If you are looking for a discussion to have with your older youth, this might be a good one: why would someone as powerful as Beyonce, or as A-list as Emma Stone still feel they should pose half-naked on the cover a magazine? A good column debating this question came out in the Guardian this week: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jan/15/beyonce-photographed-underwear-feminism . It raises a lot of pertinent questions for young men and women who are inundated with this kind of advertising. What does it say about the lingering roles of women in society? Do they recognize that the pictures are heavily airbrushed? Does it alter their opinion of these actresses and singers? A lot of what our kids absorb online goes unchallenged these days, so it’s a good idea to take regular opportunities to discuss these ethical issues with them. You may not agree with all their answers, but at least you are helping them to consider the questions.
59 Cents CampaignAre you looking for a justice event for your youth and young adults. Here’s a good one. Make 59-Cent valentines for Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, in support of the 59 Cents campaign. This campaign is a response to recent government cuts to healthcare for refugees. It’s an important cause, and you can learn more about it here: http://www.59cents.org/59 cents represents the cost per Canadian to restore full funding to the health care program. This symbolic gesture sends an important message to our government that we want to take care of some of the most vulnerable people among us.
Are you looking for funding for a new youth and/or young adult ministry initiative? The Eastern Synod is committed to supporting faith and justice based programs involving youth and young adults. If you have a good idea and people to make it viable but don’t have the funding to make it happen, submit an application.
Are you looking for a life-changing event? Look no further. Canadian Lutheran World Relief has a fantastic event planned. In May 2013, Canadian Lutheran World Relief will take a group of young adults (18-35) to Peru to experience its unique culture and see first-hand the development and environmental projects it supports on behalf of Lutherans in Canada. This Global Encounter experience will give participants the opportunity to witness work in which CLWR engages through its partner organization, Diaconia, as well as visit a Lutheran congregation, and cultural sites. For more information about how you can get involved, check outhttp://www.clwr.org/Get-Involved/YouthGEPeru.htm
Greta Conrads at an Eastern
Synod Congregational AGM
This July 3-7 twenty young adults will form a youth delegation at the first ever Anglican-Lutheran Joint Assembly in Ottawa. Four of those youth will be delegates from the Eastern Synod. There was a conversation on the floor of our last Eastern Synod Assembly where we talked about the importance of the youth voice on the floor of convention. In a previous post I commented:
We heard these same sentiments from our youth at Assembly this past summer. Our youth are tired of the tokenism we offer them in the life of the church. They are tired of the entertainment slots we give them at our gatherings. They want to be integrated into the life and purpose of the church the same way everyone else is. They don’t want to be ‘youth delegates’. They want to be delegates.
Consider the motion on the floor of the Eastern Synod Assembly this past summer that spoke to increasing the numbers of youth at Assembly. I spoke against that motion. We do need a larger young adult contingent at our Assemblies. But changing a number in a constitution will do little to make that happen. I applaud the energy and excitement people have for youth, just as I applaud the motives of the mover of that motion on the floor of Assembly this past summer. We need that energy, excitement and positive motivation to move youth and young adults more fully into the life of the churches we are a part of. That takes work. But imagine what our communities would look like if our youth and young adults were leading worship regularly, leading committee work, serving on council, elected as delegates to Convention and Assembly.
Many congregations are getting ready for their Annual General Meetings. This is the time that we vote for delegates going to Assembly this summer. This is your moment as a congregation. Will you vote in the same old warm body? Or will you actively seek out that young adult in your midst who represents that change so many of you called for on the floor of our Eastern Synod Assembly last summer? This is a choice. It will take work. But it is God-pleasing work that needs to be done if we want to fairly represent the demographic that exists in this Evangelical Lutheran Church of ours. Be the change that wants to happen. Like Greta, there are many of our young adult Lutherans watching and waiting for this kind of opportunity.