IAFN’s latest newsletter is an encouragement. It tells stories from many different parts of the Communion about work being done to include children and young people in the life of Anglican churches and to assist them in exploring their own faith and spirituality.
The common themes are the need to involve the young, listen to them, and celebrate their energy and gifts. Some of the projects, such as the Umoja self-help groups and church-based playgroups which welcome all nationalities and faiths, build the life of the community as well as benefiting the young participants. Others focus on church growth and responding to the questions of young people as they explore their vocation.
And not forgotten are those outside the Church - children and young people who struggle with pressures such as abuse and family breakdown, or who simply need to be able to get to school.
In 2003, the northernmost parish of St Patrick, Grenada, in the Diocese of the Windward Islands, undertook a strategic audit of the parish. This highlighted problems of children’s late arrival and frequent absences from school because many had to travel long distances. In response, the church undertook to provide a school-bus service in the communities of Hermitage. Clifton Nedd tells us more...READ MORE
The Child Friendly Church Award scheme was created by the Diocese of Liverpool in England to help parishes welcome and integrate children and their families into the worshipping life of their church. The scheme is now being used by an increasing number of dioceses.St Nicholas Church Blundellsands received the Award nearly two years ago, Canon Janet Roberts, Rector of the parish, describes their experience...READ MORE
Raheel Sharoon, development officer at the Diocese of Raiwind, Church of Pakistan, tells how music gave new life to their youth work.
In 2011, our diocese decided to reassess its youth work and to use church music to inspire and encourage young people. Churches in Pakistan are generally full since they also serve as community centres. But we felt that our young people were not taking part in singing with the same fervour and enthusiasm as the older generation. So the concept of the Youth Gospel Concert Groupwas born.READ MORE
Em Inglês e Português Revd Tatana Ribeiro, Natonal Youth Coordinator for the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil (IEAB), writes about the priority given to youth ministry in her Province:
Following a General Synod in 2013, Youth Ministry has been a priority in the life of IEAB, and the na4onal church has taken up this responsibility with love, care and commitment. The Archbishop appointed a Working Group composed of young people and clergy from different dioceses to oversee the strengthening of this ministry with young people and to cover the cultural and geographic diversity of Brazil and IEAB.
This has been a journey walked together with the young, listening to and sharing their desires and aspirations.READ MORE
Ncumisa Ukeweva Magadla is one of the many young people in the Anglican Church of Southern Africa who have found lively expression of their Christian faith through their church’s engagement with climate and environmental justice. She writes:
Care for creation is probably one of the most overlooked ministries in our spiritual journey, especially by young people, because it bears no immediate results, requires perseverance, passion and obviously does not draw crowdsREAD MORE