Family Ministry Report – Vestry 2018
Family Ministry is the umbrella that refers to ministry with children, youth, and the people they call family. This ministry is about creating opportunities for our young ones to find meaningful involvement and belonging in their faith community, and to help them find their theological voice.
We do this in many ways.
Our ministry with young ones on Sunday morning is the most visible aspect of family ministry at St. John’s. Each Sunday morning children gather with their candle and join the procession. This gathering is multiage (4-13yrs.). There are 15 children who come regularly, though rarely all at the same time.
Young ones and mentors head upstairs to learn the traditions and stories of our faith. We use the Holy Moly curriculum to explore biblical stories, we learn and practice prayer, we focus on the liturgical seasons and we work on creative projects.
We are currently working on a movie to tell the Noah story. Children have built an ark, painted storm clouds and backgrounds, made masks, and painted rainbows. This big story telling project will be revealed in the spring!
These young ones are enthusiastic and energetic! Darlene, Mark and Madeleine have provided careful guidance and attention to their theological questions and insights! As these young ones move into each new age and stage we will try to keep up!
In the months to come we will have more creative story projects and we hope to make secret pals with some parish elders!
Our Extended Family
Not all of St. John’s family ministry happens at St. John’s.
Six of “our” young ones took part in the Amazing Journey Day Camp at the Lutheran Church of the Cross this summer, and three of “our” teens helped with the leadership! Children from many different parishes take part, and the youth leadership is critical for its success. This is a way for diocesan friendships to form.
Five of “our” young ones and three of “our” teens took part in the Annual Camp Kingswood Campout. This annual camping trip is a highlight of the summer and St. John’s has planned and provided leadership for the past 5 years.
Two of “our” young ones are preparing for confirmation. They have been meeting with youth from other parishes every 2 weeks to explore faith, church, scripture, tradition and discipleship.
Three of “our” youth have been preparing to go to CLAY (Canadian Lutheran Anglican Youth) 2018 in Thunder Bay.
Regional, diocesan, and national events like these help young people understand their church as being bigger than any one parish. These give young people opportunities to experience being “the church” in different ways, to explore unfamiliar spiritual practices, to engage theologically, to hear a variety of Christian voices, and to grow into their own faith.
Participation in the life of the parish leads to a deep sense of belonging for children and youth.
Whether its laughing at the pancake supper or organizing Lenten Prayer Stations, multiage gatherings help us grow as a parish family. Relationships with significant adults (other than their parents) and meaningful involvement in their community contributes to positive adolescent development. St. John’s offers those things!
The teens have found meaning by helping sort things for the food bank and by cooking for the youth shelter.
Young people provided leadership through the multigenerational story-telling of the Outdoor Nativity and the Good Friday Stations of the Cross.
Last summer, nine families took part in weekly beach nights. These were opportunities for families to eat together, play together, get to know each other, and offer support when needed.
Families are under a tremendous amount of stress, and this year pastoral care and advocacy was a big part of our family ministry.
Thank you for the opportunity to minister with the children, youth and families that call St. John’s home. It has been a challenge and a privilege!