We have an exciting Fall this year to look forward to. Artist Thomas Roach will be with us from October 1-31, getting us involved in making our beautiful “hangings” for the front of our future home. He says the preliminary designs will be available this week! Thanks to everyone for participating so abundantly in the Prayers of the Church activity. Thanks to your involvement, we had 68 prayers, which were sent to him on Tuesday. This gives him an amazing bounty of material to work with! He’ll take our hand-written prayers and turn them into silk screens (basically templates for printing on fabric). Then, when he comes in October, the first thing we’ll do is begin printing our prayers onto fabric. Almost all the fabric we use for our project will be printed with our prayers for St. George’s.
This Fall we’ll also start working on an idea that Parish Council came up with: to have a Year of Discipleship in 2020! This idea came out of a discussion of the results from our Missional Footprint activity that we did in the Spring. On the question, “what should we do next year to further the work of Jesus in our midst?”, there was a lot of energy around the idea of having a special year for deepening our walk with God. There are already several ideas floating around, and I am really looking forward to working with Parish Council to pull these ideas together into a program (and a brochure!) for next year.
Talking about expanding discipleship, a question that has been on the table for quite some time, and growing in urgency, has been the question of how to offer relevant programming for our youth. I was, in my younger days, a youth minister, and I’ve seen several ways that youth ministry can go completely awry, in various expensive ways. We always seem to think a paid Youth Pastor is the best way to go – the “gold standard” if you will, but the idea rarely delivers the results everyone is hoping for. The essential components are to offer programming that keeps pace with the youths’ brain development and increasing maturity; to help build connections between them and mature members of the congregation; and to encourage them to discover how they can express their gifts in the context of community life. When a Youth Pastor is hired, it is often for the purpose of entertainment (dare I say babysitting!), not for advancing any of these goals. So we’re experimenting this year with a kind of combination of a long-term scavenger hunt with Scout/Guide badges. If we do it well, it will incentivize the youth to ask questions, get curious, and volunteer in new ways in our congregation. So prepare yourselves for all that! I will of course be in touch with each ministry group that is likely to be affected, and to consult with them if what I’m proposing will work for them!
Keep St. George’s in your prayers friends and looking forward to another year of ministry together!
God bless Clara