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Have you thought about how your young people graduate to adulthood in your parish?

We are getting closer to the end of the year, and for some of us that means the graduation of some of our young people from highschool to university is coming up. Not all of us are lucky enough to have a university in our town, and even if we do, that doesn’t mean our young people will stick around. 

One of the challenges we often face in a youth group, is that a young person will have a strong sense of belonging there, but might not really feel like they have a place in the wider church family. So when it comes time to move on, they don’t tend to move on into our churches.

For a young person, knowing they are loved and valued as a part of our whole church community is immensely powerful. In our western culture, we can sometimes lack rituals and rites of passage which acknowledge the transitions our young people go through when developing from children into adulthood. Therefore we can miss the opportunity to acknowledge the end of an era and welcome them into our church as an adult.  

Last year, I got to thinking about those things and decided to start a ritual in our church that aims to address those issues in a simple way. When a young person finishes high school we now give them a gift of notes, verses and encouragement written by the congregation themselves. We cut up colourful paper to the size of a standard photo and handed them out to everyone in november, with the instructions to write down a prayer, their favourite bible verse or a small note to the young person. Even if they didn’t know the young person, they were still encouraged to take time to pray and write something down. We then collected up all the notes and slipped them into a photo album along with some photos of them from their time at church or in the youth ministry. It created an easy, beautiful gift that comes from the heart of the church, not just the youth leader or the minister, and helps them to understand they are a loved and valued member of our family.

Obviously this doesn’t solve those issues, but if you’re looking for a simple gesture to send off your young people whilst showing them how loved they are, then I encourage you to start a ritual in your church that signifies this huge transition our young people are making. Feel free to steal this idea if it will work in your context!

- Rebecca Wilcox, Children

Our young Delegates have written their own proposal for GA this week! 
Hi PYM Youth Leaders! Nadia Ridsdale and Brett Reid here. We are thrilled to be Youth Commissioners down in Christchurch this week at General Assembly! 
We are also excited to be presenting a proposal called, ‘A Commitment to Responsible Stewardship of God’s Creation’. Our prayer is that the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand will collectively reduce our impact on the environment through these three achievable and measureable steps:
  • Eliminating the use of single-use plastic items and encouraging the use of what we already have available to us in our kitchens.
  • Making recycling bins readily available, clearly labelled with what can and cannot be recycled. 
  • Adopting the use of environmentally friendly cleaning products, soaps and dishwashing liquids. We have contacted Ecostore and they are willing for individual churches to become wholesale buyers of their products to reduce the cost. 
As Christians, we believe we are called to care for God’s creation and our prayer is that this proposal will create a ripple effect, encouraging others within our congregations and wider community to make small changes with a lasting impact. If you’d like to know more, we’d love to hear from you!

Nadia Ridsdale (St Albans, Palmerston North,,0278171431) and Brett Reid (Khandallah, Wellington,,0272381074)
WOF Training coming to Hawkes Bay Training our leaders in safety is paramount in our responsibility to keeping the young people and children safe that come to us each week. This training is essential for your team.
It is an interactive, lively workshop that not only will teach you a lot but help your team work closer together. Sign up here to save your spot.
Cost = Free. Potluck lunch - bring something to share.
Saturday 10th November, St John's Hastings. 9am - 3.30pm.
Register here.
Would love your feedback If you have found something helpful, thought provoking, encouraging or anything else I'd love to hear it! Or if there is something you'd love to know more about. Email me and let me know. looking forward to hearing from you.


In order to stay up to date with what's happening with Presbytery Central Youth, like our Facebook page, join our leaders' group and keep an eye on our website. Keep these dates free in your calendars:

Things your wondering about? Want to sit down face to face? Give us a call, we'd love to meet up!

Jared Dixon
022 329 8947

Rebecca Wilcox
Wairarapa - Wellington
027 389 2313

Jasmin Vanderwerff
Whanganui - Marton
027 353 5753

Nga Rolston
Team Leader to the Presbytery Central Youth Ministry Team      
027 653 4257

Copyright © 2018 Presbytery Central Youth, All rights reserved.

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