Young Adult Task Force
Young Adult Task Force
In fall 2019, members of Young Adult Episcopalians, along with a number of other young adult clergy and lay leaders across the Episcopal Church in Connecticut, decided to try to focus the work of the diocesan convention, in part, on the real challenge the church is facing in incorporating young adults into local parishes, as well as larger regional and diocesan activities. Episcopal campus ministries exist in only 3 of the 31 colleges and universities in the diocese, there is only one young adult network. Young adult engagement with the church at all levels is both extremely low and shrinking. This group petitioned ECCT to include a question about the need for evangelism among young adults in the convention agenda, which ultimately led to a unanimous resolution to create a Young Adult Task Force (YATF) to consider sweeping changes in the common life of the diocese that would promote young adult engagement and empowerment for the emerging church. The YATF has made real progress in its first year, and is now beginning its second year of activity.
2019 – 2020
ECY played a major role in launching the Young Adult Task Force (YATF), recruiting over 30 young adult clergy and lay leaders committed to reaching out to young adult Episcopalians, churched and unchurched, to hear their faith experiences, their challenges with church, and their needs and desires.
Through this preliminary research, YATF committed to identifying successful strategies employed within ECCT and the wider church, which:
- Provide inspiring worship, community building, and engagement in social justice by and for the full diversity of young adults;
- Form young adults as disciples and apostles;
- Engage young adults in ministry and leadership;
- Use the gifts of young adults to further God’s mission through expanding campus ministries across ECCT, expanding young adult networks across ECCT, and other means; and
- Develop specific proposals for evangelism among young adults in ECCT and the human and financial resources required to implement them.
YATF spent its first year (2019-2020) organizing the structure and leadership of the Task Force, as well as clarifying its mission and intended outcomes (see above). Work slowed with the advent of the pandemic crisis, and the Task Force produced a video Young Adult Voices which was presented with critical acclaim to the 2020 diocesan convention in October 2020.
2020 – 2021
In its second year, YATF has requested funds for a major research effort, using students as research assistants, to access and articulate the voices of the diversity of young adult Episcopalians across Connecticut, to document their faith experiences, along with their challenges and desires for vibrant faith communities. Based on these findings, YATF will then formulate sweeping proposal for the future of ECCT’s relationship with young adults in each of the above areas.