‘This shouldn’t be a time for young people to become inwardly focused and detached’
by Paul Seebeck | Presbyterian News Service
LOUISVILLE — With youth across the nation stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic, two new QuickSheets resources from the Presbyterian Youth Workers’ Association provide ideas for youth ministry leaders and parents that help young people to “look beyond themselves and love their neighbors while they’re at home.”
Created in collaboration with the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s Office of Christian Formation, the new resources offer suggestions including connecting young people with older church members for conversation, or showing some “lawn care love” by mowing or doing simple landscaping for church members struggling to care for their yard like they used to.
Other ideas in Keeping Youth Engaged in Mission during COVID-19 include learning an art craft that lifts the spirits of others, practicing praying for church and community members during this time of social distancing by holding a group prayer marathon, and connecting with social distance-friendly local agencies for volunteer opportunities.
The Sheltering at Home is a Time for Advocacy resource also provides ideas for young people to think about the situations and circumstances of others. The focus for this resource is on helping youth learn about the injustices other people face in their own town or city, across the country and around the world.
“Sheltering at Home” suggests beginning by thinking locally — asking questions of nonprofits in one’s area how the virus is affecting the people they serve. There’s also a “movie night with a mission” idea, in which “entertainment time” is used to discuss important issues facing our country and world. Barnhart Films, funded by Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, are highlighted:
- “Locked in a Box: Immigration Detention”
- “Trigger: The Ripple Effect of Gun Violence”
- “To Breathe Free,” which tells the story of Syrian refugee family
- “Kepulihan: When the Waters Recede,” on the aftermath of the tsunami in Indonesia
- “Flint: The Poisoning of an American City”
Other documentaries mentioned are:
- “I AM,” a film on Amazon Prime that ask two questions: “What’s wrong with the world and what can we do about it?”
- “13th,” an exploration of the 13th amendment to the U.S. Constitution and its connection to the disproportional rate of people of color in our country’s prisons
- “Explained: The Racial Wealth Gap,” a discussion, available on Netflix, of how slavery, housing discrimination, and centuries of inequity have compounded to create a racial wealth gap.
Writing letters to local leaders and creating a podcasts and playlists with a purpose are also mentioned as ideas that engage young people in advocacy and action.
Bill Buchanan of Youth Mission Co, who wrote these QuickSheets in a partnership with PYWA, said he wants to empower young people to make a positive and lasting impact on their community and world during this crisis.
“Typically, Youth Mission Co does this work through our mission immersion experiences,” he said. “But we want youth to know that they can still love their neighbors even now. Especially now!”
Stephanie Fritz, the associate coordinator for Christian Formation, says her office continues to work with its Christian Formation Collective to develop these QuickSheets resources. In addition, the office hosts Zoom calls and webinars to support faith formation leaders in the PC(USA) during this time.
“These leaders are amazing,” Fritz said, “and crucial to their communities in continuing to develop innovative ways to connect faith formation to the church.”
PYWA also offers a weekly check-in, devotional and prayer time for youth workers via Zoom at 2 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesdays. Click here for more information.
Keep up to date with the latest Christian formation QuickSheets resources here.
Give to One Great Hour of Sharing to enable Presbyterian Disaster Assistance to respond quickly to catastrophic events — and to continue to fund Barnhart Films, which are widely used as a tool for education, advocacy and justice in our world.
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Categories: Christian Formation, Partner Associations, Special Offerings
Tags: age and stage formation ministries, barnhart films, bill buchanan, christian formation, christian formation collective, coronavirus, covid-19, keeping youth engaged in mission during covid-19, office of christian formation, One Great Hour of Sharing, partner associations, presbyterian disaster assistance, presbyterian youth workers association, quicksheets, sheltering at home is a time for advocacy, Special Offerings, youth mission co
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Ministries: Office of Christian Formation, Partner Associations, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, Special Offerings, Age and Stage Formation Ministries, Theology, Formation & Evangelism