Youth Mission Together
Youth Leaders, Pastors and Sponsors,
Greetings from Central Plains Mennonite Conference (CPMC).
I am the (relatively) new Conference Minister for Christian Formation, Amanda Bleichty.
For several years, my predecessor, Shana Peachey Boshart planned and implemented a summer program called “Youth Escape” for Jr. High and High School youth in CPMC. In recent years, attendance at that weekend retreat has waned, and in this time of transition, it seems prudent to reevaluate our CPMC programming for youth. During this period of discernment, in consultation with the ministry staff and Christian Faith Committee of CPMC, I have decided not to hold a “Youth Escape” weekend retreat during the summer of 2020.
Instead, I am encouraging youth groups to join with youth groups from other areas of the conference to take short-term mission trips during the summer of 2020.
One important piece of feedback that we hear time and time again from members of our conference is that the relationships that are formed at conference events are vitally important. I encourage you to help your youth begin to form these lasting relationships with others across the conference while they are still young! Relationships formed while serving together are often lasting relationships!
Growing up, it often seemed as though my church and my community were a little Mennonite island. It was always surprising and fun to go to Mennonite Youth Convention and realize that we were connected to a much larger whole. My vision for shared mission trips would be that our CPMC youth would realize that they belong to something bigger than the local congregation, and that they would learn something about themselves and their church in spending time serving with others from our conference who are “the same” and also quite different!
It might seem strange (and maybe even a little awkward) to plan a youth group mission trip with someone you hardly know—and to ask your youth group to spend a week or a weekend away with another youth group—but I believe that the benefits of conference-wide relationships are worth a little initial awkwardness! And—I’m here to help with those initial connections with other youth groups!
For help in being matched with other compatible youth groups and for a list of potential service project sites, visit our website at www.centralplainsmc.org/youth-mission-together
If you have questions, please feel free to contact me via email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (319) 325-4522.
I look forward to hearing from you.