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Pastor’s Message 5.18.18

I have some exciting news about our youth ministries that I would like to share with all of you. This week, we received word that First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem (FPCB) was selected to be one of 53 congregations across the country participating in an exciting program through Princeton Theological Seminary called the “Log College Project.” The Institute of Youth Ministry at the seminary describes the project this way: “The Log College Project is an innovative initiative…to help Christian congregations design, test, and implement new models of youth ministry….” These models will emphasize engaging youth alongside adults as co-creators and leaders in ministry, not simply as recipients or consumers of it.

In our application, FPCB stressed the unique opportunity our congregation has right now to be a model for innovative youth ministry programs. Unlike most traditional congregations, we don’t have to dismantle or transform older models of youth ministry that have  become less and less effective at engaging youth and equipping them as disciples of Christ. But, unlike most start-up congregations, we already have a strong and committed base of hundreds and hundreds of members from multiple generations who are committed to supporting authentic and powerful ministry with youth in our congregation. That story seems to have resonated with the leaders of the project, as we were one of only 53 congregations in the entire country chosen to participate!

This work will be one of our congregation’s top priorities over the next month. The Log College Project is providing us with a “Community Blueprint Project” that will help us to jump-start this work through an intensive design process and report back to the  Project by June 15. Please keep this work in your prayers over the coming weeks, and consider what your own commitment may be regarding ministry with young people in our congregation! More to come soon….

Grace & Peace,

JC

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