From Graduation to Incorporation: Doing Youth Ministry Better Together!

By Rev. B.J Barlow

This year I celebrate 20 years of youth ministry leadership. I taught my first youth bible study group at Oak Forest Baptist Church in Chesterfield, VA when I was 18 years old. I can remember how special an experience it was at that age to share leadership among my peers and older adult mentors. Although I was no longer officially a part of the youth group (having just graduated high school), I appreciated the opportunity to transition out of what our church called “youth group” into full blown adulthood. Without the inclusive culture at OFBC, I may not have ended up in ministry today. Read more

It is tough sometimes to be a Christian and also feel that the world is not the way it ought to be. How do we allow love to guide how we communicate TRUTH? Let’s learn together how to MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD in a crazy and noisy world.

This retreat will be a fun, relaxing, and meaningful time with friends and other young leaders from around the region. It is also AN IMPORTANT MEETING for the PSWR Youth and Young Adult Ministry as we will be meeting with the chairpersons of the Regional Minister Search Committee to share what we feel are important characteristics the next Regional Minister should have.

Pastor and Parents, please encourage your young leaders to attend this retreat. It will provide a boost in the impact they make in your local communities. All youth and young adults, ages 14-25 are invited to attend. Chaperones are welcome (over 25) but must be willing to submit to a background check. REGISTER TODAY!


Young Adult Leadership and Development – Obra Hispana and PSWR Partnership

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On May 30 – June 2, the PSWR Young Adult Ministry (ages 18-35) and Obra Hispana will be hosting a Hispanic Commission for young adults in the PSWR and beyond. Participants will receive a solid foundation for future programming, leadership, and for church connectivity, with an emphasis on anti-racism and unity. Pastors that encourage their young leadership to apply/participate in this special program can expect to see an increase of skills and participation in their local communities among those accepted.


  1. Participants will demonstrate an increased knowledge of DOC History and Polity, resources, and opportunities for service throughout the Church.
  2. A replicable foundation will be established for young adult learning that is adaptable to all ages.
  3. Young adults will be placed on boards and commissions across the life of the church, including the PSWR, to increase participation in leadership and decision making.
  4. All participants will receive anti-racism training and will be given opportunities to engage in anti-racism efforts across all expressions of the Church.

There are limited spaces and an application process for all interested. Complete your application and send it to Selected participants are responsible for their transportation expenses. Lodging, meals, resources and materials will be covered by the program! Apply today and come be “EMPOWERED TO BE THE BEST YOU!”

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family fishing excursion

Back by popular demand, the Family Fishing Excursion is open to all ages (under 12 with chaperon). This is an all-day event and will be on a chartered fishing boat with PSWR friends and family only. Limited space (30 people). First come, first served. We are especially encouraging youth and young adults to bring friends.
When: Wednesday, June 20th  
6:00am to 6:00pm
Where: 22nd Street Landing Sportfishing located at 141 W 22nd St, San Pedro, CA
Why: To build friendships, to spend time in community enjoying creation, and to create positive memories.

Register HERE



The PSWR Youth and Young Adult Ministries are excited to host a denomination-wide project for young adults (18-33 yrs old) that offers a 10-day immersion learning experience for those interested in immigration advocacy and community organization. We will learn the stories and struggles of immigrants in the United States and all over the world.

This group will be traveling throughout Southern California to speak with life-long advocates and social workers and discover ways of making an impact in communities all over the world for the sake of sojourner, refugee, and immigrant. They will work with other young leaders to brainstorm ways to properly respond and empower immigrants in your own communities. This immersion experience includes visits to Los Angeles, San Diego, Tijuana (Mexico), conversations with immigrant families in Disciples of Christ congregations, resourcing with staff from Matthew25 immigration program, opportunities to debrief experiences with Rev. Lori Tapia, Tana Liu-Beers, Xose Escamilla, and much, much more.

israel-palestine TRIP: MAY 28-JUNE 9, 2018


Ten young adults from the PSWR will be traveling to Israel-Palestine on May 29-June 9 to experience and learn about the civil/religious discord in the territories. As one would imagine, this trip will be inspiring as participants will be visiting holy sites, but it will also be very difficult as the political environment is often unwelcoming to many people. Please hold these folks in prayer as they prepare and travel. You can expect to hear more about their stories and all that they learned from the experience later this year at a regional event. Thank you in advance to those who are supporting this unique adventure (especially Nancy Fowler, Jess Kim, Heather Backstrom, and Young Lan Kim).