Summer Camps in Neighboring Dioceses Welcome NY Campers 

Episcopal Summer Camps sponsored by nearby dioceses are eager and happy to have youth from Western New York join their ranks this summer. Here are links for families to explore:

Camp Cedar Hills

Just off I-90 in Painesville, Ohio is Camp Cedar Hills, sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of Ohio. This camp offers a Family Camp option at the end of June and three other sessions during the month of July.

Creation Week Camp

Sponsored by St. Mark's Episcopal Church/Diocese of Rochester, Creation Week Camp is held at the Koinonia Campground in Middlesex, NY. This campground is located on the West River just east of Canandaigua Lake. The dates for this camp are June 23-28.
Because school in neighboring Pennsylvania lets out in May, their summer camp takes place during the first week of June and, therefore, is not an option for our youth.

Futures Planning Conference for First Third of Life Ministries

Forty-six people from 25 congregations across the diocese participated in the Futures Planning Conference for First Third of Life ministries that took place March 7 & 8 at the Diocesan Ministry Center.  
Through a process led by consultant John Roberto, the group moved from overarching values expected of such ministries to specific ideas in focus areas identified by the group as areas of concern.
When Bishop Franklin receives Roberto's final report, it will be shared with all attendees. Then in consultation with members of our diocese, Bishop Franklin will work to articulate a diocesan vision for ministry with children, youth and young adults. He will also establish a timeline and next steps for advancing these ministries.
During this period of discernment and development, all diocesan youth activities are suspended except for EYE. Parishes are encouraged to host child, youth and young adult events to which they invite appropriate age groups from all churches. One such invitation follows.


Youth Consultant Initiates Process

On Tuesday, January 14, the process through which a new diocesan ministry to children, youth and young adults will be created was initiated. Consultant John Roberto facilitated discussions with several focus groups that included a selection of priests, deacons and diocesan staff members, as well as lay people who have been involved in Christian education and youth ministry.

The focus groups were asked to share their views of where the diocese is now in the areas of ministries with children, youth and those in their 20s and 30s, as well as where they imagine it going in the next three to five years. From the impressions gained from these conversations, Roberto will design the next step, which will take place March 7th and 8th at the Diocesan Ministry Center. Approximately 50 individuals from across the diocese will be invited to participate in this second event.

Roberto has been involved in ministry development work for more than 30 years. He is president of LifelongFaith Associates, editor of the journal Lifelong Faith, and coordinator for the Faith Formation 2020 Initiative. John also works on the Vibrant Faith Ministries team as project coordinator of the Faith Formation Learning Exchange, and the 21st Century Faith Formation training program.

He works as a consultant to churches and national organizations, teaches courses and conducts workshops in faith formation, and has authored books and program manuals in youth ministry, family ministry, and intergenerational faith formation.

John created the theory and practice of Generations of Faith - an intergenerational, lifelong approach to faith formation; and administered the five-year Lilly Endowment funded project to develop lifelong faith formation in Catholic parishes across the U.S. His latest publications include Faith Formation 2020: Designing the Future of Faith, The Spirit and Culture of Youth Ministry (co-author), Living Well: Christian Practices for Everyday Life, Becoming a Church of Lifelong Learners, and four volumes of intergenerational learning programs in the People of Faith series. John is also the founder and was director of the Center for Ministry Development, where he worked for 28 years.


Youth Ministry Configuration Being Studied  

As 2014 begins, diocesan youth ministry is on hiatus. This pause will provide time to reflect on the programming that has been offered in the past and space to dream about what might be offered in the future.

To aid in this process an consultant will visit the diocese to learn about the current state of youth ministry and to aid in reimagining the future. Watch for ore information about this process.