Letter from Kate: Youth Formation & The Beginning of Advent

Dear St. Paul’s Family,

Sunday marks the start of Advent, the beginning of the church year, and a time of preparation and expectation as we anticipate the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. It provides a season for us to empty ourselves of past experiences and preconceived notions and embrace faith over certitude as we await the becoming of the One who brings a new beginning.  It is an invitation into a time of sacred mindfulness. It also marks the beginning of our Youth Formation class. What is formation? Simply put, it is the lifelong journey of growing in faith. What is a Youth formation class? It is the opportunity for children (K-12th grade) to come together in community to cultivate an intimacy with God and experience the holy in their daily lives. It involves instruction in scripture and tradition, but also in spiritual wonder and the creation of sacred meaning. Our curriculum will articulate that every creature exists in relationship to each other and to all creation. It will offer children a way to respond to the challenges posed by the dynamic and interrelated nature of today’s world. Most importantly, it will offer children a space to question, explore, discuss, create, discern, share, and wonder about the ways in which we are in relationship with God and with one another.

If any of you are like me, a busy working parent trying to shuffle kids back and forth to school and activities, being pulled in multiple directions at once, you might be wondering how church, in this post-pandemic and increasingly chaotic world, fits into your life. With everything you need to get done on a daily basis, the motivation to add something else to your schedule might be pretty low. I get it. You may be wondering, what is the purpose of being present in church at this point? You may even be wondering, is Jesus still relevant?

I want you to know, it’s okay to ask those questions. The beauty of a loving community like St. Paul’s is that we get to freely ask and wrestle with those questions together. There is no judgement here. This is safe space, a space where God invites, not mandates. This is a space to plug in to the “insistent appeal of God’s unfulfilled goal” which is to love one another.  This is especially relevant in today’s world. We live in a brutal age. We witness humanity’s inhumanity daily. The need for strong and abiding love calls to us all, and the truth is we are exhausted and our isolation from one another has become predictable and comfortable, and it’s simply easier to let that call go unanswered.

I invite you and your children to pick up the call. I invite you into a community where you will feel valued, recognized, and affirmed. I invite your children to attend Youth Formation class and take part in the cultivation of a sacred community all their own. Whether you are beginning again or beginning anew, I invite you all to St. Paul’s. Come become with us.

May peace and joy find you,
Youth and Family Minister

Youth Formation Class will take place each Sunday after Holy Communion from 11:30am until 12:15pm in the Youth Ministry Room. If you would like to sign up your child (K-12th grader(s)) for Youth Formation class please click here.

If you are interested in volunteering to help with Youth Formation class please click here.

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