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December 2019 Newsletter from Young People’s Ministries

Prayers as Christmas and New Year’s approach. Things are about to get very quiet at Discipleship Ministries, with many staff enjoying holiday and vacation time. I will be headed home to see parents and in-laws, then at the Perkins School for Youth Ministry in Dallas. I look forward to seeing several of you there!

Please read all the way to the bottom, especially the note about needing your feedback to update the “Epworth Document” – a written piece that eventually we can all share to help advocate for youth worker’s rights, healthy expectations, and boundaries to improve their longevity in ministry!


  • Jan. 23-24, Pre-General Conference Briefing Hosted by GCFA in Nashville, TN, this gathering will help inform and prepare those planning to attend General Conference in May of 2020.
  • March 8-13, Division on Ministries with Young People Executive Table Gathering. (Only members of the current DMYP Executive Table will join this meeting. We are reviewing legislation related to young people at General Conference, and making recommendations for the transition into the next quadrennium of leadership.
  • May 5-15, General Conference 2020. Hosting the Young Delegates Lounge and coordinating the Young People’s Address taking place on May 6. The Young Delegates Lounge is open to all delegates 35 and under, and is a safe space to decompress, process, and connect with others. If you have a young delegate or young person from your Annual Conference traveling to General Conference as part of your delegation, please guide them to to socialize, find support, and get additional prep resources before they travel to Minnesota.
  • August 2-9, 2020: Wesley Week in Taizé, France. More details in the “Opportunities” section at the bottom. Plus, a printable brochure is attached!
  • October 5-8, 2020, National Gathering of Annual Conference Leaders of Youth and Young Adult Ministry. Thank you to Chris Lynch and the SEJ for hosting in Charleston, South Carolina and planning our 2020 gathering. Put these dates on your calendar now and plan to attend!!! There is no support quite like peer support!
  • Got an upcoming event or training that you’d like me to highlight? Email



  • Lectionary-Based Discussion Resources Year A – One year’s worth of Faith & Justice lessons designed for youth from the General Board of Church and Society! GBCS has plans to release 2 more additional years’ worth of lessons for Lectionary B & C in the coming years. All lessons are written by United Methodist connected pastors and ministry leaders. Look for names you may know!
  • January worship resources from Discipleship Ministries and the Youth Worker Collective articles: Worship planning resources to support intergenerational experiences is posted monthly at As always, the Youth Worker Collective continues to offer excellent helps and ideas:
  • AXIS “Teen Culture Translation” All Access Passes – Thank you to Kaye (East Ohio) and Eddie (Texas) for stepping up to help pilot Axis Resources in several local churches in their conference. If you have interest, I am looking for one more conference to identify 8 churches willing to use Axis Resources, and provide feedback about their effectiveness, potential to improve relationships with parents, and potential for use as discipleship tools. I would provide a conference 8 “All Access” passes, to churches you identify. Those churches would have access to all of Axis’ resources in 2020. I am looking for feedback by July. Let me know if interested!
  • We sent our first monthly Young People’s Ministries Newsletter earlier this month, using a new content management platform. If you didn’t see it, please let me know and I will add you to that list.


  • WESLEY WEEK in Taizé, France for 18-30 year-olds August 2-9, 2020. More info here:
    • Details:
      • August 2-9 would include the regular worship and prayer experiences at Taizé as well as living in intentional community along with other young adults. Wesley Week additions to the normal program include workshops on Wesleyan Spiritual Practices, guided by Methodists from around the globe. This is a chance to mingle with all sorts of folks from the Methodist family, and have young people connect with each other!
      • Young People’s Ministries will organize a bus from Lyon to Taizé on August 2-9. This will be free, or less than $25. Easiest possible way you can get to Taizé and our way of supporting the event.
      • Around $150 for registration and lodging for the week! (Super cheap, and you’d camp in a tent/barrack…but what a deal!) You can register and book your own travel if you want to coordinate your own on-the-ground transportation in France.
  • Updates to the EPWORTH DOCUMENT: In October, we heard that one of the great needs you have as conference leaders is to help advocate on behalf of youth workers in your area. Review and add comments or language to this document by January 31. I will work to get those comments and language edited together. If we have a cohesive document that we could all sign in February or March, and start sharing before annual conference season, it will be a useful advocacy and language tool with our combined experience and positional power behind it!

I pray that this season in your ministry is restful, fruitful, and provides you with chances to celebrate God Incarnate, Emmanuel, God With Us.

Chris Wilterdink
Director, Young People’s Ministries
UMC Discipleship Ministries