Youth leaders from this diocese joined their colleagues from other dioceses in the Ecclesiastical Province of Canada in Montreal in June for a Train-the-Trainer event that was also sponsored by the province. It was three intense days of listening and learning intended to equip youth ministry leaders — clergy and lay — with the skills to train youth leaders in their own dioceses. The participants from the Diocese of Fredericton were, left to right: Amanda Longmoore, Colin McDonald, Debora Kantor, Jason Smith and Cathy Laskey, who is also the our representative on the Provincial Council Planning Team responsible for registration and logistics. (Photo by Cathy Laskey)
Youth leaders prepare to
train trainers in Montreal
(Submitted by Judy Steers, Facilitator)
In late June, youth leaders from every Diocese in the Ecclesiastical Province of Canada met in Montreal for three intensive and rewarding days at the Train the Trainer event. The purpose was to equip youth ministry leaders — clergy and lay — with the skills to train youth leaders in their own dioceses’.
Presented by Mark Dunwoody from the Diocese of Montreal, and Judy Steers from Huron University College and the General Synod staff, the training took participants through teaching, planning and small group skills, contemporary approaches to youth ministry and reflective practice. One session which really resonated with participants explored the question of Value of Participation — what is it that motivates people (young or adult) to want to participate in something, whether it is a social institution, grous, church community, public activity or whatever? How do we encourage participation in an era where young people are increasingly suspicious of institutions, and disillusioned about their own sense of agency and power to effect positive change?
Equipped with this foundation, each diocesan group took responsibility to plan and lead a peer-teaching session based on the content of different modules in the new Trailblazing on-line education program. Trailblazing is an initiative of the National Church office in partnership with the Faculty of Theology at Huron University College. The purpose of this interactive resource is to provide theological formation to people in congregations leading youth ministry, whether staff or volunteer. While Trailblazing is available to and invites individuals anywhere to learn on their own and with others through on-line forums, there are many dioceses planning to use Trailblazing as the foundation to diocesan youth ministry leadership training.
It was a time of hard work combined with exuberant adventures in downtown Montreal. Youth leaders of all ages took to the Bixi Bikes (rental bicycles with pick up and drop off points peppering the city) to explore Old Montreal, Poutineries of St. Laurent Blvd., Music and art of the Franco Fest and to visit landmarks like Notre Dame Cathedral and Place Jacques Cartier.
Diocesan teams returned home with a new set of skills and a vision to provide youth leader training in their own unique context. Some minister in deeply rural communities, widely separated from each other. Others are in urban or suburban contexts. Each team left Montreal with the deep desire to bring a fresh energy to youth ministry and inspire local leaders. Watch for youth ministry training and learning opportunities coming to your Diocese in the very near future.