The Episcopal Church and Young Adults

Very good day discussing ministry to and with young adults at the House of Bishops today. We were led by Lisa Kimball from the Virginia Theological Seminary, a young priest named Arrington Chambliss from the Diocese of Massachusetts, and a young lay person named Jason Long also from that Diocese.

Care was taken not to treat young adults as “a demographic” and to start with the fact that they are children of God and that we have an awful lot more in common than we have differences, even though they do inhabit a radically different environment than most of the bishops in this House grew up in.

We did start with one of Beloit College’s Mindset Lists which helps sketch out some of those differences for “the Class of 2014.”  We shared the results of conversations many of us were asked to have with some young adults in our dioceses. Interest in spiritual practices, a passion for social justice and inclusion, and a disgust for hypocrisy and judgmentalism were common responses many of us received.

In the afternoon we heard presentations on the Episcopal Service Corps program present in sixteen or seventeen of our dioceses. These are young adults committed to work for social justice, deep their spiritual awareness and discern vocation, develop leadership skills, and live a simple, sustainable lifestyle — all done often in intentional communities. We also heard examples of “fresh expressions” of the faith and the emergent conversation which continues both here and abroad.

We concluded in a guided meditation called “The Walk into the Future” where we were asked to envision what the future of ministry to and with young adults might look like in 2 or 3 years if we really got started and what first steps we might take to get there. We then shared those in small groups and, by post-it notes around the room, with everyone. 

In short, many of us believe that The Episcopal Church is positioned to enrich, and be enriched by, the lives of many of the these young people — but it will take commitment, flexibility, risk-taking, and the willingness to fail — as well as to succeed — to make it happen.

All in all…a good day.

One Response to “The Episcopal Church and Young Adults”

  1. guided meditation Says:

    guided meditation…

    […]The Episcopal Church and Young Adults « That We All May Be One[…]…

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