If you received Youthfront's Year End Report I hope you rejoiced along with us for so many great things that happened during 2014. As we look forward to 2015, filled with amazing potential, I am full of gratitude for our friends and donors, and for the blessings God has poured out on us.
In less than five months we must finish a major renovation and remodel of the Chapel at Youthfront Camp West. This means more kids can come to camp and experience transformation through Jesus Christ. We still need around $350,000 to finish this project. When we open the new Chapel we will have completed a three year capital project that has added $4.4 million in additions and improvements at Camp West. I'm so excited because these facilities will be used for decades to come to fulfill our mission to bring youth into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.
I've been having a Bonhoeffer inspired season of Advent. This has mostly been hastened by Andy Root's - @RootAndrew - just released book Bonhoeffer as Youth Worker, which I believe (for several reasons) is one of the most important youth ministry books ever written.
Here are a couple of thoughts from Dietrich on Advent.
"The celebration of Advent is possible only to those who are troubled in soul, who know themselves to be poor and imperfect, and who look forward to something greater to come." From Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Christmas Sermons
"We have become so accustomed to the idea of divine love and of God’s coming at Christmas that we no longer feel the shiver of fear that God’s coming should arouse in us. We are indifferent to the message, taking only the pleasant and agreeable out of it and forgetting the serious aspect, that the God of the world draws near to the people of our little earth and lays claim to us. The coming of God is truly not only glad tidings, but first of all frightening news for everyone who has a conscience. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Watch for the Light as quoted in Daily Dig, December 18, 2014.
Dr. Chap Clark from Fuller Theological Seminary is coming to Kansas City! Youthfront is hosting a free Youthworker Training on Dec 11th at Christ Community Church Brookside Campus. Plus it's hard to beat Lunch from Oklahoma Joe's! REGISTER TODAY
Chapman “Chap” Clark is associate provost for strategic projects and professor and chair of the Youth, Family, and Culture Department in the School of Theology. He also serves as director of the Student Leadership Project and is the School of Theology’s representative on the executive board of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI). On faculty since 1997, he created and directs Fuller’s master’s level and Doctor of Ministry programs in Youth, Family, and Culture, and oversees PhD students in practical theology who are studying youth and family ministry, youth culture, and adolescent development.
A well-known practitioner, adolescent and family scholar, and author, Clark has more than 30 years of experience in direct ministry, including 15 years with Young Life, as well as positions with several churches, Denver Seminary, Youth Specialties, and for seven years, as senior editor of Youthworker Journal. He is currently on the teaching team of Harbor Christian Center in Gig Harbor, Washington, is president of ParenTeen and Harbor Hope Services, and continues to work closely with Young Life.
Clark’s extensive publications of books, articles, and videos focus primarily on relationships. Among the books he has authored, coauthored, and edited are Adopted (forthcoming), Youth Ministry in the 21st Century (forthcoming), Hurt: Inside the World of Today’s Teenagers and Hurt 2.0 (2004, a CBA finalist for Book of the Year), Sticky Faith (2010), Counseling Teenagers (2010), When Kids Hurt: Helping Adults Navigate the Adolescent Maze (2009), Disconnected: Parenting Teens in a MySpace World (2007), Deep Justice in a Broken World: Helping Your Kids Serve Others and Right the Wrongs around Them (2007), Deep Ministry in a Shallow World (2006), Teens and Sex: A Leadership Video Curriculum (American Association of Christian Counselors, 2003), From Father to Son (2002), Starting Right: A Practical Theology of Youth Ministry (2001), Daughters and Dads (1998), The Youth Worker’s Handbook to Family Ministry (1997), and Let Me Ask You This . . . Conversations that Draw Couples Closer (1991). He has also edited and contributed to major youth and family ministry textbooks.
"Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star when it rose and have come to worship Him." (Matthew 2:2).
The reason the three wise men journeyed so far to see the Messiah was to worship Him, the King of Kings. They did so with their hearts, time, and gifts. Worshiping Christ should also be our goal as we celebrate Christmas!
Join Youthfront as we begin the Advent season with Pack Friday, the act of worshiping by serving one another. Add meaning and blessing to your holiday weekend by helping us package meals to feed 50,000 of our brothers and sisters right here in Kansas City. Pack Friday is an opportunity for your family, friends, neighbors, youth groups and churches all over Kansas City to come together and set our hearts on Christ this Advent season.
What: Pack Friday Something To Eat™ Meal Packaging Event
When: Friday, November 28th from 1 pm - 3 pm
Where: Something To Eat™ Warehouse 1200 South 5th Street, Kansas City, KS
Why: Because serving others is a great way to worship!
Dr. Jeffrey Keuss, author of "Blur: A New Paradigm for Understanding Youth Culture", and Professor of Christian Ministry, Theology and Culture at Seattle Pacific University is coming to Kansas City as a special guest of Youthfront. On Thursday, October 30th, Jeff will be joining us for a learning day. We will start at 9:00am and finish with lunch provided by Oklahoma Joes. Powerful combination, huh?
Jeff has been a colleague and friend. He is articulate, witty, super interesting and challenging. Our day is being hosted at Christ Community Church in Brookside. To read more about Dr. Keuss and/or to let us know you coming click here.
Jake Kircher’s book Teaching Teenagers in a Post-Christian Worldis a quick but important read for far too many of us youth workers who declare that we have a plan for ministering to youth but deep down aren’t really sure that what we are accomplishing will actually last. Kircher is not afraid to be honest about his youth ministry past and what he believes today.
The brand new Activity Center is perfect. We had Hal Wood, who has been a Youthfront Board Member for 30 years, cut the ribbon. Hal is featured in the first picture with his son Grant. Grant was a student involved with Youthfront when Hal started as a board member. Hal is retiring from the board this year and we've asked Grant to fill his dad's seat. So cool.
The first week of campers are loving this new addition to Youthfront Camp West. Here are a few pictures of the facility. The last picture features our Camp Director Andy Garlich playing table soccer with SportingKC's Aurelien Collin.
In 2012, hundreds of leaders, ministers, volunteers, parents, and students gathered in Washington, DC, for “Children, Youth, and a New Kind of Christianity” (CYNKC) a groundbreaking gathering about spiritual formation, young people, and the future of the church. After the success of this event, CYNKC founder Dave Csinos launched Faith Forward as a not-for-profit organization aimed at continuing the movement that began at that seminal event in Washington. Faith Forward is an ecumenical Christian organization that brings together forward-thinking leaders in children’s and youth ministry for collaboration, resourcing, and inspiration toward innovative theology and practice.
It’s with this vision in mind that Faith Forward will host its 2014 gathering in Nashville on May 19-22 (www.faith-foward.net). By bringing together pastors, Christian educators, youth leaders, denominational representatives, parents, and allies, Faith Forward will deeply explore what it means to really form sustained faith in youth and children. The 2014 gathering will be really unique. Events include:
· Presentations from an all-star lineup of speakers, including yours truly, Phyllis Tickle, Brian McLaren, Andrew Root, Sandy Sasso, Anne Wimberly, Melvin Bray, Mark Yaconelli, Ivy Beckwith, and many others
· Unique workshops offered by cutting-edge practitioners and leaders
· Music led by Aaron Niequist and Sharon Irving
· A spoken word performance by teens from Southern Word
· Resources and exhibits from all sorts of organizations
· Opportunities to forge relationships across denominations, traditions, and perspectives
Join me and many others in Nashville as we re-imagine children’s and youth ministry, May 19-22. Visit www.faith-forward.net for more information and to register.
On April 3rd, Andrew Zirschky will be our guest for a day of conversation, learning and theological reflection. This year we featured a session in the Theology Track at the National Youth Worker Convention led by Andrew entitled Communion Beyond Connection: Youth, Social Media, and Christian Sociality in an Age of Networks. This session was a highlight so we are bringing it to our Kansas City area youthworkers.
Social media, text messaging, and other forms of technology-driven interaction are changing the way adolescents and young adults craft identity and find community. Through “selective sociality” in a culture of “networked individualism” teens write their own identities and communities into being — a process that increasingly leaves them lonely and anxious.
Andrew will help us explore changes to adolescent understandings of personhood and social connection and will consider opportunities for a faithful response by Christian communities. The training will happen at Second Presbyterian Church (318 E. 55th St KCMO 64113) from 9a to 1p.
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or click here to register.