Be not afraid

Are you worried about the future?
Are you worried about the future of the Church?
Are you worried about the future of the Church and our young people?

I am not!

I understand that if a person’s only interaction with young people is what they see on the evening news or read in the paper it would be easy to assume that the future of our young people, particularly in the Church, is in peril.

I am blessed to have a very different perspective. Rarely a week goes by that I don’t witness the impressive faith of young people. I see it at our two schools Breck and Shattuck-St. Mary’s. I see it in our congregations. I see it in the Episcopal Church in Minnesota. I see it in the larger church.

Last weekend, the Episcopal Church in Minnesota’s newest Peer Ministers gathered for an Advent celebration. Photo by Mindy Boynton, Ascension, Stillwater.

Take for example this last weekend. A whole new group of young people gathered for their last installment of Peer Ministry Training. These faithful dedicated young folks have spent hours learning how to be prayerfully present to their friends and classmates.

Likewise, two weekends ago I spent the good portion of a Saturday attending not one but two different TEC (Teens Encounter Christ) weekends with over 200 youth. And there was EYE (Episcopal Youth Event) which we hosted this last summer which had over 1200 young people and their adult advisors in attendance.

Finally, there is what is known as ‘Pizza with the Bishop’. The deal is when you invite me to your youth group I will provide the pizza. Suffice it to say I eat pizza with a group of young people often three or four times a month!

The Church is changing. Young people’s lives are more complex and more demanding than ever. And yet, in my over 30 years of ministry with young people, they are as faithful as ever.

In this Advent season as we prepare for the One we wait for, be not afraid. The future of the Church, and particularly the next generation, are ready for the coming of the Lord!

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