crash Course” for Beginners!

Whether you are clergy, staff or a volunteer jumping into youth ministry because you feel a call – or because your minister or a friend asked you to help – jumping into working with youth can feel overwhelming. Why is youth ministry important? When our Christian communities provide our young with the nurture and formation…

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How Are You “Doing” Youth Ministry This Fall?

September 2021. In the past, that would have meant kicking off another year of youth ministry programming with large group activities and even mission trip planning. Are you doing those things? In a time when the coronavirus still rages around the globe and youth under the age of 12 aren’t vaccinated, how are you engaging…

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September Newsletter

Suicide Prevention Month September is Suicide Prevention Month. The Yale Youth Ministry Institute offers a wealth of resources for youth leaders, parents and others to support the young people in their lives who may be suffering and at risk. You can train your team on how to support the mental health of youth here. The…

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Supporting Teens Experiencing “Back to Normal” Stress

For many youth, the transition back to normal activity may be challenging. Teens are trying to process an upcoming return to youth group, school, sports and other activities, all while the Delta variant rages and we attempt to decide how to safely interact socially. The Child Mind Institute addresses helping teens navigate returning to hectic…

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August Newsletter

  “So… the fall is coming. What do I do now??” This past year took the word “unprecedented” to a whole new level. In fact, many of us are tired: of the word itself, and of the shifting and adapting that has been needed in our ministries.  As we look towards this coming year, what…

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July News from OASIS

YOUTH SUNDAY with Multiple Churches One of the silver-linings of the shift to virtual worship during the pandemic has been the way it gave many of us an excuse to experiment with ambitious outside-the-box worship ideas we never would have thought to attempt before. For your consideration today: Multi-Church Youth Sunday. Before the pandemic, we dipped…

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July Newsletter

2021 Upcoming Events and Offerings Mark Your Calendar! We are excited to announce upcoming Yale Bible Study, Yale Youth Ministry Institute and Center for Continuing Education events – starting in July!  We are pleased to offer Bible studies with YDS faculty, YMI presentations on the pressing topics of post-pandemic ministry with youth, and Center-sponsored events…

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June News from OASIS

ReGathering the Brood I’m guessing that like us, you’ve had a tough year in youth ministry. While we started out doing a mix of online and outdoor gatherings, the spike in cases around November made us fully online for the rest of this academic calendar. As we were contemplating our monthly blogpost reflection on multi-church…

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June Newsletter

Youth Worship, Bible Study and Formation Resources Looking for curriculum, sample materials, and resources to help you lead your youth? You can find short, instructional videos on faith formation practices at home by Traci Smith, Children’s Ministry Curriculum Resources, Confirmation Best Practices, Bible studies and Quest for Truth curriculum on our Youth Worship, Bible Study and…

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What’s the Best Age for Confirmation?

When does your faith community typically confirm your youth? 8th grade? 9th grade? The Faith Formation and Christian Education team at the Southern New England Conference of the UCC say that 10th grade is actually the best time for youth to undertake the confirmation process for a variety of reasons. But the work of forming…

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Resources for Ministry to LGBTQ+ Youth

Youth ministers strive to create safe, welcoming spaces for youth. We have compiled tools to help youth leaders accompany, work with and support LGBTQ+ young people. YMI is working with leading theologians and practitioners to create training modules for leaders, curricula, readings, support resources and best practices videos for you and your team. Find it…

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May Newsletter

Last chance to sign up for this free webinar! May 5; 12 – 1:30pm: Empowering Parents to Practice Faith at Home: A Ministry Leader Workshop with Rev. Traci Smith The Rev. Traci Smith, author of Faithful Families, joins us to present the fundamentals of developing faithful family practices and outline the role that ministry leaders play…

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May News from OASIS

One of life’s greatest joys is overwhelming laughter. The kind that makes you fold in half or shed a tear, the kind that takes you a minute to come back from. At Oasis, we have found many ways to laugh together. Last Sunday, our hour spent on Zoom was the funniest time yet! We played…

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Curriculum Resource for Celebrating God’s Creation

Randy Hammer and Suzanne Blokland have created God’s Blue Earth: Teaching Kids to Celebrate the Sacred Gifts of Water for elementary-aged kids with six interactive lessons that celebrate the gift of water. Each Biblically-based lesson explains important ecological and faith concepts with fun activities. Can be used for family time, church school or vacation bible…

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Vacation Bible School Top Picks

Building faith, a ministry of Virginia Theological Seminary, has compiled a list of the top Vacation Bible School picks for 2021. They have been reviewing VBS curriculum for over 15 years and have selected resources that align with various theologies – some are familiar favorites and some are new. If you are trying to decide…

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Thoughts of suicide are increasing in young kids

The statistics on suicide rates for teens is well known. NBC News featured a piece on the increase in thoughts of suicide by younger kids. This is not due to the pandemic, but the losses of the pandemic may intensify the issue. What are some of the warning signs and how can adults help to…

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April Newsletter

YDS Summer Study – Online in 2021 The Center for Continuing Education is pleased to announce that the YDS Summer Study program will be online this year! Taught by renowned YDS faculty, Summer Study offers an opportunity to immerse yourself in courses essential to practical church ministry and personal enrichment. Courses will meet Monday –…

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The Gospel of Mark – A New Bible Study for Youth!

We have a new, 7-week Bible study for youth on the Gospel of Mark inspired by the Yale Bible Study. Created by Yale Youth Ministry Institute Director Jill Olds and Yale Divinity School seminarian Victoria Crooks, this study provides ideas and activities for engaging the scripture with youth. See Details to access the first lesson.

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March Newsletter

YDS Summer Study – Online in 2021 The Center for Continuing Education is pleased to announce that the YDS Summer Study program will be online this year! Taught by renowned YDS faculty, Summer Study offers an opportunity to immerse yourself in courses essential to practical church ministry and personal enrichment. Courses will meet Monday –…

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March News from OASIS

“Daddy, look! It’s your church!” shouted my 3 year-old. “No, honey, it’s your church,” I counter in vain. “No, it’s your church.” “No. It’s your church!” “It’s everybody’s church!!!!” she finally declares.   This back and forth has become a dependable script almost every time we pass our church. Both of my children went through…

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February Newsletter

YDS Summer Study – Online in 2021 Save the Date! You can now enjoy YDS Summer Study from the comfort of home, June 7-11, 2021. Taught by renowned YDS faculty, Summer Study offers an opportunity to immerse yourself in courses essential to practical church ministry and personal enrichment. Courses will meet Monday – Friday, either…

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February News From OASIS

On January 6th, I sat in my parent’s kitchen, glued to my computer as I watched protestors and violence storm the steps of our capitol. For a time, I was stunned and scared, texting my friends, looking over multiple news sources and refreshing my social media feeds to “doom-scroll”. It sucked my attention for hours,…

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January Newsletter

Redesigned. Streamlined. Everything You Need to Find. The YMI website has been redesigned to make it even easier to find the training materials, curriculum, videos, and other resources that you need for ministry. Find everything you need to enrich your development, and train and equip your team at Yale Youth Ministry Institute. New YMI Training…

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January News From OASIS

I have always been a planner. I love making lists, color coding everything imaginable, and preparing for what’s to come. I pride myself in being able to tell youth’s parents, “Don’t worry, it’s all mapped out for the year.” This summer when I was outlining our schedule for the 2020-2021 youth group calendar, it was…

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December Newsletter

What’s Happening at the Center for Continuing Education Now Available – Women in the Bible Study YMI now has an 8-session youth Bible study on Women in the Bible. Each session focuses on a particular woman’s story and provides a discussion outline and activities designed to help youth engage and reflect on the scripture in new and…

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An OASIS Multi-Church Reflection: Soil & Fishermen

“An OASIS Multi-Church Reflection: Soil & Fishermen” Lately, as I’ve been trying to figure out what pandemic era youth ministry looks like, I’ve found myself struggling with this fundamental question: are we Soil or are we Fishermen? Here’s what it looks like to be Fishermen: In normal times, sustainable youth ministry requires a bit of…

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Asking Good Questions

“The truth is that all adults are youth. What’s the difference? We adults just have more wrinkles.” The first time I heard those words was about fifteen years ago, in seminary. I was a dual MDiv/M.A. student, and at the time, I was trying to answer a question: what makes youth ministry distinctive from other…

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Planning for Holidays During the Pandemic

It is certain that the holidays will look different for all of us this year. Is it safe for families to travel, to gather, to observe long-honored traditions? If you are looking for resources to help children and youth manage stress and disappointment this holiday season, The Child Mind Institute has suggestions. Find their article,…

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November Newsletter

What’s Happening at the Center for Continuing Education Now Available – YMI Genesis Bible Study for Youth YMI now has a free, 8-week study on The Book of Genesis for youth based on the Yale Bible Study series. Use with youth in person or online! Start with Lesson 1: Genesis 1 and 2, where youth learn…

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Advent and Christmas 2020

The season of Advent will be upon us soon. Is your church gathering indoors? How are you thinking about Advent traditions? Does your church typically host an Advent wreath making event for your children and families? Whether you are planning to continue these traditions in person or you are thinking about how to help families…

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Is It Safe to Gather?

Are you wrestling with decisions around whether or not it’s safe to gather your youth or your congregation? You’re not alone! We are all struggling with pandemic fatigue and long for things to be “normal”. To connect and to share in fun and fellowship together. The Brown-Lifespan Center for Digital Health has developed a FREE…

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October Newsletter

What’s Happening at the Center for Continuing Education! Just Breathe: Resilience Strategies for Today’s Youth & Youth Workers with Dr. Jannah Scott Zoom | October 14 | 12 – 1:30 pm EST   Today’s children and youth have lived through so many soul-provoking experiences in 2020. With the advent of COVID-19 illness and death, quarantines,…

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Dismantling Racism

In addition to the existing library of YMI resources, the Rev. Dr. Christopher Carter and Dr. Seth Schoen, University of San Diego faculty and founders of Racial Resilience, have been working with us for the past few months to create new resources on anti-racism. On July 30, they delivered a lecture on Racial Resilience: Anti-Racism…

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September Newsletter

What’s Happening in September? Not Your Mother’s Youth Group: Ministry to Youth in 2020 Lunch & Lecture Series Please join us for the YMI 2020-2021 Lunch & Lecture series, Not Your Mother’s Youth Group: Ministry to Youth in 2020. Our presenters will address the changing nature of youth ministry, the impact of COVID-19 on our youth and how…

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August Newsletter

What’s Happening in August? Not Your Mother’s Youth Group: Ministry to Youth in 2020 Lunch & Lecture Series Please join us for the YMI 2020-2021 Lunch & Lecture series, Not Your Mother’s Youth Group: Ministry to Youth in 2020. Our presenters will address the changing nature of youth ministry, the impact of COVID-19 on our youth and…

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July Newsletter

What’s Happening in July? We continue to expand the resources and materials on our YMI website. Read more to find out what’s new and how they can support your ministry during this time. Lectionary Great News! We now have available another resource for preachers – the Revised Common Lectionary calendar on our YBS website. Each…

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Spiritual Starters

During this difficult time, we have a series called “Spiritual Starters”. It’s a great way to connect with other spiritual leaders through discussion questions and videos, prayers, or poetry. Your participation will help leaders looking for advice in ministering to youth. Check them out at Spiritual Starters. You can click through our forum to find more.…

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June Newsletter

What’s Happening in June? We continue to expand the resources and materials on our YMI website. Read more to find out what’s new and how they can support your ministry during this time. Faculty Panel on Dismantling Racism This Thursday at 5:30 pm EDT, join Dean Greg Sterling and a panel of YDS faculty members for…

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May Newsletter

What’s Happening in May? We continue to expand the resources and materials on our YMI website. Read more to find out what’s new and how they can support your ministry during this time. Join a Forum The Yale Youth Ministry Institute website now has forum functionality! In our discussion forum, you can publicly participate in any of our…

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New Resources And Guide For Online Youth Ministry

  Looking for resources to help adolescents experience joy and flourish in the midst of adversity? The challenges faced by our churches and struggling young are daunting, but no Christian would (or should) concede that we lack the resources to respond. YMI is tackling these issues through The YMI Flourishing Life Project, where we are providing…

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Bible Study Forum & OT At Home

  With school closed and so many things cancelled, finding ways to keep your mind and brain active has become difficult and different. We have lots of NEW and exciting resources and opportunities to help you through this difficult time and so you can “gather” with your fellow cohorts while at home. Join a Bible…

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YMI Flourishing Life Program And Quest Program

  With school closed and so many things cancelled, finding ways to keep your mind and brain active has become difficult and different. We have lots of NEW and exciting resources and opportunities to help you through this difficult time and so you can “gather” with your fellow cohorts while at home. New Resources We…

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Flourishing Life And Other Resources

  In a time when we find ourselves needing to minister and gather remotely, the Center for Continuing Education at Yale Divinity School has resources to help: Yale Youth Ministry Institute We are please to announce The YMI Flourishing Life Project – your resource for curriculum, program templates, essays, and other tools designed to help foster joy…

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Ideas For Gathering Youth Remotely

    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have cancelled the YMI 2020 Summer Symposium and the YDS Summer Study 2020. We know that these cancellations are disappointing. We were so looking forward to the time that we could spend with you while learning new ideas and insights. We hope to reschedule these presentations at…

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“We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing…”

Adrianus Valerius’ Christian hymn, We Gather Together, is often sung at Thanksgiving. While times are challenging, we do have much to be thankful for today. At YMI, we’re thankful for all of you working in ministry with youth, and we know you are trying to find ways to continue to gather your youth group when…

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COVID-19 Precautions and YMI Event Updates

As you may have heard, Yale University has decided to move classes online for the remainder of the semester and cancel or postpone events through April 5th. As a result, Angela Gorrell’s lecture on Social Media and Working with Youth that was scheduled for April 1st is postponed. We will let you know when the event is…

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April Newsletter

What’s Happening in April? We are excited to share information about our upcoming YMI Summer Symposium 2020 and YDS Summer Study 2020, which are open for registration; our Lunch and Lecture Series this April; news from OASIS; and new resources on the YMI website! YMI Summer Symposium 2020 Doing a New Thing: Innovative Ministry for the Youth of…

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February Newsletter

New Courses Are Available Online! We’ve designed a program of courses to support developing youth ministries. Two new courses are now live:  Offering Effective Pastoral Care, and Promulgating and Implementing Church Safety Guidelines. To see all of our courses, visit the Courses section of the website.  Each offering is designed to help you and your team…

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January Newsletter

New Courses Are Available Online! We’ve designed a program of courses to support developing youth ministries.  There are currently 10 courses available on topics like: Envisioning, Building and Sustaining Thriving Youth Ministries; Recruiting, Training and Supervising Youth Workers and Volunteers; Cultivating Student Leadership; Studying the Bible with Youth; Tending to the Mental Health of Adolescents; and more. …

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December Newsletter

Merry Christmas from all of us here at the Yale Youth Ministry Institute!  We’re excited to announce that we now have several courses available on our website as resources for your youth ministries. The courses are designed to help you “Prepare, Engage and Reflect” on a variety of topics, including: Creating a Vision for Youth Ministry; Recruiting, Training…

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November Newsletter 2

“Yes, everything is for your sake, so that grace, as it extends to more and more people, may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.” [2 Corinthians 4:15] Happy Thanksgiving to all! In this season of gratitude, we are thankful for your commitment to the faith formation of our youth.  It is truly a blessing…

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November Newsletter 1

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his steadfast love endures forever.” November is a time when we talk a lot about gratitude.  In this season of gratitude, we at YMI give thanks for all of those working to bring the love of God to our youth!  We are also grateful to all of…

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October Newsletter 2

It was great to see so many of you at Skip Masback’s lecture on Planning and Leading Retreats That Transform!  The video of Skip’s lecture, and additional resources provided at the lecture, will be available on our website shortly.  Did you know that YMI has over 800 videos of top experts in youth ministry talking…

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October Newsletter 1

October Newsletter 2019 It’s officially fall on the Quad at YDS and we are just a week away from the kick-off of our 2019-2020 Yale Youth Ministry Institute Lunch & Lecture Series!  Our first event is on Wednesday, October 9 where YMI Founder, Skip Masback will talk with us about Planning and Leading Retreats that…

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Summer Newsletter 2019

Dear Friends, Greetings from the Quad! September is nearly here and that means that students are returning to YDS and we are gearing up for the Yale Youth Ministry Institute 2019-2020 Lunch & Lecture Series! First, an update on what’s been happening at YMI and YDS. Rev. Skip Masback founded the Youth Ministry Institute in 2012…

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Spring Newsletter 2019

Blessings Friends, Happy Spring. It’s that time of the month, where the YMI Team is preparing to host you for our monthly gathering. We invite you to join us on Wednesday, April 3rd in the Old Refectory at Yale Divinity School. We have some adjustments this month. Unfortunately, our April Lunch & Lecture speaker is…

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