So, following chronologically in our series on the work of the Formation and Vocation team, we move to the late teens and 20s, a period of life we refer to as young adulthood.
The office for Young Adult and Campus Ministries seeks to serve students, young adults, campus chaplains, and young adult ministers through relationships, resources and advocacy. Our work focuses on the three strategic priorities of leadership development, vocational discernment, and the creation of mentoring communities where young adults can grow into an adult faith.
As the staff officer for this exciting and, in some areas, still fledgling ministry, I seek to identify, strengthen and connect the resources and leadership of the three ministry networks we serve.
Campus Ministry is the most established of our networks, consisting of Episcopal presences at over 300 colleges and universities. The Provincial Coordinators for Campus Ministry are an invaluable anchor in this network and serve to support, advise, and resource our office and the network. Together we plan an annual Chaplains Conference and biannual student gatherings, providing resources, training, and support to ministries in the space between. For the last three triennium we have also provided and overseen grants for new ministry start-ups.
The Young Adult Ministries network is a younger network and is led by the Committee for Young Adult Ministry along with the Diocesan Coordinators, who are our main points of contact on the local level. Together they advise and support our office in planning gatherings, such as the Young Adult Festival, in identifying and creating resources, and in better connecting the network both online and in face-to-face trainings and consultations. A new project in this ministry area is the Episcopal Leadership Institute for Young Adults, which seeks to expose young adults to the work of justice in the church and to help connect them with leadership and ministries that share their passions.
The third network we facilitate is what was formerly known as PLSE, the Pastoral Leadership Search effort, now Young Adult Vocations. This network serves to support young adults in communities of color and to help them discern their various calls to ministry in the church by providing opportunities, resources and events, such as the Why Serve discernment conference. This ministry is executed in close collaboration with the ethnic ministry desks.
As your denominational staff person, I am here to support and encourage you, to connect you with the resources and people you need, to advocate for you, to help you share your stories and to pray for you. Like Bronwyn and Ruth Ann, I am happy to serve as a workshop leader, process facilitator, keynoter or preacher. You can reach me by email, Facebook, and sometimes by phone. Please be in touch and don’t stop sharing your stories. The church needs to hear them. I give thanks for the work you do.
Jason Stewart Sierra
Offier for Young Adult Leadership and Vocations for the Episcopal Church
Formation and Vocation Ministries Team