Mission Crossroads

SPR 2018

Mission Crossroads is a three-time-a-year magazine focused on worldwide work of the PC(USA). It offers news and feature stories about mission personnel, international partners and grassroots Presbyterians involved in God's mission in the world.

Issue link: https://missioncrossroads.epubxp.com/i/932333

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The time is now . . . I always remember from my youth in Cuba the title of a very popular book of meditations by Sara País de Molina, Hoy es Mañana, which can be translated as "Today is [already] Tomorrow." When I think about youth in the church, and how we delay their complete participation in the "church's business," I repeat myself, "Hoy es mañana," and I mean "e time is now." I can only imagine the frustration our young people experience when we delay their participation and involvement in church with arguments like "eir time is not now" or "ey need more experience … ey need to learn how to do things … ey need to learn the rules and regulations." While we continue using this reasoning, more and more youth are abandoning the church to the point that one of the actual characteristics of our Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is the absence of youth. e way to respond to this reality can't be just mentioning examples, here and there, of dynamic youth groups in some churches. Even though this is true, that is not the norm. e reality is that our average church member is 60 years old, and the median age is 62. Another complication is how we define youth. e category usually includes teenagers, youth and young adults. But the most "endangered" of these three are the young adults. In the book Essential Church?: Reclaiming a Generation of Dropouts, authors Sam and om Rainer mention that 52 percent of young people 18–35 cited some sort of religious, ethical or political beliefs as the reason they dropped out of church. In other words, maybe they didn't believe what the church taught, or they didn't believe what they perceived others in the church to believe. e numbers reflect a lack of ownership and participation, and the big question is, what can we do? e solution is more than to elect one youth elder in a session of 20 members or to organize more activities to "attract" young people. Other key considerations: • Young adults must feel that they are real participants and key actors in the church. • ey need to experience the empowerment of being part of the decision-making processes. • ey must understand that they are the present and the future of the church. • ey must know that the church is incomplete without them. • is is an urgent task and the time to act is now. Congregations can help by encouraging young adults ages 19–30 to consider a year of service in the Young Adult Volunteer program, a ministry of Presbyterian World Mission. A T T H E C R O S S R O A D S | Jose Luis Casal, director of Presbyterian World Mission Mission Crossroads is a Presbyterian Mission Agency publication about God's mission around the world through the PC(USA) and our church partners. EDITOR Kathy Melvin DIRECTOR OF WORLD MISSION Jose Luis Casal CONTENT MANAGERS Tamron Keith Mienda Uriarte Richard Williams Blake Collins PROJECT MANAGER Tammy Warren ART DIRECTOR Mark omson COPY EDITORS Karen Bosc Jennifer Cash STAY CONNECTED To subscribe or change your mailing address, contact development.services@pcusa.org or call 800-728-7228. To request additional free copies of Mission Crossroads, email nicole.gerkins@pcusa.org or call 800-728-7228, ext. 5611. SUPPORT WORLD MISSION Give online/phone: pcusa.org/supportwm 800-728-7228 Mail checks, payable to PC(USA): Presbyterian World Mission P.O. Box 643700 Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700 On the cover: Clockwise om top le: Quantisha Mason, 2017–18 orientation small group leader and YAV alum (Korea, 2013–14); Hannah Donoghue (Chicago); Miguel Petrosky (New Orleans); Hannah Woodson (Miami); Maura Drewry (New York City); Audrey Taylor (Albuquerque) and Mielan Barnes (Peru). Photo by Molly DeWitt PRESBY TERIANS ON AVERAGE ARE OLDER THAN U.S. RESIDENTS

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