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Location: San Francisco, California, United States

Monday, September 29, 2008

Ideas for Young Adult Ministry

Clergy Conference Reflection

Bishop Andrus noted the decline in membership in the Episcopal Church in the Bay Area. If it continues the church will not be viable institution in another ten years. He is betting that “area ministries,” the banding together of group of churches in specific areas will help the churches and institutions there in becoming stronger and become more visible. The churches south of Market in SF have made a beginning at this. St. John the Evangelist, Holy Innocent’s, Good Samaritan (Hispanic) St. Gregory’s and The Franciscan Brothers have had a couple of meetings and are sponsoring a blessing of the animals in Dolores Park on October 5.

The Bishop also made a call for the church to reach out to young adults. (Another of the retired clergy and I agreed that we have heard that call by our Bishops since the 1950’s at least.)

Young adults will be attracted to our church when the clergy and lay people get deeply involved in the issues that affect their lives. War and protesting war is one important issue. They are the cannon fodder and they know it. Our churches should be centers of supporting students to become conscientious objectors. I suggest we teach out youth groups on how to resist war, resist getting drafted and show how being a Christian is a matter of being against killing including the death penalty and war.

If I were designing programs to attract young adults, I would get a bunch of them together and ask them what interests them and what would help them?

I’d suggest the following:

A Positive View of Drug Use
Positive Drinking – Invite a bar tender to speak to the group
Sex Positive Human Sexuality – invite a sex worker
Dating 101 - How to find a date or partner.
LGTB Welcome here.
Is Marriage necessary?
Couples Communication Workshop
Couples Counseling
Channeling Anger
Working for Peace
Working to Saving the Planet
What can you do to help the Hungry and Homeless.
How to Avoid Trouble at Dance Clubs
A Positive View of Pornography- Invite a porn star
How to get long with your Parents.

And on and on.

I think social action and a real interest in the lives and needs of young adults are very important ways to attract and hold young Christians to their faith and to the church.

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