February Newsletter

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 “prepare” with scripture, “engage” through videos and discussion questions, and “reflect”with closing questions.  As always, these resources are offered free of charge.

Curriculum and Other Resources Available Soon!

The “Resources” section of our website will be available shortly and will offer curriculum and samples of practical materials for use in youth ministry (i.e. sample budgets, mission trip planning outline, parent meeting outline, etc.), scripture resources and more.

YMI Lunch & Lecture Series

If you missed the February Lunch & Lecture with YDS Professor Mary Clark Moschella, Caring for Stories on pastoral care with youth, the video of the lecture is available here.

Longtime YMI friend and contributor Mark DeVries will be with us on March 4, 2020 for our next YMI Lunch & Lecture program on Sustainable Children and Youth Ministries. RSVP via EventBrite here.

YMI Summer Symposium 2020

Doing a New Thing: Innovative Ministry for the Youth of Today
June 1-5, 2020 Yale Divinity School (6:00-9:00pm)

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?”
[Isaiah 43:19a]

What does “success” look like in today’s landscape of youth ministry? In a culture that prides itself on busyness and distraction, youth leaders need to be more thoughtful and creative than ever before regarding how to reach, engage, and empower young people. We’ll hear from pastors and youth workers from churches of different sizes and contexts, who have taken risks with different approaches to youth ministry and who have sen the new thing God is doing in their midst.

This week-long course is designed for pastors, seminarians, lay leaders, and youth ministers.  Each night from 6:00-9:00pm, we will gather for evening fellowship dinners, lectures, and workshop breakouts to name and discuss some new approaches to ministry to youth.  Throughout the week, we will learn with and from one another and look for some concrete ways to better nurture the foundations of joyful, flourishing lives for our youth.

Monday, June 1: The Sacred Scaffold: Fostering Youth Leadership for a Stronger Church, Rev. Jennifer Gingras and Kelsey Kaminski
Tuesday, June 2: The Home We Build Together: Recreating Youth MinistryRev. Jeff Rider and Becky Stambugh
Wednesday, June 3: What is That in Your Hand? The Priorities, Problems, and Projections in Youth MinistryRev. Keith King
Thursday, June 4: Better Together: The Joys and Struggles of Multi-Church Youth MinistryRev. Jack Davidson and Emily McKenna
Friday, June 5:  Panel Discussion and Small Group Workshops

Registration will open on March 1. Yale Divinity School’s standard charge for a Summer Study course is $450.  The Youth Ministry Institute is providing each registrant for this program a $400 scholarship, reducing the tuition for each registrant to $50 for the entire week-long program.

YDS Summer Study 2020

Summer Study participants have full access to program professors and the abundant resources of Yale University (Sterling Memorial Library, Peabody Museum, Yale Center for Faith & Culture, etc.). Summer Study classes are open to adults of any background, profession, or age.  Program costs are associated solely with the courses for which participants register. Courses can count towards continuing education requirements for some clergy. Participants receive a Yale Certificate of Completion at the end of the course week. This year, Almeda Wright is offering a course on faith development with youth:

Developing a Faithful Generation: On Faith Development with Youth
Almeda Wright, YDS Associate Professor of Religious Education
June 1-5, 9:00-11:30am

Ethicists and Practical Theologian, James Fowlers starts his classic text, Stages of Faith with a series of provocative questions, including: What are you spending and being spent for? What commands and receives your best time, your best energy? What causes, dreams, goals or institutions are you pouring out your life for? As you live your life, what power or powers do you fear or dread? What power or powers do you rely on and trust? To what or whom are you committed in life? In death? With whom or what group do you share your most sacred and private hopes for your life and for the lives of those you love? What are those most sacred hopes, those most compelling goals and purposes in your life?

These are all questions of faith and questions that lead us to wrestle with how we can continue to invest in our own faith development and in the faith development of youth and young adults. During this seminar, we will take up some of these questions and begin to explore the theories and theology of faith development, as well as some practical ways of inviting youth and young adults into lives of faith, and by extension faithful living and service to the world.

For more information on Summer Study offerings, visit the Summer Study website.  Registration is now open.

News from OASIS

YMI is in partnership with OASIS, a multi-church youth group comprised of churches in the New Haven area.  This week, as part of our ongoing series, we hear from some of the youth themselves who answered the question “What should other churches know about multi-church youth ministry” during a weekend-long retreat:

I think that the multi church youth group is an amazing place where we learn about religion and have fun doing it.

Learning about religion and connecting it to our everyday lives really helps me get a deeper understanding of the Bible. I’ve made a lot of friends in youth group. I also have learned so much about Christianity as a whole. I think that multi ministry youth group is an amazing thing for any kid.

Multi church youth groups are great because you get to interact with people your age from different churches while still having fun learning about God.

We get to share our opinions and even if we disagree we will talk through it.

I want to experience creating and having life long friends from youth group.

The multi church youth ministry is a group of insightful and bright teens, who take joy in laughing, playing, and contemplating together.