Looking for inspiration during Advent? We have several resources, including our Chapter, Verse, and Season Podcast (search Advent), INCARNATION — Fleshing Out the Bible’s Christmas Stories: An Online Yale Bible Study, and you can help your youth recognize joy in the light of other emotions at the Tuning In To Joy Lesson.
Chapter, Verse, and Season Podcast Anniversary
We are thrilled to be celebrating one year of our Chapter, Verse, and Season podcast! Each week, we give listeners the opportunity to overhear the kinds of conversations that take place in the halls of Yale Divinity School. Professors from different disciplines chat about biblical texts from the Revised Common Lectionary. They bring their own interests to the table and hopefully spark new insights into the scripture appointed for the coming Sunday. To listen, go to Chapter, Verse, and Season podcast.
As Thanksgiving approaches, we focus on what we are thankful for and learn more about gratitude. Start exploring what gratitude looks like for youth and how they can apply it to their daily lives here. To learn more, follow us on social media at Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
YDS Convocation Offerings
October saw the return of alumni to campus for YDS Convocation. The Center for Continuing Education was honored to sponsor two events during that week:
Care: How People of Faith Can Respond to Our Broken Healthcare System with G. Scott Morris M.D. ’79 M.Div., Joshua Narcisse ’19 M.Div., Rev. Dr. J. Lawrence Turner ‘06 M.Div., and Christy Charnel ’22 M.Div, RN
- A Christian Voice for Human Rights: One Graduate’s Journey from YDS to Justice Ministry with Dr. Jennifer Herdt and Allyson McKinney ‘16 M. Div.
Allyson will be back with us (virtually) to dive deeper in a three-part series, Reclaiming a Faithful Vision of Universal Human Rights in February. Click here to see details and registration information.
From the YMI Director: A Look Ahead to Advent Planning
Dear youth ministry friends,
As the leaves continue to fall from the trees, we know that we are but steps away from mistletoe, decorated trees, cookies… and Advent planning.
2023 Upcoming Events and Offerings
Mark Your Calendar!
The new year will bring new and exciting offerings! Scroll down to see some of what is coming in the new year.
Epistle to the Romans: An Online Bible Study with the Rev. Dr. Allen Hilton
Zoom | January 11, 18, 25, February 1, 8, 15, 22, and March 1 | 7:30 pm Eastern
Join Dr. Allen Hilton as we gather to study the book of Romans to deepen our understanding of Paul’s good news and to inform our more faithful practice of it. We start with Paul engaging in the human predicament, the gracious and just divine response to it, the shape of God’s grace as it enters an individual life and then a Christian community.
Register at: Epistle to the Romans: An Online Bible Study
Reclaiming a Faithful Vision of Universal Human Rights with Allyson McKinney ’16 M. Div.
Zoom | February 1, 8, and 15 | 12 pm Eastern | 3 Sessions
If you enjoyed the recorded Convocation conversation with Allyson McKinney and Prof. Jennifer Herdt, you can join Allyson for a deeper dive into human rights work in a 3-part webinar series in February. These sessions will explore three Protestant theologians’ work on human rights in relation to pressing problems of injustice: systemic racism, rising nationalism, and enduring patriarchy. We’ll consider the legacy of exemplary faith leaders who have championed human rights. Join us and gain new insights to inform your own work for justice in the world.
Screening of RACE To Be Human, a Documentary on Teens and Race
Zoom | February 6 | 7 pm Eastern
YMI has partnered with IndieFlix to present a virtual film screening of RACE To Be Human, a 45-minute documentary that looks at race from teenagers’ perspectives. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with some of those involved in the creation of the film, including YDS alum Jason Craige Harris.
We have secured the rights for participants to further share the video and use the accompanying educational materials within their ministry contexts. These resources are limited to a select number of participants, and will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Stay tuned for registration details.
Tending the Adolescent Soul: Offering Hope in an Age of Despair with Mark Yaconelli
In-Person | March 25 | Full Day Workshop
You are invited to our in-person workshop for story-telling with Mark Yaconelli. The pandemic, climate change disasters, racism, political vitriol, misogyny, the erosion of rights and mass death is taking an overwhelming toll on American families, churches, and communities. In a retreat-like atmosphere, author, youth worker, and community activist Mark Yaconelli will invite participants to recover the pure medicines of Christian formation: silence, story, and service. Stay tuned for registration details.
Internal Welcome and External Witness: LGBTQ Youth Ministry with Deacon Ross Murray
Zoom | April 19 | 12 – 1:30 pm Eastern
YMI will welcome Deacon Ross Murray, author of Made, Known, Loved: Developing LGBTQ-Inclusive Youth Ministry for a virtual Lunch Lab webinar. Deacon Murray will speak to our group about LGBTQ+ inclusion in our youth ministries, and how to be specifically welcoming of those who are in the process of discovering their sexual and gender identities. Stay tuned for registration details.
As the leaves continue to fall from the trees, we know that we are but steps away from mistletoe, decorated trees, cookies . . . and Advent planning.
Perhaps you have December traditions with your youth that have lasted through the pandemic (or have returned since 2020). Perhaps you have planned something new for them: an enjoyable party, or a meaningful Bible study on what Christmas actually means for us.
But: how have you shared with your youth about Advent?
“Advent” literally refers to the arrival of a specific person or event. Implicit within that is a sense of waiting.
Youth aren’t good at waiting . . . and they’re not the only ones! If this was ever a natural human inclination, it’s certainly become less so in recent years. We have become accustomed to the clicks of instant gratification, and it is easy to become impatient when things take longer than expected.
The skill of waiting is a muscle. If unused, it becomes ever-more difficult to hone when necessary. Young people have to wait for things like: grades from teachers, their turn to play on the varsity team, and letters from college. If they haven’t utilized that muscle beforehand, the anxiety can become overpowering.
Advent waiting could be a powerful tool for young people. It is heavy at times—just a glance at Advent hymns bears this out!—but wielding it can help young people build a sense of resilience as they become accustomed to the idea of waiting. In the (we hope and pray) safe and brave space of a local congregation, helping youth build this spiritual muscle will only serve to help them, especially with the waiting they will inevitably face in less brave/safe settings.
With this in mind, we invite you to take a look at a lesson we have on Advent waiting. We hope it will be helpful for you in your planning.
Beloved youth ministers: blessings to you as you look towards the holidays. May God meet you in the planning, in the work . . . and in the waiting too.
On the journey with you,
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