Youth Planning Committee Notes

Here are my notes from this morning’s meeting. All mistakes are mine – feel free to correct, clarify, or expand on my notes.

Attendees: Reverend Naomi, Cheryl, Lourdes, Mike Y., Paul, Olivia, and me.

1. On the Sunday school agenda item, we decided to move the time for Sunday school to before church with classes running from 9:30 to 10:30 (or 10:15) so that classes will have a routine amount of time. We will begin this schedule after Rally Day. This means we will see more youth during service. We will run an activity-based session during the church service for the younger youth which would start and end with music. Ken to talk to Naomi Sanchez about this shift. We discussed the need for more coverage of the classes as some of our current teachers would like less teaching time. Lourdes and Ken to try to recruit more people interested in teaching.

2. On the water park trip, Cheryl will be sending out an email with logistics. Please note that the youth fund will pay for the youth who are attending.

3. On the selection process for the family minister, Reverend Naomi shared her vision for the position and told us that members of SPRC (Mike W and Cheryl?) will interview candidates. If people have suggestions for interview questions, please contact Reverend Naomi. She will be sending around an informational email (in addition to the announcement that we have already received).*

4. With respect to rally day, after the bible presentation to the 4th grader in service, we’ll gather the youth in the social hall for an ice breaker and scavenger hunt. After service, we would like those youth in the choir blast to preview some of their material (one song?). We decided not to do a BBQ this time because of the confusion with the potluck last year. Lourdes, Mike Y and Cheryl will work together on the ice breaker and scavenger hunt. Ken will talk to Naomi Sanchez about the youth singing.

Finally, I’d like to thank you all for being engaged in BMU’s youth program. Given where we are in the program’s transition, we will all have to pull together by finding an oar that will keep our boat moving forward towards the future.

Ken Israels

*Reverend Naomi later added:

Regarding item #3 below, I was asked to comment a bit more on the job description for Family and Young Adult Ministry. We have discussed this item fully in Staff Parish Relations Committee and Church Council; the vision behind the job description involves several things:

1. This is not a youth minister. We are hoping for MORE than we have been able to provide before. Due to a generous bequest, we are willing to dip into reserve funds and pay a higher salary for more hours — this is to be a half time position, intended for someone whose primary responsibility is NOT trying to graduate from seminary.

2. We are expanding slightly the constituency that this person will serve. The primary focus will be on recruiting new families; in a related way, for the time being, we are focusing our Young Adult ministry on families (i.e., “young” couples with or without children). Young Adults can also include single college students, but we feel that right now, this job would work well integrating our young adults (almost all of whom are part of a couple) with the families who have children high school age or younger. Perhaps at another time we could consider expanding our efforts to single young adults.

3. With such a small group of youth, plus our experience with youth ministry in the past, we have determined that we will try moving toward programming for families, rather than age-group activities. Perhaps if the group grows, and we have enough young people in different age groups, we can focus on age-level ministry.

4. The big question is, “What will the programming look like?” This is difficult to answer. It may be that our programs undergo major changes (gradually, of course), We will have to feel our way. We will continue to ask you (Youth Ministry Committee) for your input regarding programs. But the main emphasis will be on recruiting new families and young adults. Recruitment will most likely involve us trying new ways to connect with people out in the community, rather than waiting for them to come to us.

These ideas grew out of the planning retreat we had earlier this year — although they may have “morphed” in a way may be surprising to you. If you have any concerns or questions, I would be happy to talk with you. Or, we could plan a gathering for everyone to have a discussion. Please let me know your reactions.

Thank you,
Rev. Naomi