EYE is the Episcopal Youth Event and is the single greatest event the Episcopal Church does. It is around 1000 people (high school students, their adult mentors, and bishops from around the church) who all stay on a college campus in a great location and learn, laugh, and serve. We learn about new aspects of the Episcopal Church and our faith. We laugh and have a great time with our team of people from our diocese as well as meeting all kinds of new people. We serve by really asking the questions and having discussions about what it means to be a modern day Episcopalian and Christian. Time is spent is worship (amazing, awesome and very memorable worship), large group presentations (to see a past one, go here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZtMaFGcNau8), small group discussions on the presentations (youth lead), workshops on a variety of topics (from meditation to outreach to AIDS in the life of our church to knitting, and everything in between), and a lot of time hanging out and meeting people from around the world.
Every aspect of EYE is planned by a diverse youth design team. Design team members have all their travel, accommodations, and food paid for by The Episcopal Church to attend several planning meetings and the event itself. Trevor Mahan from St. John’s in Wichita was on the Design Team for 2017. Lizzie Kezar from St. Andrew’s in Derby was on the Design Team in 2011.
Why would a student want to go? It’s excellent! You can meet people from all over. You’ll get to know people who share your beliefs and also some who’s disagree with your views, but with whom you can discuss differences and still be friends. You’ll be able to take part in HUGE and EXCITING liturgy (people can volunteer as acolytes and Eucharistic Ministers). You may even learn some new things, grow and change as you broaden your experience and watch God move in others (and in yourself). And you’ll be able to sleep in a college dorm and experience college cafeteria food (ok, maybe not a selling point, but still an experience!).
Who can go? Youth can apply who are in the 9th-12th grade in the school year prior to EYE. Adults must be at least 23. In order to keep the event youth-focused, EYE has strict guidelines that we cannot take more than 1 adult for every 4 youth in attendance.
Youth who attend from the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas are expected to be active in an Episcopal Congregation as well as be excited about their faith. The EYE Team has asked us to identify “a diverse group of faithful, mature high schoolers who are able to handle traveling, speaking in groups, sharing their own faith journeys, and whom you trust to honor the covenant for behavior required of all participants.”
While we encourage everyone to apply, we will be discerning the members of our delegation – meaning that some people may not be able to go. Attendance, participation, and past-behavior at diocesan youth events will affect the selection process. Preference will be given to Episcopal students (those of other denominations may apply), and we will do our best to make sure the delegation shows the diversity of our Diocese. All this being said; we have NEVER hit our quota of students in the past (24 students maximum), so please do not discourage people to apply.
Adult chaperones should be individuals who are energized by learning alongside young people and committed to empowering and equipping them to be disciples in the world. They must have a current criminal/sexual background check and Safeguarding God’s Children certification. The number of adults who are selected to go will be based on the number of youth who have signed up. We will be able to take a maximum of 6 adults.
When: Summer 2020
Who: students in grades 9-12 of the 2019-2020 school year
Deadline to sign up: March 2020.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is there scholarship money to attend?
We see our delegation as pilgrims that we are sending forth to this experience, it is expected that the sponsoring parish will help the participant come up with the majority of the money. The Diocese is covering the cost of the (required) adult chaperones and travel to OKC, so we are unable to provide additional scholarships. All participants are expected to pay something towards the cost of attendance.
Why is the deadline so early?
Because the event registrations will close when the spots are full. As the event registration opens in January, we want to be sure to get spots.
Why do adults who want to go need to apply?
I’ve had a few adults tell me through the years that they are interested in EYE, so I want to make sure everyone has an opportunity to apply. EYE will be a working ministry experience for adult mentors. It’s a tough job, because mentors need to be disciplinarians, friendly, spiritual, easy to get along with, and able to go with the flow when problems occur, along with helping find solutions and making decisions. We will be discerning the make-up of our delegation in terms of both youth and adults. I know that we have many amazing people in our Diocese, but I want to make sure that we chose the right ones for this difficult but very rewarding task.
For more information, see: