Each year the weeks leading up to camp are so exciting. You get to hear all the chatter from youth about how much fun camp was last year, and how they can’t wait to do it all over again. They’re excited to get to do different activities, to listen to the different clergy who come to visit, and to just spend time in fellowship with their friends, both old and new; they will tell you themselves, there really is nothing like Camp WEMO.
Every year there is always a general theme that we try and revolve camp around, this year it happened to be love. Each morning we greeted the day with a pep talk from the interns and a couple of Youth Ministry Council members, Jordan and Emily. Monday morning, we got to hear Taylor Mansfield talk about the following passage from 1 John:
4…7Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 1 John 4:7
Tuesday morning we got to listen to Katie Mansfield talk about:
19…19Honor your father and mother; also, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 19:19
On Wednesday Hayley Cobb shared with us her thoughts on:
31See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.1 John 3:1
Thursday morning we heard from Jordan discuss:
4…8Above all, maintain constant love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins.1 Peter 4:8
Finally on Friday we got to hear Emily sum everything up for us. These pep talks offered everyone an insight on what we should be focusing on for the day and how we should show others love throughout the week.
The Youth Ministry Council planning team for camp reached out to many clergy to visit us twice a day for ‘Clergy Time’ to talk about what love means to them, and to also plan an activity time so that the youth and adults could spend some time with them having conversations and asking questions, while also do an activity such as making chocolate mouse or decorating an altar cloth.
This year, Camp WEMO was exceptional and the clergy who came to visit, and the staff who were there to help was one of the reasons why. Other reasons the week was such a success were the way the senior high youth cheered each other on during the float trip when someone fell off the side of the raft and had to swim back, then there were the campers applauding each other when they finally worked up the strength to stand up and use the restroom or get a refill of water. During the week at camp everyone accepted the call to love each other and live that out throughout the week, and with the help of messy games, and activity and worship times as a community, we all succeeded.
Katie Mansfield is an intern with the diocesan youth ministry.
The end of June marks my one-year anniversary as the Youth Ministry Coordinator for the diocese. As I look back and reflect on my first year, several things stand out.
I have given my first State of Youth Ministry address on the convention floor, worked with our incredible team of adult leaders to put on several amazing youth events, journeyed to Charleston for the FORMA conference, bid farewell to the North Central Metro Network Coordinator for youth, Mother Megan, as she started her journey as rector of St. John’s in Ithaca, New York, and began working with our Interim Network Coordinator, Alexandra Connors. I also want to thank all the adult leadership, the Youth Ministry Commission, the youth of our diocese and their parents for all of their support as we have journeyed through this change. As fantastic as the first year was, I am looking forward to the many years and new adventures to come.
A few months ago, myself, Kim Snodgrass (The Bishop’s Assistant for Christian Formation) and Bishop Marty began looking at what my official job title meant and how it could be perceived. After a lot of discussion we came to the conclusion that a change was in order. The result is that my title is now The Bishop’s Assistant for Youth Ministry Development. What does that mean? Our hope is that it gives a better indication of my role in developing youth ministry. I am here to help and work with all churches in our diocese as they develop their youth ministry programs. When a church is beginning the conversation of how to start, build on, or thinking about youth ministry I am here to be a resource for them.
I am working with Kim to finish our Ministry Handbook, a dream that started two years ago, at a diocesan youth leaders’ retreat. The dream was to have a resource that helps churches and individuals through the many processes involved in establishing ministries. Some of these processes are; how to begin developing a philosophy of ministry, strategic planning, youth ministry, integrational ministry, risk management, and the various tools and resources available. We hope to have the final copy available by the end of 2018.
In May we began looking for two part-time Regional Youth Ministry Coordinators to coordinate network events and to help build relationships on a regional level. With the new positions every church in our diocese will have a Regional Youth Minister to bring the youth across our diocese together when we are not at a diocesan event. We plan to make the announcement of the new coordinators in July.
I am also pleased to announce that we have hired Katie Mansfield, Hayley Cobb and Taylor Mansfield for our summer intern program. They will work in the WEMO Youth Community for nine weeks, learning from all the people in youth leadership and beyond. They will learn how to plan and facilitate events, formation planning, assist in strategic marketing and grow in their relationship with Christ.
Find out more about our new interns below.
Josh Trader is The Bishop’s Assistant for Youth Ministry Development for The Diocese of West Missouri and a member of St. James’ Episcopal Church, Springfield.
Hello! My name is Hayley Cobb and I’m from Ozark, Missouri. I am currently in my first year of college at Drury University and attend Christ Episcopal Church in Springfield, Missouri. At Drury, I am majoring in Strategic Communication. I am the Vice President of Episcopal Campus Ministry in Springfield which I have been regularly attending through my freshman year of college. Growing up I was very involved with the diocesan youth program therefore it holds a special place in my heart. During my time as a youth, I was a member of the Youth Ministry Commission and a youth delegate for the Southern Deanery. I have been eager to have the opportunity to be an intern and give back to the program that gave me so much. During this summer internship program, I am excited to get to spend more time working alongside the other adults and youth. I love getting to see the youth grow in their faith and foster relationships with one another. I am also looking forward to getting to spend time working on my own faith with the other interns, and developing lots of important skills.
Hello, my name is Katie Mansfield. I am currently 19 years old and I am studying at the University of Missouri – Kansas City. I am studying Accounting and thinking of adding a minor in Human Resources. I am originally from Carthage, Missouri where I attended Grace Episcopal Church for the past eight or so years. Even though I may never attend Grace Church on a regular basis ever again, I will always consider it to be my home church. Moving to Kansas City has been such an exciting new adventure and is unlike anything I’ve done before. I have been presented with incredible opportunities. In August of 2017 for example, I was asked to be the youth intern at Grace and Holy Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, and earlier this month I was accepted into a position to be an intern for WEMO Youth. I am so excited to be able to continue working with the youth I’ve grown so close to this past year, and also continue my relationships with the youth and adults whom I’ve known since my early years as a youth. I am most looking forward to getting to really make an impact on people’s lives through my work as an intern this summer. Ever since I’ve been a youth, the summer interns have been people I’ve looked up to and aspired to be like. Because of them, I’ve been looking forward to this opportunity for so long and now that it’s here, I can only hope to have the same impact.
Hi everyone! My name is Taylor Mansfield and I am so excited to have been chosen to be an intern this summer! I am 19 years old and am from Carthage, Missouri and attended Grace Episcopal Church. I am currently a sophomore at Missouri State University and plan to major in elementary education with a minor in Spanish. Since being in Springfield, I have been going to St. James Episcopal Church on Sunday mornings and on Tuesday nights I go to Episcopal Campus Ministry at Christ Church. I absolutely love working with kids of all different ages, so I am really looking forward to having the opportunity to help the youth along on their faith journey and to be here as someone who can help with whatever they may need. I am hoping that coming out of this internship I will have deepened my relationship with God and have found a greater meaning of what my faith means to me. I believe that being surrounded by, and having the opportunity to work with, like-minded people will be something that will really help guide me in figuring out who I am as a Christian individual. I can’t wait to see what is in store for this summer!