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September 2021

The Emotional Intelligence Factor: How to Apply EI to Youth Ministry

September 8, 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Online Event
How are you? It’s a question you ask or are asked dozens of times each day and yet how often do we stop, pause, reflect and answer the question in an honest and open manner? Doing so is important as the question and answer help us connect with others and to get things done.   Once you have a good answer to “how are you?”, it is important to match those feelings to connect and achieve goals, to understand the meaning of these feelings and then to actively manage these feelings. These four skills are described by the theory of emotional intelligence first proposed by Jack Mayer and Peter Salovey in 1990. This interactive session will begin with a hands-on set of questions to illustrate these four hard skills and we will then apply these skills to your most challenging situations. The model itself is simple and straightforward – the challenge is to apply these skills at a high level of skill, in real time, on a consistent basis and under stressful conditions.

Video and clips from the event are here: The Emotional Intelligence Factor: How to Apply EI to Youth Ministry
Slides from the event are here: The Emotional Intelligence Factor: How to Apply EI to Youth Ministry

August 2021

Conversations with Colleagues: Looking Ahead

August 25, 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Online Event

"As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another." -Proverbs 27:17

As you look ahead to the new church year, are you feeling excited? Are you feeling tired? Do you have your youth group schedule ready to go? Or, are you still tweaking? 

Do you yearn for meaningful conversations with fellow youth workers who "get" it? Might your tools need some sharpening?

Come join us on Wednesday, August 25th, for a peer-led resource-sharing opportunity! This will be a space for colleagues to connect, and speak about what has worked for their churches in the past year. We will also look towards the fall, and together sharpen our tools for the year to come.

May 2021

Empowering Parents to Practice Faith at Home: A Ministry Leader Workshop

May 5, 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Online Event

Faith formation can't happen if children and youth are spending just one hour a week at church - or much less these days, so what are the barriers families encounter when trying to establish faith practices at home?

The Rev. Traci Smith, author of Faithful Families, joins us on May 5 at 12:00pm to present the fundamentals of developing faithful family practices and outline the role that ministry leaders play in encouraging and supporting families. Discover how to help parents feel confident and well equipped as they nurture their children's faith development, at every age. We'll also spend time in an "Idea Lab" learning and sharing in small groups and we'll wrap up the webinar with Q&A.

Now is the perfect time for families to develop real habits and practices of faith at home. Following the webinar, participants will receive links to several short videos and outlines of spiritual practices that you can share with your congregation.

Video and clips from the event are here: Empowering Parents to Practice Faith at Home: A Ministry Leader Workshop

April 2021

Adventures in Space-Making with the Rev. Phiwa Langeni

April 7, 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Online Event
If you've ever wondered about ways to better engage with LGBTQ+ youth in your setting, you'll want to join this webinar as the Rev. Phiwa Langeni shares their experiences in youth ministry and, most recently, founding Salus Center, Lansing, Michigan's only LGBTQ+ resource and community center. In addition to learning practical tips on language, pronouns, and other queer-related issues, you'll gain insights on simple changes you can make in your own practices to create space for LGBTQ+ youth and others you intend to serve. The interactivity built into the presentation aims to make room for you to leave with tidbits that you can directly apply to your setting.

Video and clips from the event are here: Adventures in Space-Making with the Rev. Phiwa Langeni

March 2021

Innovation, Imagination, and Frustration: New Directions for Youth Ministry

March 3, 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Online Event
Everyone knows that existing models for caring for teens (especially in ecclesial contexts) are pretty tired. The problem is that the church in North America often struggles to do excellent and compelling work. It also struggles to innovate. This webinar will stimulate your imagination about how to best engage the teens/young adults in your community. We will look at an innovative model of ministry that has been developed in the Pacific Northwest and it’s engagement in the world of social enterprise. We'll also explore how to finance new forms of ministry to help reach and enrich the lives of your youth.

Video and clips from the event are here: Innovation, Imagination, and Frustration: New Directions for Youth Ministry.

February 2021

A Journey with LGBTQ+ and Immigrant Youth

February 3, 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
The journey of LGBTQ+ and immigrant youth are both beautiful and complex. In this presentation, Yadi Martinez-Reyna shares a glimpse into their various journeys and the worlds they navigate and negotiate with as they try to find a sense of belonging. Yadi will provide resources and ideas on how to create a safe space for all young people. Through lecture, dialogue, and open conversation, Yadi will invite you to reflect on the following questions: How do we create space for young people who are not already here? How do we partner with those who are here to evaluate, enhance, or transform our space? How do we reach beyond the borders of comfort and familiarity to share the good news with young people in need of support? In addressing these questions, Yadi aims to share with you their social, academic, and ethical experiences working with the youth and providing some working practices to guide your ministry.

Video and clips from the event are here: A Journey with LGBTQ+ and Immigrant Youth.

December 2020

A New Vision of Youth Ministry Beyond the Walls of the Church: Mission Work and Outdoor Ministry

December 2, 2020, 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Andrew Wicks and the Rev. Ryan Gackenheimer will explore the ways in which outdoor ministry and mission work are evolving and engaging youth today. It will also provide tangible tools for youth ministry during the COVID-19 pandemic and more broadly in the 21st century.

Video and clips from the event are here: A New Vision of Youth Ministry Beyond the Walls of the Church.
The presentation slides for Andrew Wicks is here.
The presentation slides for Rev. Ryan Gackenheimer is here.

November 2020

The Science of Well-Being

November 4, 2020, 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
The most popular course in the more than three-century history of Yale, “The Science of Well-Being” highlights research that reveals misconceptions about what makes us happy — and the concrete steps we can take to live a more fulfilling life. Yale Professor Laurie Santos has taken this course and created a new version specifically for high school aged youth. Join us for a conversation about how youth (and youth workers) can improve their mental and physical health.

Video and clips from the event are here: The Science of Well-Being.

October 2020

Just Breathe: Resilience Strategies for Today’s Youth & Youth Workers

October 14, 2020, 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
In the first six months of 2020, today’s children and youth have lived through so many soul-provoking experiences. With the advent of COVID-19 illness and death, quarantines, school closures, summers on hold, graphic depictions of violence, the prospect of not going back to school or going back in a socially distanced fashion, and difficult imagery and discussion around issues of race and justice, youth have a lot of questions—and some even have deep concerns and fears. Add this to the daily, already complex lives of many youth in this country and the resultant mixture cries out for a resilient response for both them and those who work with them.  This webinar will highlight various strategies for promoting resilience in, for and among today’s generations of youth. It will be presented in two parts. PART 1: Through a combination of academic, scientific and theological theories and studies, Jannah Scott will share information on:
    • What resilience is from both theoretical and practical perspectives
    • How resilience is weakened through adverse childhood experiences
    • How resilience can be strengthened
        • Physical - Natural methods
        • Mental, emotional methods
        • Spiritual methods
    • Highlights of promising practices in building resilience with youth
PART 2: Through a series of case studies and interactive exercises, Jannah Scott will:
    • Reinforce the importance of the connection between mind, body and spirit in strengthening (or adversely weakening) resilience.
    • Invited participants to join one of 2-3 breakout rooms to think together, discuss and model resilience interventions based on what they have learned about resilience, with application to various “composite” youth profiles.
    • Reconvene the group for brief share-outs of the models developed and questions/discussion sessions.
The video and clips from this event are here: Just Breathe: Resilience Strategies for Today's Youth & Youth Workers.
Slides from this event are here: Just Breathe: Resilience Strategies for Today’s Youth & Youth Workers

September 2020

Wrestling with Rest in a COVID-19 World with Nathan Stucky

September 9, 2020, 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
In all our time in life and ministry, have our calendars ever looked like they look amid pandemic? So much simply disappeared: coffee dates, graduations, youth group, and soccer. All gone. So much to grieve. Our rhythms of work and rest have been utterly discombobulated. Is this Sabbath? Who are we when our calendars turn upside down? We feel acutely the difficulty of this moment, but we also sense the gifts this moment brings. Will we learn what we need to learn? Join the conversation as we wrestle together with work, rest, ministry, and pandemic, and as we imagine together the future to which God is calling us.

The video and clips from this event are here: Wrestling with Rest in a COVID-19 World with Nathan Stucky

August 2020

A YMI Seminar on Racial Resilience

August 5, 2020, 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Join Christopher Carter and Seth Schoen for a six-part seminar designed to guide participants through the Racial Resilience anti-racism training with the primary goal of becoming an anti-racist member of society. Addressing structural racism within the US in general and churches in particular requires an analysis of the theo-cultural ideologies that normalize/moralize racism and the development of tools/capacities that enable human beings to undermine these false ideologies. This seminar equips participants with the necessary tools to 1) be able to identify internalized, interpersonal, and structural racism, and 2) attend to the inner stirrings of their conscience (i.e. culturally racist ideologies) that have historically led people (especially white people) to the false conclusion that there is another plausible explanation to what they are witnessing other than what it appears to be – racism, and 3) discern how they might engage in theologically grounded compassionate anti-racism action(s) with youth.

The six sessions will occur on August 5, August 19, September 2, September 16, September 30, and October 14. Those who complete the course will receive a Certificate of Completion from YDS.

July 2020

Racial Resilience: Anti-Racism as Spiritual Praxis

July 30, 2020, 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Do you find yourself profoundly moved by protests against racial injustice? Are you unsure of what structural racism is, or what it means to be anti-racist, or what role religion can play in this movement? Then this presentation is for you! Led by Dr. Seth Schoen and Rev. Dr. Christopher Carter, this session aims to help participants develop a structural understanding of racism and to introduce Racial Resilience, an anti-racism training method that utilizes compassion-based contemplative practices to explore critical race theories. What to expect:
      • Authentic storytelling and research-based content
      • Compassionate space for holding uncomfortable truths
What not to expect:

June 2020

Fear, Isolation, and Anxiety: Understanding the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Youth, with Dr. Josephine Kim

June 3, 2020, 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
With schools closed in efforts to slow the spread of the Coronavirus, the pandemic has psychologically displaced 1.54 billion students across the globe who are forced to navigate an unprecedented and uncertain reality. The acute impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak are felt by many, if not all, but for youth, the impacts may be felt in a heightened and concentrated way. How exactly are youth being impacted, and what helps to support their healthy development, even through a pandemic? As youth pastors and youth workers, what should we keep in mind when supporting youth through times of crises? This session will provide a glimpse into the minds of youth and offer insights to mitigating prolonged impacts of unexpected twists in life. 

Video clips from this event are here: Fear, Isolation, and Anxiety
Slides from the event are here: Slides for Fear, Isolation, and Anxiety

April 2020

POSTPONED: Dr. Angela Gorrell on Social Media and Working with Youth

April 1, 2020, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US
POSTPONED - Dr. Angela Gorrell, "Always On: Social Media and Working with Youth." In a time when people feel like they have to be always on, what can do we? Angela will share tips for leading constructive conversations about social media with young people and practical things you can do to help teenagers use social media in ways that nurture their well-being as well as express their Christian faith. Dr. Gorrell is Assistant Professor of Practical Theology at Truett Seminary, Baylor University. This event has been postponed.  Additional information will be provided shortly.  

March 2020

Rev. Mark DeVries on Sustainable Youth and Children’s Ministry

March 4, 2020, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US
Rev. Mark DeVries will deliver a lecture on, "Sustainable Youth and Children's Ministries." In the the world of youth and children's ministry, there are a handful of constant factors that allow ministries to thrive over the long haul. This workshop introduces children's workers, youth workers, and senior pastors to those patterns that notoriously keep ministries stuck and to systems and strategies most likely to result in culture change. The thorny challenge of building healthy and engaged volunteer teams will be used as a culture-change case study for participants to workshop. Rev. Mark DeVries is the Founder and President of Ministry Architects.

February 2020

Dr. Mary Moschella on Pastoral Care Fundamentals

February 5, 2020, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US
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Dr. Mary Moschella delivers a lecture entitled, "Caring for Stories."  Just what is pastoral care? Providing spiritual and emotional care for youth and for their families is a major part of a youth leader's job, but many youth workers don't have specific training in this area. How do you have a pastoral conversation with youth group members and/or their families? Active listening skills can enhance your ability to care for youth and the stories they share. Learn how to provide a safe and supportive environment for those entrusted to your care.  We will also consider questions about referral: how do you know when to speak to a pastor or recommend the assistance of a health care professional? Dr. Moschella is the Roger J. Squire Professor of Divinity at Yale Divinity School.  
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