Episcopal Diocese of Rochester
Joy in Christ, as a way of life

Youth: You are the present of the Church

September 1, 2008

Dear young saint,

Greetings as you get into the rhythm of a new school year! I hope you had a good summer with many highlights. One of the highlights of my summer was marching down the streets of London with hundreds of bishops and spouses during the Lambeth Conference, drawing the world’s attention to the Millennium Development Goals on issues of hunger, discrimination, HIV AIDS, education and the environment.

As you know, I am in a new “school year” of sorts as a new bishop and am excited about the possibilities of building vibrant youth ministries in our congregations. Since this is a period of transition there will be some changes and I need your cooperation as we go through it. I have expressed our appreciation to Ms. Jan Farnsworth who served as the Interim Youth Missioner until August ‘08. Now, I need you and your parents along with others in the Church who are interested in youth ministry to help us with two things:

  1. Help us engage this year’s Diocesan convention in the following ways
    • Given the growing need in our communities, help collect non-perishable foods and present them at the altar during the Saturday Eucharist at this year’s convention on October 25: contact the Rev. Dr. Denise Yarbrough for details; denise@rochesterepiscopaldiocese.com
    • Those of you who participated at creation Camp or the Episcopal Youth Event (EYE) help with the reports on these events: contact Mr. Neil Houghton: houghton@rochester.rr.com
    • Please bring your ideas to the preconvention meeting at your district or email me.
  2. Help us create a vibrant future for youth ministry in our diocese by sharing your hopes and dreams. Parents and adults who care about youth ministry enroll into a Youth Ministry Development Group. I am initiating an Intentional Listening Process with Diocesan Council. We will be visiting your area to listen to your hopes and aspirations to help us strategize and prioritize our plans for ministry in the Church in general, and specifically in ministry among youth. The Church needs your voice and creative input: contact your youth leader, parish priest or email me your hopes/concerns directly: prince@rochesterepiscopaldiocese.com

I am counting on your help as we build a new future together. I came to the Church as a young person and found myself and my faith when I was in high school. You can count on my unwavering support for ministry among you because I believe you are not only the future, but also the present of the Church. If you have questions or concerns, please email me directly and I promise to get back to you ASAP.

With my prayers and love, I remain,

Your bishop and brother in Christ,