DioMass Youth Ministry

Forms, Permission Slips and Templates

Below are generic templates for you to use.  Feel free to use and adjust any of them for your own youth events and groups! If you have specific questions about safety with youth, please be in touch with Mark!

Resources for Youthworkers, Youth Leaders and Families

Open Sanctuary: What Youth Leaders and Young People Can do for Immigrant Families

People around the diocese are thinking about how to make their parishes into safe sanctuaries, especially for those families and individuals who are being targeted by homeland security. This list of resources for youth leaders and youth groups can help you think about what your parish can do to help this effort:

1.) A “Know Your Rights” handout for young people and families, in English and Spanish.

This is for undocumented people and their allies who are worried about an Immigration Control and Enforcement (ICE) raid on a home or workplace. This guide assists the creation of an immigration raid family plan for your family or for another family in your congregation or community.

2.) A guide for educators and school support staff published by the American Federation of Teachers

This is a longer document that includes tools and resources to help protect and prepare youth and families. It tells you how to defend the rights of undocumented students. Church members may know about the 2011 policy memo that says ICE agents should refrain from conducting enforcement activities in churches. This is the basis of the so called, "sanctuary movement." You should know that schools, hospitals, and public demonstrations are also protected spaces according to this memo.

3.) A sample school board resolution defending access to education for every child.

This is for parishes who are considering lobbying their local school boards and committees to establish their schools as safe zones.

4. Ten myths about immigration.  

Misperceptions about immigration and immigrants are common. Here are a few of the most frequently spread misconceptions, along with information to help your students separate fact from fiction.

5.) Supporting young people from immigrant families.

In addition to a catalog of resources and information, the Teaching Tolerance website includes a host of lesson plans for a range of ages on immigration, changing demographics, and social justice. Easily adapted for a Sunday School or youth group event or series.


Video Discussion Starter: Youth Voice and Engagement in the Church

Two interviews from a recent General Convention are great tools to start a dialogue within your church--among your young people and between youth and adults--about the extent to which young people and their full involvement may be encouraged and discouraged in your parish.

Megan Lightcap (St. Paul's, Natick) and Michelle St. Francis (Trinity Church, Concord) attended General Convention as observers thanks to support from the Mass. chapter of Episcopal Church Women (ECW).  While there, they maintained a video blog, and two of their entries included interviews with the two youngest deputies from the Massachuetts delegation:  Sarah Neumann (20, from Church of the Redeemer, Lexington) and Sam Gould (26, from St. Paul's, Brookline).

In the interviews, Sarah and Sam talk from their experience as young leaders seeking and finding their voice in the church today.

The interviews are included in a video available free online>> 

After viewing the two videos with your youth group, have a discussion:

  • To what extent are Sarah's and Sam's experiences in wanting to be involved in the church governing bodies similar and dissimilar from your own?
  • To what extent are their experiences with being taken seriously by others in the church similar and dissimilar from your own?
  • What lessons have Sarah and Sam learned about what it takes to be heard as a young person in the church?
  • In what ways does our parish encourage young people to "step up" and share the work and responsibility of our life together?
  • In what ways does our parish discourage young people's voice?
  • What advice might Sarah and Sam have for our young people?  For our vestry?  
  • What suggestions do you have for how we can do better as a youth group and as a parish to encourage more youth voice and engagement in the church?

This could be a great discussion at your youth group meeting.  Could also be a great start to having a broader conversation between young people and your vestry, or perhaps as a format for a Sunday forum open to the entire congregation.


Faithfully FacebookA Lesson Plan and Social Strategy for Youth Ministries

Facebook is and will be for a while, the dominant social network in Youth Ministry. It can be a great tool to communicate with teenagers and to collaborate on teams.  However, with anything there can also be pitfalls.  We have seen rampant hacking of Facebook accounts, cyberbullying through Facebook, and many people who posted something that they intended to be seen by only a few people.  

This lesson was developed by Randall Curtis, Ministry Developer for Young Adults and Youth for the Diocese of Arkansas, and a national leader in using social media as a tool for ministry. The lesson serves as a tool to help you talk with your young people about issues around Facebook and faith, and it offers a set of suggested practices for youth ministers who use Facebook.


Youth in Mission: Trip-Planning Manual
Launched in 2014, this terrific on-line resource is a joint project of the Episcopal Church Office of Youth Ministry and the Inspiring Mission.  The guide contains all the background information you need to get started planning your next mission experience. The guide is framed within an Episcopal/Anglican context and are grounded in valuing "doing with" and "being with" mission, not the traditional "doing to" or "building for" types of experiences.  The guide also include a good balance of theological and practical guidance, including setting up a timeline and budget, communications planning, and bible study suggestions.

The entire publication is available for free on-line and can be downloaded in sections.


This website, the result of an ongoing partnership between Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Boston's Emmanuel Gospel Center, seeks to serve youth ministers, mentors, and other youth workers at the grass-roots level and hopes to encourage discussion of rather than division over complex and sometimes controversial issues.

Among the resources on the site is a vast "Infopedia" of articles on everything from depression and immigration to sexting and white privilege.  The articles include information on a given topic plus discussion questions and implications for action.  The site also includes links to other regional, national, and international organizations and informational clearinghouses.


Working with Youth on the Autism Spectrum 
The Rev. Rebecca Black has developed some training materials through her work with Rhythms of Grace.  Her hope is to help prepare churches to work with youth on the Autism spectrum.  For a sample of the materials available check out at the "Tips for Youth Group Leaders" and "What Churches Can Do".


Rethinking Youth Ministry
A blog/website by two Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastors, this is a fantastic progressive look at the not so big-bright-and shiny vision of Youth Ministry that is more inherent in smaller parishes. Written with humor and sensitivity, there are a lot of good things on here.


Youth Specialties
A website designed for predominantly evangelical/ large church Youth Ministers, it hosts a huge amount of information-- some of which will be applicable to Episcopal Churches, and some of which will not be. However, there is some good information out there, especially if you have a large church youth group.

Resources from/for/about the Episcopal Church

TED Talk Lenten Study
This curriculum was developed by the Diocese of Massachusetts Office of Youth Ministry and isn't just for Lent, but instead can be used during any 5-session program in which you want to use engaging TED Talks and Scripture to invite youth (and adults) to wonder about what God is asking from them.  Download HERE.

Episcopal Church Youth Ministry
Information, resources and news about youth from the denomination (formerly known as the 'National Church').

EpiscoYouth Blog-- by Bronwyn Clark Skov, Youth Missioner for the Denomination
A blog (also receivable via Twitter) giving more specifics on opportunities in the Episcopal Church, on the Episcopal Youth Event 2011, and advice and information for Youth Leaders. More for adult leaders of youth than for youth, but there is some great information for wider programs and programming!

Daily devotions set to music, with reflections and questions suitable for youth and adults!

My Faith, My Life
A guide to the Episcopal Church for teens and their families and mentors. Great resources, reflections and information about upcoming workshops-- the basis for the website is the book, My Faith, My Life, which has been used for Confirmation curriculums.