Welcoming young people back to church

Thursday September 9th 2021

The Keeping In Touch project, funded by CIYD and the Education Authority (Northern Ireland), is providing packs for parishes across the island to help them keep in touch with young people, encouraging connection and providing a way to invite them to in-person events.

Every parish across the Church of Ireland has a fresh opportunity in September to welcome young people to be come and meet new friends through their ministries as the new school term begins.

The packs have been shaped to reflect the Anglican Communion’s Five Marks of Mission, and each has been planned to be as sustainable and ethical as possible.

Christina Baillie, Connor Diocesan Youth Officer, said: “As restrictions ease, we have the opportunity to reconnect with young people. We believe this resource will support local leaders to rebuild those connections and remind young people that we are here for them. By reflecting the Five Marks of Mission, this provides a helpful starting point for young people and leaders in their conversations.”

The resource includes:

  • a postcard, made from seed paper, which can be personalised by local parish leaders;
  • a wooden token with the word ‘hope’; and
  • the opportunity to donate a euro to a charity of their choice.

CIYD wanted to do this project with the Five Marks of Mission, which encourages us to consider our actions and how we live. Each Keeping In Touch pack connects with these five things: Tell, Teach, Tend, Treasure and Transform.

Tell: The Bible verse (Psalm 71:5) used on the postcards, which were made by a small Irish business, provides an opportunity for young people to be reminded of the life–giving news within the Bible. Alongside the postcard features a wooden token with the word ‘hope’. These have been made individually by The Yard social enterprise, part of the Solas Project, Dublin, and act as a reminder of calm and comfort for young people.

Teach: The postcards are blank on the back and you are welcome to write a message to decorate the front of the postcard as you like. This invites the church community together to express their care and support for the young people.

Tend: Christians are encouraged to respond to the needs of the world. We have chosen three charities – Women’s Aid, Childline (through NSPCC and ISPCC), and the Society of St Vincent de Paul – and young people can choose one that resonates with them and pledge a euro to that charity.

Treasure: Part of following God means enjoying the world and his creation. Each postcard is made from seed paper, meaning young people can plant it and wildflowers can grow.

Transform: By pledging a euro to charity, planting wildflowers or connecting with a local parish, we believe these packs can transform parishes and communities across Ireland.

Your parish is invited to request a pack for each young person by completing the form HERE.


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