Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12
Welcome to the Youth News, our diocesan youth ministry e-newsletter. The purpose of this newsletter is to help keep Youth Ministry leaders and all those who support their ministry up-to-date with the latest information on events and news about Youth Ministry in the Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast.

We would love - and be so grateful - for you to share this newsletter or any portion of it in your church communications.
Diocesan Convention was graced with the presence of some remarkable young people. In a day and age when the youth of our country are setting a remarkable example for us, we had the gift to be reminded that the youth are not just the future of the church, they are active and transformative members of our faith community right now.

From Thursday through Saturday 11 youth representatives, nominated by the bishop, and coming from all parts of the diocese, engaged with one another, learned about Diocesan and church ministries and practices, and shared their stories of finding belonging in the church and being the church. They had opportunities to share in fellowship with other youth from the diocese at a lock-in Friday, and brought energy and new life not only into our convention body, but our diocesan body. When we look and wonder about what is going on in our church in the 21st century, we need look no further than our youth and know that the church is doing good and wonderful things in this moment, God’s love is being shared, and the world is being transformed because of the work and care of the youth in our presence.
+Mary Alice Mathison
Our Youth Representatives were:
  • Jordan Chow, Christ Church Cathedral, Mobile
  • Bell Jackson, St. Paul's, Daphne
  • Malory Magrath, St. Mark's, Troy
  • Leland Moore III, Christ Church Cathedral, Mobile
  • Sarah Morrow, Christ Church, Pensacola
  • Aubrey Nall, St. Mary's, Andalusia
  • Sarah Kate Paine, Santa Rosa Beach
  • Jaboris Raine, Good Shephard, Mobile
  • Stafford Smith, Christ the King, Santa Rosa Beach
  • Mary Kathryn Sternenberg, St. James, Fairhope
  • Christian White, Good Shephard, Mobile
  • Jephri White, St. Matthew's, Chipley
With much gratitude, we give thanks to all of the volunteers who dedicated their time and gifts to make the Youth Lock-in such an incredible time of fellowship for our young people. We hope we've listed everyone involved, but hope you will offer us grace if we missed your name!

  • Fr. Greg Hein & St. Jude's Episcopal Church - for hosting the Lock-in
  • Maria Spotts - St. Jude's Youth Minister and Lock-in Coordinator
  • Phillip Iversen - Music/Ministry
  • John Talbert - Chaperone/Music/Ministry/Game Extraordinaire
  • Mike Baugh - Provided drinks, snacks, made spaghetti dinner, helped with set-up/clean-up
  • Dorothy Briley - Helped with meal prep, set up/clean up 
  • Michelle and Seth Funderburk - Event photographer (Michelle)/Created slide show/Chaperone/helped with clean-up and set-up
  • Bert Moore - Chaperone/Jack of All Trades
  • Ansley Walker - Chaperone/Charade Entrepreneur
  • Lyn Smith - Provided the shuttle service for representatives to/from the convention
  • Pam Smith - Donated Girl Scout cookies 
  • Amanda Miller - Purchased ping pong table
  • Frank McCarty - Helped set up all rooms
  • Chris Morgan - Cleaned the whole church following lock-in

St. Jude's Mens Group (Joe Morgan, Frank McCarty, Ken Copeland, Bill James, Eric Kosche, Don Ramsden, Douglas Smith, Jerry White)- Made the scrumptuous breakfast for all who attended the Lock-in!

A NOTE FROM ONE OF THE LOCK-IN YOUTH'S PARENT ~ "I just wanted to let you know how much my daughter enjoyed the Lock-in last Friday night. [She] had a blast playing games and making new friends. She is already communicating with new people that she met. I am so happy to know that she is making new friends in Christ that can support her positive attitude and behavior."
Youth Ministry Cohort Now Enrolling Teams
Youth brought the house down at Convention with their Holy Spirit-filled, truthful, energetic, and bold witness! No surprise there – what with a bishop whose passion is Youth Ministry and so many dynamic young people in our diocese! And yet there are even more young people out there wanting your church to help them know Jesus better. If you want to foster great ministry to youth in your parish or community, enroll a team in the which begins on April 7. Parishes who want to raise up young people with passion for following Jesus and making our world a better place have the opportunity to learn from national leaders in Youth Ministry through the diocese’s Youth Ministry Smaller Church Cohort. Whether you have two 5th graders in Panama City or a cluster of middle schoolers in Foley – the Youth Ministry Smaller Church Cohort is where your parish can learn to build sustainable, successful family and youth ministry. 

What is involved in being part of the Cohort? You and your team will receive monthly coaching in your efforts to build long-lasting and meaningful youth network and ministry while attending four Saturday sessions led by the men and women who have built successful youth programs at smaller churches. Even if your youth are mostly in the elementary school years, now is the time to begin building and visioning the youth program that you’ll start in a few years. Plus, youth ministry inevitably involves family ministry so smaller churches with questions about children and family ministry will also find this year together beneficial. 

Is it only for “Smaller Churches”? No and yes and sort of – read on! We’re gearing the Cohort toward churches who do not employ a full-time youth minister because this is where the Cohort has been most successful in other dioceses. The ministry models explored by the Cohort will lean toward churches who use volunteer lay leadership or a rector who has many responsibilities in addition to youth ministry. That said, maybe you work full-time as a paid youth minister but there’s an aspect of your church that is in transition. Say you’re wanting to grow a Junior EYC but only have two middle schoolers right now. The Cohort could be for you too – contact Molly or Melissa at the contact information below. The men and women teaching at the Cohort are the finest youth ministers from around the country and even a full-time employee in Youth Ministry will find inspiration and encouragement so we’re open to a “day trip” type of single-person enrollment as well – contact Molly at the information listed below. 

How Do I Build a Team? The ideal team will have a clergy person, the volunteer youth minister (if there is one), and two or three laity committed to fostering youth ministry in the years to come. Together you’ll read four books about youth ministry and participate in monthly coaching calls with your mentor. In addition, you’ll come together for four Saturdays in 2017-2018 at St. Francis in Gulf Breeze, Florida, for day-long sessions on key topics and programming ideas for fostering long-lasting youth ministry.

Dates, Registration, Cost: The Cohort will meet at St. Francis in Gulf Breeze, Florida, on the Saturdays of April 7, August 18, October 13, and December 1. You can read more about the Cohort  here and register here. The enrollment fee is $250 per team; mail payment to the diocesan address listed at the top of the registration page. 

For More Information
The Rev. Molly Payne-Hardin
St. Andrew’s (Panama City)
850.777.9572 or   [email protected]

Melissa Rau
Ministry Architects
St. Christopher’s in Pensacola was Happening February 2-4. Forty teenagers from around the diocese gathered for a weekend of new friendships and spiritual growth. Happening #54 was led by teenager, Virginia Remington of St. Christopher’s, and spiritual directors Rev. Mary Alice Mathison, Rev. Peter Wong, and Bishop Russell Kendrick. This mountaintop experience was filled with laughter, tears (both happy and sad), singing, prayer and a closer connection to God. Happening #54 also reintroduced Adult Happeners to the mix. Three of our active youth leaders in the diocese served as participants alongside our teenagers building that connection and trust between adults who work with youth and the youth themselves. Thank you to Rev. Susan Sowers and the rest of the St. Christopher’s parish for opening their parish home to our youth for this unforgettable weekend.

The next Happening (#55) will be at Nativity in Dothan, February 1-3, 2019 led by teenager Emmie Smith of St. Paul’s Daphne.
Printable Calendar of Events
APRIL 22, 2018 | Youth Spring Fling for Earth Day!

All youth in middle and high school are invited to a community service/clean-up event to celebrate God's creation! It will be at Gulf State Park. Event is free.

Sponsored by the Youth Ministry Team of the Episcopal Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast.

Event contacts: Lydia Allison at [email protected] or Jill Showers at [email protected].
JUNE 30 - July 7 | Episcopal Youth Domestic Mission Trip
Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying who shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said, I here am I: send me. Isaiah 6:8

St. James Fairhope EYC are planning a Mission Trip to Port Arkansas and Corpus Christi Texas. They are looking for youth from several congregations willing to participate.

Volunteer for the position God is looking to fill.

Please contact Anne McEniry at 251.597.5598 or email  [email protected].
mission relief work, photo by Evelyn Garrett
mission relief work, photo by Evelyn Garrett
July 19 - 22 | National Happening Leadership Conference
The National Happening Leadership Conference 2018 will be July 19 - 22, 2018 at Eastern University in St. David's, PA just outside of Philadelphia. This is a time of learning new skills and ideas, sharing what you do great, and conducting the business of Happening in an atmosphere of fun, fellowship and worship. For information on past conferences, click here.

Adults and youth wanting to attend, please contact Rachel Iversen at [email protected].
July 25 – 28 | Province IV Youth Event
Province IV Youth Event, PYE 2018: A Service Learning Opportunity for Peace will be held within the Diocese of Atlanta. This Province IV High School Youth Experience will serve and will be served by communities in Atlanta and will recognize God’s love within all of God’s people. The focus of the week will be recognizing God’s Presence in the world and then taking God’s message of love into our world. Some of our service partners during PYE 2018 will be Church of the Common Ground - Serving breakfast, leading morning prayer, and working at the foot clinic,; Holy Comforter - Serving in their kitchen and in the community garden; Smart Kid Smart Lunch - Building and delivering lunches to children on assisted school lunch programs; Midtown Assistance Center - Working with clients, making lunches, and data entry and Atlanta Community Foodbank; Volunteering in the Disaster Relief Center and loading donations for delivery. After serving during the day, we will spend part of the evening reflecting on our experience. “Posts for Peace”will be a part of the reflection time. We will explore “PEACE" and share ideas of how we can be instruments of peace within Atlanta, at home, and the world. Using 6 ft posts, we will create works of art that will be displayed across the country in an effort to raise awareness and stimulate conversation leading to peace and resolving injustice. You can find more information about “Posts for Peace” at If you have any questions about PYE 2018, please contact Easton Davis, Diocese of Atlanta Youth and Young Adult Missioner, [email protected] or Province IV Youth Ministries Coordinator, Cookie Cantwell.  

PYE 2018 Registration is still open. 

DioCGC Youth Ministry
DioCGC Youth Ministry is a ministry of
the Episcopal Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast