No one knows how to do ministry in a pandemic. This is all so difficult. My Presbyterian Youth Workers Association (PYWA) colleagues and I worked with the Office of Faith Formation to help provide some support to youth workers through some Quicksheets. The Quicksheet, “Stay Home, Stay Connected” gives youth workers some ideas about how to use our gifts of support and connection virtually as we do ministry in the midst of a pandemic. We are all doing our best and trying new things.
Middle school and high school youth are an integral part of the leadership of Vacation Bible School at Christ Memorial Presbyterian Church–under the watchful care of loving adults of a large span of ages. Two of the afternoons they stay later–one is a mission day and the other is just for fun. This year, our mission afternoon was called Random Acts of Kindness Day. We began with a Bible study and discussion about the experience of feeling “not good enough” (sports, academics, looks, parental expectations…). We found we are either disappointed or discouraged when we fail or fall short of the standards set by others (or perhaps even ourselves). That failure either makes us try harder the next time or often means we never try again. Or worse. But as followers of Jesus Christ, we have hope in God and understand that God’s love is unconditional. Good news!
(Romans15:13, 1 Peter 1:3-4)
We believe that God believes we are good enough. Continue reading
Quicksheets are free quality resources for youth ministry produced by the Presbyterian Church (USA). They are designed to offer quick practical resources for youth leaders and parents of youth. Some of the more recent titles are also available in Spanish language versions. Gina Yeager-Buckley and a team of writers and editors offer new Quicksheets each year. Here’s the link to the complete listing that begins with the most recent.
Two titles that may be especially timely are Faithfully Simple Living by Beth Greaves– a great series of ideas especially appropriate leading into Earth Day and Summer Ideas by Christy Williams and Shannon Guse–giving you many ideas for crafting quick and meaningful lessons for youth during the summer months.
Kathy Dawson, Associate Professor of Christian Education, Columbia Theological Seminary
Dana Waters is a current Masters of Divinity Student at Columbia Theological Seminary. He also serves in youth ministry. This lesson plan speaks to the conversation we are having in the Facebook group today on Christian Education beyond the walls of the church.
I created this lesson plan after I realized that everyone in my youth group had learned about climate change at school and many other places, but it had never been discussed at church– not even once. How could this be? Continue reading