Young adults ages 18 to 30, although they’re grouped together, are often at very different stages in their lives. They’re married, partnered, single, with children, divorced, widowed. They leave high school and enter the work force, the military, or college. Not every young adult attends college, and many will try it on but leave before completing a degree.
They engage with the world, and many have strong opinions about war, the environment, and the institutional church. Many will rally to help a next-door neighbor or organize relief efforts for Sudan and Haiti. The Episcopal Church strives to be alongside young adults, to accompany, mentor, and provide places for leadership development. The church also offers deeper experiences in their faith journey through fellowship, vocational discernment, and internships in programs such as the Young Adult Service Corps.
Young Adult Ministry in the church at large takes the form of parish-based young adult groups for worship, fellowship, mission and study; young adult internships and intentional living through the Episcopal Service Corps; diocesan retreats and gatherings; engaging and training young adults in the polity of the church; mentoring and discernment programs; and young adult pilgrimages and mission experiences. Campus ministry includes all students attending places of higher learning at colleges and universities. Sometimes referred to as "Canterbury Club" or "Episcopal Campus Ministry" (ECM), it includes all chaplains, campus ministers, and faculty. It provides programming, networks (diocesan, provincial, churchwide, and ecumenical), advocacy, and resources for those doing ministry on college and university campuses.
Farewell from Jason Sierra
It has been such a gift to work with you over the last 4.5 years. As I leave this position to return to school this fall, I will continue to celebrate your ministry with young adults, rejoicing as you raise up leaders for God’s work of reconciliation and healing in our world, just as you raised me up over these last years. Please know that your work is a source of hope for many across this church, and its fruits are visible and abundant.
My understanding is that there has been an overwhelming response to the open position and the staff is working to discern which applicants will move forward in the hiring process. While there is funding for only one position, we hope the process of discerning a call to churchwide leadership (even if it is not through DFMS) will be beneficial to many. I invite us all to hold those involved in the search process in prayer.
In the meantime, please know that the Formation and Vocation Ministries team is here to support you. Team leader Bronwyn Clark Skov and associate Valerie Harris will make sure you get connected to the right people to get the resources you need. And, as always, look to your own colleagues in leadership through the Provincial Coordinators for Campus Ministry and the Young Adult Ministry Council.
Thank you all for your support, your friendship, your inspiration, and your incredible work. Until our paths cross again!
Paz y Fuego,
P.S. from Bronwyn: Please join me in prayers of gratitude for the more than 90 individuals who offered themselves for the open position for Young Adult and Campus Ministries. Our Human Resources department has moved us to the second phase of the application process, and we are prepping for the first wave of phone interviews. Please continue your prayers for all those still in the process, and for those no longer being considered who were notified this week. The church is blessed with the energy and commitment to ministry with young adults evidenced in this process.