For the last two years the PSWR Youth Ministry has hosted a deep sea fishing trip out of San Pedro as a way of building community and having an amazing experience in God’s creation. Rev. Steve Willis absolutely loved this event and was the very first person to register last year. He enthusiastically encouraged folks from his church (FCC Las Vegas) to travel hours for a day on the open ocean and anticipated the event with great excitement. Many of us remember this time with Steve as precious and fun for all we came! In honor of Steve, his love of the outdoors, and for his efforts to bring folks together, we are re-naming the Family Fishing Excursion the “Steve Willis Fishing Excursion.”
You are invited to bring your family and church friends to experience a beautiful day of fellowship and fishing on Tuesday, August 6 out of San Pedro. Click here to register online or for more details.
Global Service Projects: Midwest to the East Coast
Last year our youth and young adults traveled over 6,000 miles to learn about our nation’s history and religious freedom in Washington, D.C., Jamestown, Charlottesville, Fredericksburg, and Richmond, Virginia. We also hosted a Church-wide immersion for young adults and youth to learn about immigration policies, advocacy, and stories of those impacted by separation at the border in Tijuana.
This year, we are sending several select youth to participate in the Duke Youth Academy at Duke Divinity School in Durham, North Carolina… and over 200 youth will gather at our General Assembly in Des Moines, Iowa. These projects will engage young people in leadership training, Disciples’ Identity, Hospitality, and Service Projects for homeless youth. They will return to the PSWR with skills, experiences, and stories to share about their faith and the work of the broader Church. Please join us in praying for these young folks as we finalize trip details and programming. We are grateful to our Regional Church (that means you!) for the support and love given to make these amazing projects possible!
YLT ADULT LEADERS NEEDED
The Youth Leadership Team is a regional Christian leadership training program for high school students who are passionate about camp ministry and building community. Each year YLT serves to provide support leadership to the various summer camp programs offered in the PSWR. These young people spend time each month learning skills that help them share love with others and live into what it means to be ONE CHURCH. For this amazing ministry to flourish, we need dedicated adult volunteers who are passionate about mentorship, faith development, and Disciples identity.
Serving on a team of six adults, YLT Adult Leaders meet with the team once a month to plan meetings and train youth. Although there are times when YLT Adults instruct youth, this is a mentorship that engages reciprocal learning – youth learn from adults and adults learn from the youth.
Becoming a YLT Adult Leader requires a three-year commitment and includes a monthly meeting of at least one hour with several retreats throughout the year. We ask that each adult attend Anti-Racism/Pro Reconciliation Training early in their service and observe appropriate covenant boundaries. YLT Adult Leaders must be at least 25 years old and are expected to be present at least one major Regional Event (related to YLT), providing leadership support for YLT participants.
As a YLT Adult Leader, you will have access to the sacred lives of our young people. The PSWR Youth and Young Adult Ministry considers this to be a highly influential position that ought to be held with the utmost respect and loyalty to God. Volunteers must be at least 25 years old, an active participant in a Disciples of Christ Congregation, and dedicated to the vision of regional ministries.
YLT Adult Leaders will be invited to serve as chaperones on Regional youth trips for which travel funding and expenses are provided.
If you feel called to serve as a YLT Adult Leader, please contact Associate Regional Minister, B. J. Barlow (email@example.com) for more information.
Open Application Period
for Youth Immersion Ministry and Youth Leadership Team
If you or someone you know has a passion for leadership, public speaking, community networking, or developing authentic Christian faith, YIM and YLT are currently accepting applications. These two regional training programs offer life-changing opportunities for travel, anti-racism exercises, in-the-field leadership instruction, and financial aid to Disciples’ Universities and Colleges all over the country. Those youth who participate in YLT or YIM are more likely to be accepted into programs like XPlor, HELM, and Peace Internships.
We are looking for youth (ages 14 to 18) to step into region leadership, bringing with them passion, faith, and education, to make ministry with young people in the PSWR authentic and fun. Those who apply and are accepted will receive regional funding for opportunities to travel to Mexico, Washington D.C./Virginia, Hawaii, Australia, and much more. However, YLT and YIM participants are expected to stay engaged in their local congregations, attend regular regional meetings with their peers, and prepare an annual presentation to demonstrate all that they have learned throughout the program.
For an overview of the YLT and YIM ministries, read the articles below. For more information about applying for YLT or YIM, contact Associate Regional Minister, B. J. Barlow at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Youth Leadership Team (YLT)
A regional leadership training ministry that prepares young leaders for lifelong service by engaging their gifts and passions to support regional camp ministries. High School youth from around the PSWR are recruited through a broad application and interview process. The size of this ministry varies depending on the need and interest, but normally between 16 and 21 youth are chosen each year. Focusing on five areas of spiritual formation (Hospitality, Mentorship, Local Service, Global Mission, and Disciples Identity), these young leaders participate in leadership for our High School Winter and Summer Camps, as well as, serve as Counselors in Training for our younger aged camps (optional). Additionally, each year YLT participants are encouraged to visit regional congregations to share information about the ministry and recruit new members. We pray that God will use this ministry to prepare leaders who have deep roots in service in the local, regional, and national expressions of the Church in a way that empowers their passion for camp ministry and Christian service wherever God leads them. (Total monthly commitment: 15-20 hours including one week-long summer camp each year)
Youth Immersion Ministry (YIM)
A regional anti-racism/pro-reconciliation initiative that prepares young leaders to do ministry in cross-cultural contexts. High School youth who are recommended by their pastors are interviewed and selected based on their passion and interest in promoting justice for all people. The ministry is designed to engage 16 youth selected from among the North American/Pacific Asian Disciples constituency, Hispanic Convencion constituency, African American Convocation constituency, and Anglo/European communities of faith in cultural experiences from all over the world. Focusing on five areas of spiritual formation (Hospitality, Mentorship, Local Service, Global Mission, and Disciples Identity), these young leaders participate in one significant immersion experience per year, difficult conversations regarding race and culture, service projects in local settings, and advocacy on behalf of those whose voices go unheard. We pray that God will use this ministry to prepare leaders who have broad world-views, sensitive but bold voices for justice, and strong foundations in our Christian tradition. If you or someone you know might serve well as a YIM participant, you are encouraged to speak with your church pastor about how to be considered for recommendation. (Total monthly commitment: 15-20 hours including an immersion trip each year)
Adult leaders for YIM are invited each year to chaperone events, mentor youth, and plan programming for youth participants. Ideally the adult leadership is comprised of one male and one female from each of the constituent ministries listed above. All regional adult leaders commit to anti-racism training as well as consent to a background check to ensure the safety of all minors involved. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a YIM Adult leader, please contact Rev. B. J. Barlow – Associate Regional Minister - email@example.com. (Total monthly commitment: 20-30 hours including an immersion trip each year)
INVITE YLT OR YIM TO YOUR CHURCH ON SUNDAY!
Are you interested in hosting a YLT or YIM Sunday at your church? We are anxious for the opportunity to come share the good work being done at camp and the amazing opportunities experienced in reconciliation ministries for high school students in the PSWR. Our YLT or YIM have experience presenting in worship and can offer a 15 minute message or program during Sunday School/Coffee hour. Whatever works for your church, we welcome the opportunity to partner with you, and to spread the good news of what God is doing in and through our young people in the PSWR. To schedule a Sunday, contact the regional office at 626-296-0385.
What is so unique about Youth and Young Adult Ministry in the PSWR?
Recently I was in conversation with one of our General Church leaders who caught me a bit off guard by saying, “The PSWR Youth and Young Adult Ministry is being watched by the larger church. You all are really doing amazing things.” How exciting and scary all at once. This conversation got me thinking about what it is that people might not see about the PSWR Youth and Young Adult Ministry by observing as a spectator. Continue Reading