Our idea of youth ministry is not be a ‘program’ – but together to create spaces and places where youth can grow in their faith in Christ and define and refine their spiritual practices as their own youth community – while also having fun and being a part of the wider community of this parish and of Christ’s church (please also see the value statement for youth ministry, below).
Sunday morning gatherings happen as part of the 9am worship, where youth go down to the youth room share about their weeks in ‘Pits and Peaks’ and engage in lively discussions on a wide variety of topics related to the Christian life. Youth start upstairs for the praise time and return for communion. All questions and points-of-view are welcomed!
This is complimented by community-building activities that include regular Saturday evening fun nights (having cookie bake-offs, “make & eat” nights, filling shoeboxes for Victoria’s homeless teens, open art-making nights, hikes, gym nights, movie nights, volunteering at the Mustard Seed, games nights, etc).
There are also retreats and other special events that happen throughout the year.
Youth are encouraged to participate in the wider life of our parish – and are active in praise music, as readers, and in other areas of our life here at St. Philip.
Leaders encourage youth to grapple with issues of faith, helping them come to understand that they belong to, and are loved by, the living God who created them. We believe that ministry is not simply about being ‘pastors’ but rather that the whole of our lives should be involved in co-struggling with and modeling and mentoring to youth.
We also offer confirmation to youth who may wish to go deeper in their exploration of faith, be connected to a mentor, and potentially formalize their commitment to Christ’s Church.
There are about 20 youth who are part of our parish, with average attendance being about 7-10 folks at most events.
If you’re interested in getting involved, please drop the church a line!
This is the Values Statement that was created at Stronger Together, a national gathering of Anglican Diocesan Youth Ministry Staff and volunteers which has met twice over the past two years. The first draft was created out of conversations and reflections at the gathering in 2011 in BC. It was further refined this year at Stronger Together 2012 in Cochrane, AB.
Our Values for Ministry With and Among Young People in Canada
Foundational to our understanding of the nature and task of youth ministry is “participating in God’s action.” Youth ministry at the local level, then, is the ministry of the church that seeks to participate in God’s action with and among young people.
1) Knowing God
In all we do, we never forget who we are: humans created in the image of God beautiful, broken and loved.
2) Living in Christ
Our work is anchored in the priority of living out a vital relationship with Jesus Christ and sharing that way of life.
3) Missional Direction
Our work is to empower young people to be the hands and feet of Christ in the world.
4) Beyond Survival
Stories of effective ministry with and among young people inspire expectation and hope among Anglicans, inviting the church to move beyond survival and fear to trusting God and claiming what is life giving.
5) God Conversations
We are intentional about having God conversations with young people, equipping and encouraging them to share the story of their faith with the wider community.
6) Bold Experimentation
We foster experimentation recognizing the gifts of our rootedness in our rich heritage and story. Our ministries with and among young people are environments that empower creativity, leave room for failure and provide opportunities for learning and growth.
7) Spiritual Practice
8) Individual Young People
We always keep in mind the reality that somewhere there’s a young person who is yearning to deepen their relationship with God and is waiting to be connected to a transforming Christian community.