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Next Generation Works for Reform

Young Adult Summit for Church Justice meets in Washington, DC.
Young Adult Summit for Church Justice meets in Washington, DC.

Young adults are often told that they are the future of the Church.  Not exactly!  They are the Church here and now. Renewal of the Church does not happen overnight.  Younger generations will need to carry forward the work of church reform with passion and zeal for a more inclusive church.  We need to work with them.  To this end, FutureChurch participated in these two recent initiatives.

Young Adult Summit on Church Justice In early July FutureChurch staff member Emily Holtel-Hoag and FutureChurch supporter Jenny Wilson attended a summit of young adult Catholic leaders working for church justice in Washington D.C.   The purpose was to bring together key young adult staff and representatives of reform groups to work on common interests and begin planning for the years ahead. The leadership team of Call To Action 20/30 coordinated the gathering.

The agenda included group prayer, spiritual sharing, and analyses of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) of the church justice movement in general, particularly as these relate to younger adults. We also considered possible next steps and a process to identify areas of program collaboration. FutureChurch was grateful to be a part of the weekend and extends a special thank you to the CTA20/30 leaders who organized it. We hope this can be the first step of many to grow FutureChurch and the church reform movement well into the future.

At the American Catholic Council, Emily Holtel-Hoag with LisaHawley PhD of Oakland University led a breakout session The Younger Generation:  The church now and the future to address the role of the younger generation in Church reform.  The session was well attended by 80 people who readily saw the need for discussion since younger people were notably few and far between at the conference.

Emily and Lisa presented trends in young adult faith development while interweaving their  “Top Ten Ways to Involve the Younger Generation.”   Some of Emily and Lisa’s “Top Ten” included “Listen!  Listen! Listen!” to the experience of the younger generation, “Vatican II Who?”- Don’t assume that the younger generation knows what Vatican II is or finds it meaningful to their experience of Church.  Programs that provide opportunities for spiritual growth will be especially attractive to members of the younger generation.  The breakout included time for small groups to brainstorm programs for high school students, college students, post-college singles and young families.

If you are a young adult interested in Church reform, or know of a young adult who might be interested, please contact Emily Holtel-Hoag at emily@futurechurch.org.

Focus on FutureChurch

Summer 2011


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