Children, Youth, and Families Update
By Kevin Bowen, Communications Coordinator & Youth Ministry Coordinator
Where are youth and children engaging with the church today? How are they experiencing and living out God’s love?
Here’s a comprehensive update on what’s happening with Children, Youth, and Families at Advent. We’ll look at these through the lens of one of the 8 Guiding Principles that came out of our visioning process: accompaniment.
Sunday School as Accompaniment
Adult disciples meet YouNg disciples
This year, Vicar Abby has been inviting adults in our congregation to share their experience of faith lived out in the world, and walk alongside our children in their faith formation.
Last Sunday, Frankie visited Sunday School. She is the leader of our Food Pantry ministry, and also a parent of Evie.
Frankie had our Sunday School kids make lunch bags for our neighbors in the community. Then, they each left with a few lunch bags in hand, to give to the next person they meet who is hungry.
“I could have just told them stats about food insecurity in the neighborhood, but I knew something hands-on would leave a deeper impression,” Frankie said.
Sunday School has already been visited by Jon, who taught about caring for our oceans; Dart, who taught about environmental justice in the city; and Ricki, who shared her love of birding. Frank, our music director, and Kevin, our communications director, have both visited Sunday School to teach new songs to learn our faith and praise God.
These crossovers enrich the faith of both our children and adults. They are one way we’re already living into our mission to welcome all people to experience and live out God’s love, by practicing authentic community that builds an inclusive faith.
Sunday School continues every Sunday from 10:05-10:55am downstairs in the Sunday School room.
One Voice Choir
Frank leads kids to sing alongside adults in worship in our new intergenerational choir, One Voice. All are welcome to sing in our One Voice intergenerational choir — that means you! Singers of all ages and abilities are welcome, the songs are easy to learn, and you only need to attend one rehearsal at 10:15am the day-of before singing in 11am Worship. Stay tuned for the next date, and join us!
accompaniment with Families in El Salvador
3 of our families are accompanying 3 families at our sister church, Pueblo de Dios, in El Salvador as prayer partners. They will pray for each other, exchange updates, and walk with each other in faith and life.
Youth Ministry as Accompaniment
high school Communications Internship
Our high school Communications Internship is accompaniment that empowers. Last year, we had 8 high school interns building community and supporting communications at Advent every week. This year, we have a new cohort forming, drawing students from new schools, places, and experiences. They will meet Tuesday after-school every week.
These high schoolers (last year 4 were from Advent, 4 from the community) accompany us by helping us make church communications more inclusive. And we walk with them on their journey toward whatever awaits post-high school. We empower them with resume-worthy experience and real-life skills that can help them access better opportunities in the future. We help them connect their gifts and passions to the opportunities out there. We give them an opportunity to see their gifts have a real impact. And we provide a safe, supportive community of peers and mentors.
Our interns accompany each other. Amidst the work, they talk about school and friends and life. They have deep conversations about inclusivity at church, the role of church in society, and why these things matter. They problem-solve, ideate, and create together. We’re looking forward to seeing the innovation and transformation that comes out of our internship this year.
In addition to serving as our Senior Pastor, Pastor Danielle is the director of Pinecrest Lutheran Leadership ministry. Pinecrest inspires young adults in their faith formation and helps develop leaders in the Lutheran Church. Each summer, they offer a week of camp that youth describe as transformational.
In August we had 2 high school from Advent attend this incredible and transformational experience that builds up a new generation of leaders in the church.
Multicultural Youth Leadership Event
In 2018, we accompanied 7 high school youth to the ELCA National Youth Gathering in Houston, Texas, and to the pre-event: the Multicultural Youth Leadership Event (or MYLE, for short). MYLE is the largest gathering of people of color in the ELCA. It is a transformational experience that equips youth to lead the Lutheran Church into a more multicultural, more inclusive future. This is an experience that will stick with youth for a lifetime.
Accompaniment as Outreach
We’re hosting a new Upper West Side Scouts troop on Sunday afternoons at Advent. Several Advent families will be participating.
We also host toddler programs, music program for children, and more — all ways we support children and families in our community.