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UNITE is an annual youth and young adult conference that empowers young leaders across the Pacific Southwest Region (PSWR) for Christian service in their local church and all over the world.

The theme of UNITE 2019 is “Building Bridges,” and will focus on equipping young people for the task of leading and uniting the body of Christ in these challenging times. Topics include creative expression, life skills, multi-media, global ministry, and MUCH more

This powerful and exciting weekend includes hands-on training, educational workshops, dynamic worship services, and recreational activities.

The conference will take place at Oceanside Sanctuary, 204 South Freeman Street in Oceanside, California. It is open to all youth and young adults in high school to 25 years old. Check in at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, February 15 and check out at 12:00 noon on Monday, February 18. Cost is $100/person for the conference, which includes all meals from breakfast Saturday through breakfast Monday. Click here for more information about recommended hotels and details about the conference. Download the flyer or register here

The excitement is spreading for UNITE 2019: Building Bridges at Oceanside Sanctuary on February 15-18. We are delighted to have the Emmy Award Winning artist and Disciples pastor, J Kwest (Rev. Julian DeShazier), as a special guest preacher! We are doubly blessed to have the Director of Duke Divinity’s Youth Academy, Milton Gildner, representatives from Global Ministries sharing amazing service opportunities, and special guests from Arizona Region’s Youth Leadership Team in attendance. Continue reading


Here are a few words of encouragement from PSWR pastors about why your church should consider sending young people to UNITE this year:

“It was a refreshing experience to see our region’s young adults and youth participate in such a visible and inspiring way at our last Regional Assembly in Fullerton. I believe that this is evidence of what regional work with young adults and youth is accomplishing. I am more than supportive of the effort being made through activities such as UNITE Conference that is being planned for this year at Oceanside Sanctuary.  I encourage all of our pastors in the region to be supportive of this conference so that we continue to inspire our own local church youth and young adult ministries.” Continue reading

Pastor Xose Escamilla
Senior Pastor at Casa de Oracion San Diego

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Better Together is a consultation service that empowers local churches to rediscover a call and purpose for ministry. It combines professional leadership assessment with customized transformational strategies that unlock energy, passion, and skill in any ministry team. PSWR Associate Regional Minister and Certified Executive Leadership Consultant, Rev. B. J. Barlow, provides customized seminars that strengthen volunteer leadership, organizational growth, and spiritual vibrancy perfect for church retreats or weekend conferences. Participants will be provided individual assessment tools, personalized coaching, and a thorough ministry assessment that identifies adaptive solutions.

To find out more or to schedule a consultation, visit: https://bettertogetherpswr.wordpress.com/



Global Service Projects

The PSWR Youth and Young Adult Ministries are excited to be sending young people for service projects to three locations in Summer 2019: Des Moines, Iowa (General Assembly), Monterey, CA (Blue Theology Ministries), and Durham, North Carolina (Duke Youth Academy). During these trips we will learn about cultural contexts for ministry, leadership within those contexts, and provide practical assistance to the communities we visit. Each year the PSWR Youth and Young Adult Ministries provides opportunities for young leaders to experience traditions different than their own so that they may grow in their abilities to impact the world with God’s love for all people. By partnering with DOC Communities all over the world, we build and strengthen the spiritual practices of HOSPITALITY, MENTORSHIP, LOCAL SERVICE, GLOBAL MISSIONS, ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE and DISCIPLES IDENTITY. To become eligible for travel, a young person needs to apply for one of our leadership ministries (YLT, YIM, or YALL) to ensure proper preparation and training is established. We want everyone who attends a Global Service Project to be set up for success in service and faith development. Download an information packet for Summer 2019 global service opportunities.


The Key to Unlocking Youth Ministry That Matters

by Rev. BJ Barlow, Associate Regional Minister, Youth and Young Adult Ministries

Of course, we want young people involved. Seeing them at the lectern, sharing their stories about camp, singing a song, reading the scripture lesson – it assures us that there is a future for the Church. We want young people to know they have a special place in our communities. After all, there is nothing more heartwarming on Sunday than seeing a chancel full of children during Children’s Moment. We know all that means so much to us will continue because young people are engaged and continuing meaningful work in the church. They truly are the key to the Church’s future. Read more


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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 bjbarlow@disciplespswr.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)

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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 - bjbarlow@disciplespswr.org. (Total monthly commitment: 20-30 hours including an immersion trip each year)

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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