A182: General Synod Youth Secretariat (carried)
Subject: General Synod Youth Secretariat
Moved by: The Ven. Peter John Hobbs, Diocese of Ottawa
Seconded by: The Rev. Elliott Siteman, the Diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island
Be it resolved that this General Synod:
Request the General Secretary to give consideration to the establishment of a General Synod Youth Secretariat and make a recommendation to the Council of General Synod at its November 2010 meeting. The recommendation should specify:
1. Size and membership of the Youth Secretariat, drawing from:
- Current membership of the Youth Initiatives Working Group, made up of representatives from dioceses and from Ask and Imagine youth theology program
- Past organizers from the Justice Camps Initiative of the Partners in Mission and Ecojustice Committee
- Representation from The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (someone connected with Lutheran youth initiatives).
2. Functions of a Youth Secretariat:
a. to envision, encourage conversation and deep reflection on youth ministry and related matters;
b. to engage and promote opportunities for training for professional youth workers;
c. to create networks of support and develop collaboration between various youth related projects where appropriate;
d. to work in partnership with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada in all areas of youth ministry development;
e. to encourage gatherings of youth, young adults and youth leaders.
3. Financial provisions for staffing and program support.
Source: Partners In Mission and Ecojustice Committee in consultation with the Youth Initiatives Working Group
Submitted by: Ms. Henriette Thompson, Director, Partnerships
Does this motion contain within it any financial implications? Yes x No __
The 2010 budget for the Youth Initiatives Working Group is $36,600, which provides for a one quarter time youth initiatives coordinator, funding for additional support staff, and expenses for an annual meeting of the Youth Initiatives Working Group and travel costs for the Anglican members of the planning team for the CLAY Gathering 2010.
The financial implications for this resolution include appropriate levels of staffing and program support for a Youth Secretariat.
If yes, has the General Synod Expenditures Committee considered the implications? Yes __ No __
EXPLANATORY NOTE/BACKGROUND INFORMATION
There are already multiple youth initiatives operating in relation to General Synod, including:
- Youth Initiatives Working Group
- Ask and Imagine (in partnership with Huron College)
- Just Generation (in partnership with PWRDF)
- Justice Camps Initiative (a project of the Partners in Mission and Ecojustice Committee)
- Partnership projects with the ELCIC
- generation.anglican.ca – the national Anglican youth website
The Youth Initiatives Working Group functions under the auspices of the Faith Worship and Ministry Committee, mandated by General Synod 2007. During the past triennium it has been identifying and monitoring emergent youth ministries across Canada, making recommendations to better support existing youth ministry structures, serving as an advisory group to the Ask and Imagine program (operating out of Huron College), and developing website resources for youth ministry volunteers and staff.
The Justice Camp initiative, arising since 2005 out of the Ecojustice Committee (now Partners in Mission and Ecojustice) has resulted in four “camps” to date which have been successful though not without challenges. The resources of a Youth Secretariat would increase capacity to identify and develop continuing themes and networks between camps, and to document corporate memory. A Youth Secretariat would also help to ensure continuity between Justice Camps organizing committees. (Continuity has been maintained to date thanks to two current members of the PMEJ Committee who have participated in or organized Justice Camps. However, their connecting role has not been formalized.)
Ask & Imagine is a residential program for youth and young adults that engages them with theology, ministry skills and leadership development. It is hosted by Huron University College, an Anglican theological college. It has run every summer since 1999. Over 250 youth and young adults from 27 dioceses have participated since it began, and the project spawned Generation 2008, the first national Anglican youth ministry forum. Since General Synod 2004, Ask & Imagine has had a formal partnership with the Anglican Church of Canada, and the Anglican Church provides support through an Advisory Board (incorporating regional representation) to the program. The role of the Advisory Board has recently been assumed by the Youth Initiatives Working Group to provide a deeper integration with the wider church and youth initiatives.
The Canadian Lutheran Anglican Youth (CLAY) Gathering in August 2010 is a new event out of the old Lutheran Youth Gathering and is being jointly planned by our denominations. This is one of the deepest fruits of full communion thus far in that it will involve up to 1400 people from all parts of Canada. The next CLAY will continue this work and it will become a bi-annual event.
Generation 2011 (renamed “Common Ground 2011” as it is an ecumenical initiative) is emerging out of the excellent work done by Generation 2008 and will be an opportunity for Anglican, United Church, Presbyterian, and Lutheran youth leaders to come together for training and networking. Staffing enriches the planning process and creates continuity and support in the landscape of ministry. Providing this calibre of training and networking, said the Primate in 2008, is perhaps one of the best things the national church can do to support youth ministry across Canada.
A Youth Secretariat would ensure greater program cohesion, increased capacity for critical reflection about youth ministry in Canada in the 21st century, and a clearer reporting relationship to General Synod.
Staffing would be required to track networks and tasks, to provide continuity and communication and to maintain existing on-line resources and promotion of events.