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Children & Youth

Christian Formation is the intentional and life-long process of faith development, of growing in our knowledge and love of God, and of equipping individuals and congregations to carry on Christ’s work of reconciliation in the world.

Christian Formation involves education for children, youth, and adults, and it includes experience, prayer, spiritual disciplines, and liturgy in deepening our understanding of what it means to be a Christian in the contemporary world. It is as much about transformation as it is about information.

 Youth Ministries

The Diocesan Youth Ministries strives to help youth in Grades 6 through 12, to find Christ, through worship, small groups, and activities.  We also work with and assist parishes to strengthen their own ministries with youth.
The Diocesan Youth Ministries sponsors 3 events yearly, the Spring Youth Gathering, Happening Retreat and the Diocesan Youth Event, which is held in the Fall.  We also provide support for the Happening Staff retreat and every 3 years organize youth and adults to attend the Episcopal Youth Event, the largest gathering of Episcopal youth in the United States.
The Spring Youth Gathering (in late April or early May) and Diocesan Youth Event (in late September or early October) are yearly events for youth in grades 6-12, with a focus on building deeper relationships with god and other youth from across the diocese. We do this in a safe community of adults and other youth through activities, service, and worship. 
The Happening Retreat held in February or March is a Christian spiritual weekend for youth in grades 9-12.  Happening is led by youth, with the support of adults, and the weekend is spent in a relaxed, informal, loving environment where youth can enjoy fellowship and share their faith.
Our office supports parishes, requesting help in the formation of and programming for their own youth ministry programs.  We offer parish visits and many resources through the Diocesan Resource Center. Also assist parishes by offering grants to support youth mission trips and other creative opportunities to partner with other parishes.
Every three years The Episcopal Church sponsors the Episcopal Youth Event, which is the largest gathering of youth in the Church.  The Diocesan Youth Ministries organizes participation for our youth in the amazing event. Youth applications are now being accepted to serve on the EYE20 Planning Team.
The safety of our youth is very important to us, therefore we oversee the “Safeguarding God’s Children” program and ensure that all adults attending youth events have been trained.
List of upcoming trainings

Opportunities for Youth in 2019


SYG flyer (Rooted)
Online Registration Form



  • Summer Youth Programming: The mission office has funds available to support Vacation Bible School programs, up to a maximum of $500. Grant application deadline:  May 31
  • Summer Youth Mission Trips: The mission office, via the Bishop’s Annual Appeal, has funds available to support youth mission trips, with an emphasis on those that involve youth from more than one parish. If outside the Diocese of Ohio, see CGDM Mission as well. Grant application deadline: May 31

Top 10 Reasons Children are Welcome in Our Church

10. Repeated exposure to the sights, sounds and symbols of Eucharist help form all Christians.

9. Children actually LIKE sitting in those usually-empty front row seats so they can see and hear what's going on.

8. It would be expensive to repaint all those signs to read "The Episcopal Church Only Welcomes Adults."

7. Practice Makes Perfect - Teaching young children to enjoy and participate in the service helps them become active and receptive worshipping adults.

6. There are no pop quizzes at the communion rail! We all experience the Eucharist as a mystery . . . you don't have to be able to explain it in order to benefit from it.

5. Children have their own unique relationships with God. Being in church helps them learn how to pray, sing, worship and otherwise strengthen that relationship.

4. If children aren't in church, who are the candy-unwrapping, restless, coughing, whispering adults going to blame for the noise?

3. Sunday services make great family-togetherness time. Use the quiet space for extra hand-holding or snuggling time that may get lost during a busy week.

2. Children teach us what absolute joy looks like - and what better place to experience that than in church?

1. . . . and the Number One reason why children are welcomed in our church: The Circle of God's family is incomplete without them!

Tracey E. Herzer, President, 2007
National Association for Episcopal Christian Education Directors

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