I recently attended the Commonplace young adult ministry gathering in the Episcopal Diocese of Washington. Participants gathered from across the judicatory for a night of storytelling, fellowship, and prayer. I came away energized about the work the Spirit is doing in our area and with some ideas about the best practices for young adult ministry that I saw in action there:
The musicians who were gathered for the evening played traditional hymns in non-traditional arrangements on some instruments I had never seen used in worship (including the harp!). Prayer stations allowed us to share our intercessions and thanksgivings with God through drawing, writing, and sitting with images.
My favorite aspect of the evening was a peculiar live note-taker’s work drawing together the evening’s themes; he stood up front and painted an entire canvas in the span of our time together. I enjoyed taking in the result during the closing worship as a way of resonating, in a new way, with what had been shared.
We millennials are an expressive bunch. It was a holy thing to see the fruit of our creativity laid before God as an offering.
In addition to posting a semi-formal reflection on the evening, he sent out a call for photos to just the right places on Facebook and Twitter, tagged everyone who helped lead the event in a big public thank-you note, and—of course—collected participants’ feedback with a short and focused online assessment.
Technology offers tremendous opportunities to stay connected after gatherings like this; I’m sure I’m not the only young adult who came away from the evening with a few more Facebook friends—and a commitment to deepening my relationship with friends old and new.