I just flew into Seattle, where I will be participating in the first ever, perhaps annual, Eco-Justice Immersion Experience. A conference designed for 18-30 year olds, this is part of a new initiative out of the Church Center called the Episcopal Leadership Institute for Young Adults. From now through Thursday, 19 of us from New Jersey to Oakland will receive training and exposure to a variety of forms of environmental & economic justice activism both within and outside of the Episcopal Church.
As any good Camp Stevens employee would, I’ve set some goals for my time here. I am here to:
- Interact with young Episcopalians: It shouldn’t surprise anyone that the church isn’t exactly a hub of activity for Generation X and below. Who are these folks who are active in the church? What appeals to them about their congregation, and about the Episcopal faith? Where do they see the church going? What does being faithful stewards mean in the context of youth?
- Represent Camp Stevens: Just as much as a youth group or other congregation involvement, the Camp experience can be core to a young person’s development, and I’d like to see Episcopal camping central in the church’s forward movement. (Lucky me: Resident Staff Training is this week in Julian, and I’m a non-core staff member who’s able to be away at this time.)
- Brainstorm: Find and develop new ways to make Camp Stevens an environmental resource and pillar for the Episcopalian community of Southern California.
- Get feedback on what we already do: What’s going well and what we can improve on.
- Be inspired: There’s a huge variety of projects being conceived of and worked on throughout the country that should remind all of us that the future can be bright. Learn about these projects; be blown away by the passion of young people who are involved in their church and the community.
Chris, a resident winter staff member for 2009-2011, as well as our lay chaplain this previous summer, is also in attendance. We’re looking forward to sharing our experiences with you and introducing you to the folks we’re meeting and being inspired by. Here’s a sneak peek at tomorrow’s presentation & discussion themes:
- Worship as activism
- Local and long-term investment in congregations
- Diocesan support structures
- Greening congregations
- Christianity: From Domination to Earth Honoring
- Theology matters
- Thinking Theologically about the Economy
- Conceptual Economic Framework
- Economic & social justice
It’s an ambitious itinerary – I’m excited to get started!