First of all, I wanted to say thank you so much for being a part of Truth Matters Ministries. Your prayers and support are so appreciated. Thank you for helping make what we do possible!
It has been awhile since we sent out an update, and lots has been going on! Let me fill you in.
Canadian Youth Worker Conferences
This past year’s Canadian Youth Worker Conferences were amazing. We were blessed to encourage and equip almost 2000 youth workers right across Canada. As a parent of a 14 year old, I am more thankful now for other youth workers than I have ever been before. The role Payton’s youth leaders play in his life is incredibly significant. It’s why I am so thankful to be a part of CYWC.
Our 2015/2016 conference season just ended in March, but we are already into full prep mode for the start of our next season (less than 6 months away!). We are getting great feedback from our host committees on the direction we are headed in terms of content and experience. We will be dealing with adolescent sexuality on Friday for our critical concerns, including pornography and sexual orientation, as well as many other subjects and issues on Saturday. Please pray for us as we continue to get speakers in place.
Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Seminars
Since the beginning of March, I have done a number of training sessions for youth workers on caring for kids who are struggling with gender identity and sexual orientation issues. The feedback has been very positive. In the last month I have done training in Moncton, Chilliwack, and Kelowna, and was asked to do training in Banff this fall and Toronto next February. In many ways questions on these issues are the questions of our day.
Pray that God would give us much wisdom, courage and gentleness as we try and create direction and biblical clarity for youth workers as they deal with this increasingly complex issue.
National Research Project
Last week I chaired a consultation for our new national research project on “what enables sustainable faith in students as they transition from high school to post secondary life.” We gathered about 30 national leaders from various organizations and denominations from across Canada in Toronto for the day, and it was a very productive time. It is rare to be a part of a collaboration that includes so many diverse individuals and ministries. Our mantra for this journey is “low ego/high trust”. If we, as national leaders, can lower our ego, and at the same time raise the level of trust between us, we can accomplish incredible Kingdom work together. Pray for wisdom as myself and the commissioning committee continue to give leadership to this journey.
Center for Youth Ministry Excellence
We are so excited about a new project that Truth Matters has begun in partnership with Marv Penner and All About Youth. For many years, Marv has had a vision for a new way of training vocational youth workers. Instead of training being exclusively in classrooms, Marv’s vision has been to move the centre of development back to the local church, where apprentices grow and develop with a leadership coach and a spiritual mentor. Our plan is to bring students to us here in Kelowna for 8 one week modulars over 2 years, and then send them to work out what they have learned in class, back in the local context while being mentored through the journey. This model will be both affordable and accessible to youth workers and churches across our country. We have just begun our fundraising campaign and hope to start our school in the fall of 2017. Please pray for us as we continue to work out the details. If you have any questions, please email (email@example.com) or phone me (403 894 3422) and I would love to share the whole vision with you.
Thank you so much for your continued support and we look forward to hearing from you. God bless.
Executive Director of Truth Matters Ministries and CYWC Regional Training