Tag Archives: youth

Updated Lesson Plans That Work now available online

Lesson Plans that WorkIn response to our many users, we have given Lesson Plans That Work a new look and new resources.

The popular Lesson Plans That Work, an online resource from the Episcopal Church, has been updated and revised, now with three distinct tracts for younger and older children, and adults.

Lesson Plans that work are available at http://episcopaldigitalnetwork.com/lessons/.

Published by the Episcopal Church and written by experienced church school teachers, Lesson Plans That Work follow the Revised Common Lectionary, using practical approaches to respond to the needs of volunteer teachers.

Lesson Plans That Work consists of three lesson plans presented weekly: for young children, for older children, and for adults.

On the web, Lesson Plans That Work is easy to search by Season, Year A, B, or C, and by age.  Also newly added is a “Useful Links” section providing additional formation resources.


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Youth and Young Adult Formation Survey

The Episcopal Formation Collaborative is a new initiative of the Center for Ministry and Teaching at Virginia Theological Seminary. We seek to gather, create, and critique resources and best practices in response to identified needs of Christian formation practitioners in the Episcopal Church.

The first initiative of the Episcopal Formation Collaborative will be to strengthen and grow Episcopal Christian formation ministries with youth (approximately 6th through 12th grades) and young adults (18 – 30 years); collectively known as young people.

We need your help and input so we know how best to serve you!
Complete the short survey to share what is working well, what resources you need, and what challenges you are facing in ministry with young people. This initial survey will close August 31, 2012.

Our vision for the Episcopal Formation Collaborative is to build on the strengths of the Episcopal Church in mission by:

  • Fostering an action-reflection model for lived faith and ministry that continually engages people of all ages and their leaders in the process of their own formation;
  • Gathering, creating, and promoting resources and methods that are Biblically sound and congruent with Episcopal theology; and
  • Offering ideas, tools, and best practices grounded in the baptismal covenant and honoring of cultural context.

Ultimately, our dream is to provide a dynamic environment in which church leaders are invited, inspired, and transformed to become hopeful, engaged, committed Christians in the world. For more information, please go to our website at http://episcopalformationcollaborative.org/.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us. Thank you for your help and we look forward to partnering with you in ministry.

The Rev. Shannon Kelly
Projector Coordinator and Curator  
Founder of Episcopal Formation Collaborative

Dr. Lisa Kimball
Principal Collaborator and Curator
Founder of Episcopal Formation Collaborative

NOTE FROM FORMATION AND VOCATION MINISTRIES TEAM: Jason, Ruth-Ann, and Bronwyn are very aware of a great desire across the church for a central location for resources. We are also aware of many different groups and organizations that have passion on working collaboratively on such an initiative as well as resource development. Please contact us to get connected on this collaboration if you or your organization has positive energy and resources to share in this mission. Stay tuned and we’ll keep you up to date on developments!


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Filed under Adults, Campus Ministry, Lifelong Formation, Young Adults, Youth

Mentoring from Generation to Generation…

As the senior member of our Formation & Vocation team I have been blessed to have had many amazing mentors over the years. After reading Bronwyn’s blog I spent time this week reflecting on those mentors who have come and gone in my life. How their willingness to share their wisdom has challenged me, comforted me, encouraged and delighted me. And how these gifts continue to this day to impact all aspects of my life; professional, politically, familial and spiritually. Although there were many lessons learned a few stand out and still continue to inform who I am.

In the mid seventies I had fast tracked into a corporate position, which put me close to the top of the executive ladder. I was prepared for the work, but not for the accepted industry dominated culture of white males over the age of 50 holding positions of power. This was my first lesson about personal and positional power. Fortunately, Mr. Ernest Brown an Executive Vice President took interest in me and afforded to me a safe place to vent and exhale when the pressure of having my abilities challenged because of my gender put me on the brink of public tears. This was an industry like as in baseball, as Tom Hanks said in the movie A league of their own. “There’s no crying in Baseball.”

One particular time when I was sharing with Mr. Brown my most recent tale of woe, about how unjust the system was (and he agreed it was) he said I had a choice; I could give up or fight for change. If I gave up I was on my own, if I fought he was behind me all the way. Why did I fight? Why were his words so significant and powerful? I respected and trusted him and admired his deep devotion to his Christian faith. For he himself lived what he “preached”. Mr. Brown had fought a far greater challenge than I had before me. As a bright young black man of sixteen when he first started working for this very same company, because of the color of his skin he was not allowed to eat lunch in the same restaurant as his co-workers. Mr. Brown had a mentor (the Jewish owner of the company, who after young Ernest started working for him began having lunch brought in) who did for him that which Mr. Brown was promising to do for me. His only condition was that I would commit myself always to fight for justice and that I would never use my station in life as an excuse not to use to the fullest the gifts God has blessed me with.

I have learned from him exactly what Bronwynis encouraging us all to do as “a community faith we are called to live in a way that invites those we seek to mentor to live with intentionality, to practice their agency with greater discernment.”  We are called to share from generation to generation the wisdom that we learn along the way. When I reflect on a Jewish owner in the 1950’s mentoring a Black man who mentors a white women in the 70’s I hope that in some small way I have continued to mentor in a way which honors Mr. Brown. I know that in my years of mentoring others the true blessing has been the deepening of my own faith life in ways that I have yet to realize.

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Filed under Adults, Campus Ministry, Children, Lifelong Formation, Older Adults, Young Adults, Youth

Advent 2011 – The Four Directions and Magnificat

Advent is a time to open our hearts, to ponder deeply what comes from God’s Spirit, and then to allow ourselves to be changed by what we see, hear, think and feel.“Four Directions and Magnificat” is and Advent program designed to build upon a “rediscovery” of the history of the Church and this nation that began with “Looking at Columbus Day through the Lens of our Baptismal Covenant.”  This resource is an invitation to use the season of Advent as a time of personal spiritual preparation for broader communal work by congregations, dioceses, and regions as we work together to repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery.

The Four Directions and Magnificat



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Filed under Adults, Campus Ministry, Children, Lifelong Formation, Older Adults, Young Adults, Youth


Tonight I experienced a beautiful liturgy that was Both/And.

The Confirmation of four youth, Reception of several adults, and the blessing of a First Communion, was both traditional and truly contemporary.

It was both formal and comfortable.

It was both reverent and playful.

The congregation was both young and old.

The choir consisted of both robed empty-nesters and young adults with electric guitars.

The congregation was both family and friends.

The congregation was both Episcopalians and guests of other and non-church traditions.

The liturgy was both solemn, sacred, and celebratory; truly joyful.

As I witnessed my fairy god-daughter accepting the responsibility for her choice to be a Christian, I was struck with the thought that she is the seventh generation on her father’s side to receive sacraments in front of that altar. One of her very great grandfathers gave the land for the cemetery, a cemetery that was the first in this little frontier river town in the 1850’s to allow burial of both Native American Indians and people of African origin. Her great-grandfather and her grand uncles used to carve their initials and names in the bricks building the bell tower when they were waiting around in their acolyte robes waiting for things to get interesting. Now she’s an acolyte, because our tradition embraces both males and females in leadership roles. (And she better know better than to carve on the bricks! Besides, her last name is already engraved there for eternity, thanks to Vernon and Caleb!)

The Rt. Rev. Brian Prior, IX Bishop of Minnesota, fit right in with this faithful congregation. He offered reflections in his sermon both about our heritage as Episcopalians in Minnesota and our call to go forth and be missioners in the world. He helped both those who prefer a solemn high mass, and those who prefer a praise service, feel comfortable as we participated in the ancient rite of claiming our Baptism. He both called us to be silent and give the Holy Spirit room to work, and he encouraged us to laugh when funny things happened, planned or not.

It occurred to me, as I participated and prayed in my beloved home church, that it has been this rich congregation that has both formed and continues to form me as a Christian. I am full of prayers of gratitude because it has always been a place of both/and. I crave that balance and I think it is a key to succesful equipping for evangelism. I was welcomed as the stranger when I wandered in the doors of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Hastings, Minnesota, in 1988. I served there for 14 years as the youth minister with partners in ministry who were both young and old, both high church and low church, both traditionalists and progressives, both founding families, like my young friend Dani who was confirmed tonight, and newcomers to the church and the Episcopal tradition, like my friend Rachel who was received tonight.

Thank you, St. Luke’s, for being a faithful place that continues to bridge generation gaps as you continue to invite, baptize, and nurture new Christians. And thank you, Bishop Brian, for teaching your flock of faithful Minnesotans as you both preach and celebrate. Those four young people will never forget getting to hold the crozier, nor will they forget that it was you who grasped their hands to lead them out into the world to embrace their call in Christ. And those of us who witnessed their proclamation and promise, renewing our own vows as Christians, will not soon forget such a delightful liturgy either. It takes all of us to be the Body of Christ in the world. Thanks be to God!

 – Bronwyn Clark Skov, Officer for Youth Ministries of The Episcopal Church


Filed under Adults, Lifelong Formation, Older Adults, Young Adults, Youth


Episcopal Youth Event 2011
Registration Deadline extended to April 15!
Names and 30% deposit due April 15.

Forms, transportation details, and final payments due May 31.
EYE takes place in less than three months.

Finalize your diocesan delegation soon!
All forms, including those required for background checks, can be found on the registration tab of the EYE web pages.

June 22-26, 2011
Bethel University, St. Paul, Minnesota
Questions? Please let us help you!

General Questions
Bronwyn Clark Skov

Valerie Harris

Registration Assistance
Meghan Ritchie

3 Days of Mission
Wendy Johnson

Come together – intimately linked in this harvest work
Reunamonos – entrelazados Intimamente en esta Cosecha

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