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resource for female youth pastors

a great new resource has been launched for female youth pastors – ‘the sophia network’

The Sophia Network exists to connect women in youth work and ministry, to access training, develop skills and share wisdom.

We focus our energy in four areas:

  • partnership – through everything we do we encourage women and men to work together in ways that reflect the heart of God.
  • relationships – facilitating enhanced working relationships between youth workers; creating environments in which female youth workers can build relationships with each other; emphasising the importance of mentoring for youth workers and young people.
  • voice – advocacy on behalf of women in youth work; raising awareness of how gender affects youth work and ministry.
  • training – providing excellent training to develop confidence, skills and professional expertise.

Our ultimate aim is to encourage women and men to work together more closely in a way that reflects the heart of God, but we recognize that sometimes issues need to be addressed before women can contribute on a level playing field.

check it out.

epicentre

epicentre.jpg

when i returned from newfoundland in november, i was told that i was volunteered to serve on the planning committee for saint john’s part in epicentre new brunswick.

epicentre is run by the billy graham evangelistic association and has taken place in a number of cities across canada already. they chose to focus on new brunswick next.

it appears to be a great outreach, focused on youth – equipping young christian leaders and providing opportunities for youth to encounter Jesus through a large event this summer.

the website just launched. check it out for more details and the schedule.

fertilizing the seeds

a week ago today, i was packing the van and getting ready to come home from spending a week at camp medley. i was chaplain for the week to about 85 boys and girls.

the week was mixed bag for me – i thought i was in way over my head (i’ve usually felt more confident with the mid-to-older teens and these kids were 8 to 12 years old) and camp held some uneasy memories for me.

while i was preparing for the week, i had the fruit of the spirit in mind as the focus for the chapel sessions. so, i left for camp with a trunk full of fruit and desperately praying for God to work through me. the morning sessions were fantastic, camp gave me an incredible assistant for the week, we focused on: love; joy; peace; patience; and kindness. and used those themes as the foundations for the evening chapel sessons – those were my favourite times!

monday – love: focused on the greatest love story in history (oddly, almost all the kids thought it was romeo and juliet…weird) and talked about the characteristics of love…unconditional, forgiving, etc..
tuesday – joy: spend the afternoon blowing up balloons for a huge party. we looked at the prodigal son and the party Heaven throws when we turn to God. (the staff made me promise not to use balloons in chapel at night again…apparently a chapel full of balloons and noise makers create chaos…oops!)
wednesday – peace: knowing and experiencing the peace of God…placed a candle on the centre of the floor in the chapel and shut the lights off to invite everyone to focus and be still. worked really well.
thursday – patience: had chapel at the pool while i sat in a canoe and talked about the patience along with obedience the disciples experienced when Jesus told them to go back out after fishing all night and caught nothing. i was surprised…not one camper tried to jump in the pool and they were all well behaved.
friday – the gospel: this was culmination of the whole week and we focused intently on the gospel story. all week i asked everyone to wear a bandana, from sunday night until this point, they wore it sleeping, shower, pool, oc, etc… sin is dirty, disgusting and embarrasing (yes, i wore it into the city when i went in for supplies). after talking about this, invited people to place their pieces of fabric on the cross as a reminder of Jesus paying the price for our sin. what a moment! words cannot describe!

i had a great week! and all week have wanted to go back, but i guess i’ll have to wait for senior teen when i am co-chaplain with my buddy jon.

if only…

when i led a week at camp, i wanted to do something different for the wake up call. ringing the bell seemed too ordinary. it started with my first week leading, i rented a sound system and decided that the camp (and surrounding cottagers) should wake up to the 70’s, another week was the 80’s and then the 90’s. eventually the campers, and staff, caught that this was going to happen every morning, so they joined me in the field ‘cutting a rug’.
if i was leading again this summer, i think this would have been a regular:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVs-KP2h0us]

Manna: Filling!

What a weekend!  When I left for Manna – our youth retreat, my car was full of equipment and supplies, my head was in a million places and my heart was trying to get me focused on what was about to take place.

I was running late (no surprise), arriving about an hour later than I really wanted to get there.  The band arrived slightly before I did and got their van stuck in the snow, and when I walked into the retreat centre, found out that the chapel wasn’t insulated for winter — IE: we weren’t using it.  While the band pushed themselves out, I quickly had rethink how we were going to set everything up with only one building.  Through it all, God prevailed and we were ready to go just as the teens were arriving.

The weekend kicked off with us filling our stomachs, followed by the ‘official’ opening led by Elevate.  (These guys came from Briercrest.  They are incredibly gifted and talented!  They were a huge benefit to the weekend.)  Don Skinner was our speaker, from Turtleford.  He gave excellent words of encouragement for standing up and being prepared for the battle.  Our theme focused on ‘putting on the Gospel armour’ (Ephesians 6).

The whole weekend was more than I expected.  At least 12 teens committed or re-committed their lives to Christ on Saturday.  In between the worship and teaching, there was plenty of time for fellowship – good use of made of the sauna during the free time. 

Thank you to everyone who prayed before and throughout the weekend; to Elevate (you guys rock!); to Jill (thanks for dealing with my insanity); to Don (great words); to the Counselors — what a weekend!  Praise God!