EYE Planning Team

The Episcopal Church is now accepting applications from youth who feel called to serve as a member of the Planning Team for the next Episcopal Youth Event (EYE20).
To be eligible for the Planning Team, youth applicants must be currently enrolled in grades 9 – 11 and be a communicant in good standing in an Episcopal Church congregation. In addition, all applicants must be available to travel unaccompanied on the following dates:
  • October 3-6, 2019
  • January 30 – February 2, 2020
  • April 16-19, 2020
  • July 5-10, 2020
Planning Team members are charged with creating and implementing EYE20 from beginning to end. Team members must be mature in their faith and able to undertake the work and commitments necessary for the year-long process of developing an international event of this scale.
The online application is available here in English. The application will be available in Spanish soon.
All expenses for meetings, travel, food, and lodging are covered by the Youth Ministries Office. Selected team members traveling from other countries who need to acquire travel visas will be reimbursed for their expenses.
The application process will close at 5 pm Eastern on March 17, 2019.
If you have questions about the nature of the ministry and the commitment, please email us at eye@episcopalchurch.org.

10 Questions to ask your kid about Miqra 2019

  1. About their tribe (named for the 12 tribes of Israel): What was the name of your tribe? Who else was in your tribe? Who were your adult leaders?
  2. What did you learn about the Bible? What’s in in? How do we read it? Why should we care?
  3. Which Bible verse did your tribe study? What is the message of that story? What did you learn about yourself from studying that Bible verse? Had you ever heard that Bible verse before this weekend? Tell me about your skit for this verse.
  4. What character did you get in the American Dream game? (played on Saturday when people were arriving) How far did you get in the game? What were some of the obstacles you faced?
  5. What was your favorite prayer station from Saturday night? Choices were:
    1. Bible commentaries for Sunday’s readings,
    2. social justice stations of the cross,
    3. mandala prayer and coloring,
    4. meditative reading of psalms,
    5. picture meditation prayer, and
    6. silent reflection on the Miqra public reading of scripture.
  6. Did you sign-up to read the Bible? How many times did you read? Did you read alone or with friends? What books of the Bible did you get to read? Did you like reading or not? Why?
  7. What did you think of the sermons on Sunday (given by two of our young people, Gillian and Carson)?
  8. Which workshops did you attend? What did you enjoy about the workshops? What did you learn? Who went to the workshops with you?
    1. Workshop time #1 choices:
      1. Life After High School (11-12 graders only)
      2. Jesus plaque craft
      3. Guided Journaling/Meditation
      4. Art Gallery tour and art reflection exercise
      5. Yoga
    2. Workshop time #2 choices:
      1. Homosexuality in the Bible (high school only)
      2. Hard questions of the bible
      3. FAQ Bible edition
      4. The Devil in the Bible
  9. Which movie did you watch? (Selma or Coco) Had you seen it before? Did you like it? Why or why not?
  10. Do you want to go to the next diocesan youth event?
    1. Feb. 22-24, Mustard Seeds Music Weekend @ St. Paul’s, Manhattan
      A weekend for practice and leadership training, grades 9-12.
      (registration open now!)
    2. March 29-31, New Beginnings @ St. David’s, Topeka
      A spiritual retreat for junior high students, led by high school students
    3. June 2-8, Episcopal Summer “Mega” Camp @ Camp Wood YMCA
      A traditional camp experience with Christian education for grades 3-12.
      (registration open now!)
    4. June 28-30, Happening #94 @ Good Shepherd, Wichita
      A spiritual retreat for youth by youth, grades 9-12.
    5. July 9-14, MissionWichita @ St. John’s, Wichita
      A mission ‘trip’ serving Episcopal ministries in Wichita, KS. Grades 9-12.

See the complete, un-curated collection of photos from the weekend here: https://www.flickr.com/gp/99322323@N06/Zrm5Cc

Mega Camp Commercial Contest 2019

Youth are invited to participate in the 2019 Episcopal Summer MEGA Camp Commercial Contest! Winner gets a partial scholarship to camp!

  1. Create a video which answers one or more of these questions:
    1. Why do YOU love camp?
    2. What is your favorite thing about camp?
    3. What is your favorite memory from camp?
    4. Why should other people go?
    5. What is Episcopal Summer Mega Camp like?
  2. Must also include:
    1. The official name for camp: Episcopal Summer “Mega” Camp
    2. The dates for camp: June 2-8, 2019
    3. The grades who can come to camp: those who have finished Grades 3-12
    4. If you have the ability to add text to your video, please put the web site on it: https://edokyouth.wordpress.com/camp
  3. We want to hear your voice and see your face!
  4. Should be no longer than 2 minutes (shorter is okay!)
  5. Due by Friday, February 1, 2019
  6. Photos of last summer’s camps are available on Flickr and Facebook
  7. Post to YouTube, tag #MegaCamp2019 and e-mail or Facebook message the link to Karen Schlabach, kschlabach@episcopal-ks.org. You can also share the file via Google Drive, Dropbox, or text message 913-708-5927.

Entries will be judged by the Formation Team. We’re looking for a video to promote camp to parishes. We want to see videos with a clear message which will appeal to youth, parents, and clergy.

At least one person will be selected to win a $150 scholarship to camp!

Previous year’s entries are available on YouTube.

Meet the Bishop Candidates

Youth and college-age folks are invited to have supper with the bishop candidates during the walk-abouts. Members of the diocese will have the chance to meet the candidates in walkabouts scheduled in the diocese for Oct. 2-5; the schedule of events is available here. You can read more about the candidates here: https://www.kansasbishopsearch.org/.

Dates, times, and locations for the youth and college-age dinners are:

  • Tuesday, October 2, 5-6 pm @ St. Michael’s in Mission
  • Thursday, October 4, 5-6 pm @ St. James in Wichita
  • Friday, October 5, 6-7 pm @ Grace Cathedral in Topeka

You may attend multiple dinners if you wish, there is no cost to attend. While it is okay for youth ministers/volunteers to attend with their youth, we do ask that parents allow the youth and college-age students to participate in these dinners on their own and that adults allow the young people to guide the conversation with the candidates. Please RSVP by Monday, September 17: https://edok.formstack.com/forms/walkabout_youth_young_adult_dinners

If you have any questions or need to change your RSVP, please contact Karen Schlabach, Youth Missioner and Interim Campus Missioner, kschlabach@episcopal-ks.org or 913-708-5927.

Mega Eucharist Youth Sermon

Hey, Mega Camp! How are you? Awesome, awesome. So, the Gospel earlier reminded us that God is always there and that he’ll make sure that we’re always provided for. The people in the story were worried and scared that there wasn’t going to be enough food for everyone to eat. When Jesus told them to go eat the food, they looked at him with doubt and told him that there was no way everyone would have food. Jesus replied something along the lines of “Nah fam, I will always have your back,” and made it rain fish, which gave them enough to eat for a long long time. It was when they didn’t have enough that Jesus provided them with an abundance. Jesus showed them that he would always be there to provide.

In a lot of ways, we are a lot like the people. It is often that we believe that we don’t have enough until Jesus reminds us that we have more than enough. So, I’m going to tell you a little story about myself in relation to the Gospel. If I cry, I apologize. The Diocese of Kansas has always been something very special and dear to me. My very first youth event was New Beginnings in 2012, so 6th grade. I was very apprehensive about going because I had never been before and I didn’t really go to church because my mom didn’t. As soon as I arrived I felt accepted and like I belonged with everyone there. As the event went on, I felt myself getting closer and closer to the people around me, to myself, and to God. This was really big for me because for my whole life I had struggled with the thought of belonging and being alone. I only had my mom at home, my dad lives in Florida and my closest sibling was 4 hours away or more. There were times when I felt like I didn’t have enough love, care, friends, happiness, etc. I felt alone and I found myself always wishing for more. But let me tell you something… These youth events, camp included, have been my saving grace. It is here that I found the most happiness. I have found the best friends and the best mentors. I have formed the most amazing memories and had the best experiences in my life. For example, my very first Happening, I had an amazing experience. I got to know myself better and grow my relationship with God. During one of the surprise activities, I got some notes from people who were close to me and those who were not as close. It was eye-opening to know how many people are in my corner.

That was just one of many instances where people in the diocese made me feel loved. It was at these youth events that I realized that what I believed was not enough, had actually become an abundance. I am swimming in an ocean of love, support, friendship, and community. God has shown me that everything really does happen for a reason. I have been so blessed in my life. It is with my abundance that I go out into the world and community and give all that I can to make sure others feel like they have enough too, just like youth events and the people at them made me feel. A specific example of when I shared some of my abundance was last summer at Mission Wichita. At Mission Wichita we go into the community every day and volunteer. For one of those days, we went to ESS, Episcopal Social Services, and we got to help serve some of the homeless that had come there to eat lunch for free. While serving them, I could tell how grateful they were for the food they were receiving. I was extremely happy that I got to be a part of it. Another time I tried to share my abundance was at home in Lawrence. I was on Mass Street, and I had seen a homeless woman, many times before, but this time I decided to go buy her a cupcake. When I offered her the cupcake, she politely declined but explained to me how thankful she was that I thought of her.

When I give to others what has been given to me, it makes me feel as though I’m changing the world. Did you know that that’s how we’re going to do it? Change the world with love and acceptance? If you didn’t, now you do. Everyone deserves to feel loved and accepted and like they’re swimming in an abundance of it. So here I am, standing here as an 18-year-old, in my last year of camp, as a camper that is, about to go to college and I’m asking you to challenge yourself. I ask that you go out into the world, youth events, and everyday life and share all the love and acceptance you have been given with those around you. Soon enough, the world will be changed and your “enough” will be an abundance.

Eliana Seidner, Trinity Lawrence
Eliana graduated from Free State High School in May 2018 and will be attending the University of Nebraska-Omaha next year. She has served on the Diocesan Youth Commission, Bishop’s Search Committee, is a Youth Servant Leader, has been a Youth Delegate to Diocesan Convention, and is part of the Mustard Seeds youth band. She was co-rector of New Beginnings in Spring 2017 and Happening #92 in December 2017.

Friday @ Camp

Friday, Day 6: What If We Change the World?

Theological Summary: Jesus encourages us to embrace the ways that God wants to use us to make the world a better place.

Today, campers will…

  • learn that responding to God’s call can make a difference
  • imagine the world as God intends
  • learn that God’s Spirit is alive in us
  • find their community’s support in changing the world

Scripture Matthew 5:13-16, Focus: Matthew 5:16
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”

ALL campers and staff got an award on Friday to celebrate their unique gifts to the week of camp.

Elementary: We explored our call to be “salt and light” through sharing their ideas of the changes they’d like to make in the world today, what it will take to make those changes, and what the challenges will be in making those changes. Campers enjoyed singing their favorite camp songs, wrote letters of encouragement to themselves and made “Let Your Light Shine (glow-in-the-dark) Slime.” Is been an awesome week together exploring all the ways God is even bigger and more wonderful than we’ve ever imagined!

The evening activity was the talent show!

9:45 am Horses, Canoeing, Archery, Arts& Crafts, Fishing, Gaga
11:00 am Waterfront
3:45 pm Swing, Skateboarding, Biking, Horses, Shelter Building, Rec Games

Junior High: Campers spent Friday talking about how they can change the world. We watched a video about identity and discussed what it means to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Campers then broke off into family groups to share the encouragement from Thursday that spoke to them most. We ended with a large group game of charades where family groups acted out the way their group planned to change the world. Some were putting an end to bullying, others donating to charity, and others making an effort to spread joy and affirmation. Eucharist was later celebrated by Fr. Andrew O’Connor, who gave an amazing reflection on our ability to make a difference in the world. The evening activity was the dance!

11:00 am Tower, Canoeing, Outdoor Cooking, Basketball, Fishing
2:15 pm Arts & Crafts, Biking, Archery, Shelter Building, Waterfront, Star Wars Role Playing Part 2
5:00 pm Swing, Horses, Soccer, Arts & Crafts, Gaga, Low Ropes, Star Wars Role Playing Part 2

Senior High: We  wrapped up our week of programming with the question: What If We Change the World? As family groups, we imagined what the future could look like in regards to themes of injustice, inequality, and suffering in the world. We then thought about how we can be a light to change the world in our circles of influence. We had a time of personal reflection where each student was given a small candle. On the candle they wrote how they are going to change their world when they get home. We ended program singing Live Your Mission.

In worship, we had our Senior High Eucharist at High-Y. Students were active leaders in the service, leading music, being chalice bearers, reading, leading the prayers of the people, and more. Mother Kelly gave a powerful sermon reminding each of us of our worth and value and emphasizing that each of us has Kingdom work that God has given for us to do. At the conclusion of the service, graduating seniors stayed up at High-Y to reflect on their extensive camp experience.

We also had the “Senior Game Show” where we asked graduating seniors about their favorite camp memories and to give advice to younger campers. At dinner, all the senior high tables were moved out onto the Ritchie patio overlooking the lake for the “Senior Banquet.” The evening activity was the dance!

9:30 am Swing, Arts & Crafts, Biking, Skateboarding, Outdoor Cooking, Preston Hike
2:15 pm Horses, Tower, Canoeing, Adventure Hike, Gaga, Ultimate frisbee
3:30 pm Quad Time, Gaga, Dodgeball, setting up for the Senior Banquet, getting ready for the senior banquet/dance

Breakfast: Eggs and Toast
Lunch: Sloppy Joes, Bean Salad
Snack: Ice Pops
Supper: Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Mixed Vegetables, Rolls, and Cake


Thursday @ Camp

Thursday, Day 5: What If We Speak Up?

Theological Summary: If even Jesus can have his mind opened by fearlessness in the face of injustice, just imagine how big God’s grace must be!

Today, campers will…

  • discern God’s way for the world
  • find the courage to use their gifts as God’s voice in the world
  • reflect on where the world needs them most
  • claim personal passion as it connects with God’s vision for the world

Scripture Mark 7:24-30; Focus: Mark 7:25–26
But a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately heard about him, and she came and bowed down at his feet. Now the woman was a Gentile, of Syrophoenician origin. She begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter.

Elementary: On Thursday, our Elementary campers focused on God’s call to Samuel during program time enjoying a somewhat silly Lego Video interpretation of Samuel’s confusion when God called to him in the night.  To further connect with the idea that a call to speak up can come up unexpectedly, and we might not always know what it means or what we are to do, the campers played a game called “Back to the Drawing Board.”  Similar to “Telephone,” the campers sat in rows facing the back of the person in front of them and were asked to “pass down” an image or word by drawing it on the back of the person sitting in front of them in hopes that the person in the front of the row could accurately draw the image on a dry-erase board.  Finally, following a reading of the second half of our passage in 1 Samuel by Jocelyn E., our campers engaged in discussion regarding how speaking up for what is right requires a great deal of courage with their family groups.  In worship, campers focused on the Gospel lesson from Mark and considered in cabin groups the challenges of entering into a new land or place and not understanding the culture, and the challenge of speaking up in that new culture. The evening activity was the Beach Party!

9:45 am Tower, Canoeing, Skateboarding, Outdoor Cooking, Soccer, Arts & Crafts
11:00 am Waterfront
3:45 pm Swing, Gaga, Biking, Horses, Stream Exploration, Basketball, Recycled T-Shirt Tote Bags

Junior High: Our scripture reading for the day told the story of Jesus healing a Syrophoenician woman’s daughter. After a short game and MadLib, campers discussed that while Jesus did what they expected (healing the girl) in the end, He was rather harsh in his language towards the Gentile woman. We then broke off into family groups and discussed the obstacles that keep us from speaking out and doing the right thing. For Jesus, it was the cultural barrier between Jews and Gentiles, for our campers, obstacles included bullying, peer pressure, and shyness. Family groups created prayer stations, and students had the opportunity to travel between groups, pray for each other, and write out ideas for overcoming the obstacles written at each station. For worship, we held our healing service. Staff members were available for individual prayer and comfort. The evening activity was the talent show!

11:00 am Tower, Canoeing, Skateboarding, Outdoor Cooking, Soccer
2:15 pm Adventure Hike, Fishing, Biking, Archery, Waterfront, Star Wars Role Playing
5:00 pm Swing, Horses, Basketball, Arts & Crafts, Preston Hike, Slackline, Talent Show Rehearsal

Senior High: Yesterday, Senior High started program with a game that illustrated injustice. Students reflected on how the injustice made them feel and how they responded to it. They then listened to the story of when Jesus heals the Syrophoenicians woman’s daughter. Next, we talked about speaking up using the example of prophets. Each family group made their own definition of prophet and gave examples of past and present prophets. All the family groups shared their thoughts with the large group. We ended our time with upbeat music that spoke about being that prophetic light in the world.

We held Youth Commission and Youth Delegate elections. New Youth Commissioners are Edith Stanford, Scott Adams, Gillian Typer, and Mercedes Juache. Our Youth Delegates this year are Josh Avery, Creed Ekerberg, Paul Carter, and John Butler with Edith Stanford as an alternate.

The evening activity was the Talent Show followed by the Healing Service for our daily worship. Our theme was hope even in the midst of hardship. Students were invited to participate in various prayer stations. One was a contemplative space praying with icons. Another was writing prayers as conversations with God. One was a finger prayer labyrinth counting our blessings. And then there were stations were students could pray with Servant Leaders (trained students) or with Episcopal staff. This service ended with singing “Indescribable” as a group, as a reminder of the God who is bigger than any of the challenges we may face.

9:30 am Archery, Arts & Crafts, Biking, Fishing, Gaga
2:15 pm Horses, Tower, Soccer, Arts & Crafts, Waterfront, Survival Bracelets
3:30 pm Quad Time, Gaga, Speedball, Talent Show Rehearsal

Breakfast: Cinnamon Rolls and Oatmeal
Lunch: Chicken Fajitas
Snack: Cheez-Its
Supper: Hamburgers & Hotdogs, macaroni salad, chips, watermelon