Dean Letter: Maya and Our Youth Program

Dear St. Paul’s Family,
From the Dean:
One of our beloved staff members here is Maya Little-Saña. Maya first came to the cathedral when she was in high school and quickly blossomed into a theologian with wisdom beyond her years. Now in her second year at college, Maya serves as our extremely part-time (10 hours a week) youth minister and collaborates with David on the weekly Faith-To-Go podcast and children’s programming on Sundays. Here she writes about her ministry.
As part of the Children, Youth, and Families (CYF) team, I have come to realize that the term families does not solely pertain to a household unit with adults and children because the Cathedral itself is a family. This means everyone; those with minor children, no children, adult children, singles, couples, young adults, seniors – everyone. Penny appropriately addresses her weekly letter to the St. Pauls Familybecause that is what we are. We are bound together as Children of the Almighty One who mutually commit to love one another, serve Christ, and welcome all into our family.
As a family, I ask for your prayers and support for our Cathedral Youth Group as we test some creative ways to further cultivate their spiritual growth. For example, we are going to try implementing a points system to encourage leadership, engagement, and attendance. By earning points teens can win gift cards, movie tickets, or even choose my next hair color that I MUST keep for at least a month (pray for me). I was initially wary of a points-rewards system because I was afraid of incentivizing their engagement and that their intentions for coming may not be genuine. However, after much prayerful consideration I understand that, God willing, they will still reap the rich spiritual benefits of community and fellowship regardless of why they came in the first place. Some ways youth can earn points are: through attending Church, attending special events (e.g. movie nights, lock-ins, and Diocesan Youth offerings), or winning games like Liturgical Bingo. I created Liturgical Bingo because I wanted the youth to experience the full 10:30 service twice a month while engaged with the liturgy. It is easy to win, but one must be observant and engaged to do so. We will eventually incorporate similar in-Church activities, as well. If you notice slight chatter from the front of the Nave- rejoice! That is the sound of our youth asking questions and experiencing a core part of our Episcopal identity. Come find me before the service on the second and third Sundays of the month if you’d like to play along!
I thank God for my village and the role we play in our children’s growth.
Your Sister in Christ,

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