This past weekend, February 25, The Rev. Shivaun Wilkinson, Director of Children's and Youth Ministries for the Diocese of Washington, D.C., preached and met with parents and the vestry of Memorial. Shivaun+ arrived with a wealth of experience and guidance; and listened to what Memorialites had in mind. Over the course of the weekend we landed on a few general structural guidelines to help us in our progress toward a relevant, sustainable youth ministry.
At the top of the list was to begin with the end in mind by answering the question,"what spiritual qualities and attributes do we want our children to have as they approach adulthood and develop their own personal relationship with God?" In making this happen, several themes emerged including integration of children into as many aspects of church life as possible, including creating opportunities for youth to be as involved in services as possible. Other ideas that emerged were the importance of involving youth in other important church missions including justice efforts, caring for God’s creation, and pastoral care. Another key aspect to consider is the importance of inter-generational opportunities for our children.
We have a host of opportunities that already exist at Memorial and expanding our youth ministry should start with our existing talents and assets ranging from Green Team, to the Justice Ministry to Memorial Players and beyond.
There is still much work to be done to continue the transformation of our youth ministry but Shivaun+ has left us with a good start, and one that holds much promise. It also means you don't have to be a parent to a school-aged child to get involved. If you would like to get more involved, please contact Amy Rial and let her know how you can help.