Please pray for Happening and send us your love!
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What is the purpose of Youth Ministry?

I recently had the opportunity to go to the National Youth Workers Convention where the head of Youth Specialties, Mark Matlock, identified five things he think Youth Ministry is doing for the Church today. I shared some of these during my presentation at Diocesan Convention. It strikes me that these are all things that are done, no matter the size of your congregation. 

  • Youth ministry is vital to helping teens integrate into the larger, intergenerational community of the church.
  • Youth ministry resists the status quo, helping the church stay relevant.
  • Youth ministry focuses on inviting those who are not already part of the church into the deeper narrative of God's plan.
  • Youth ministry reminds the church that teens are not marginalized members of the body, but co-creators and conspirators in the divine work of the church.
  • Youth ministry helps the church focus on the way of Jesus, which goes beyond tradition, dogma, and work. ï»¿ 

Events and programs in the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas are designed for youth to experience opportunities in Evangelism, Spiritual Formation, Christian Leadership, Mission, Fellowship, Scripture and the Episcopal Church. 

Youth events in the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas strive to provide:

  • a safe, loving, and wholesome atmosphere for young people
  • a program which helps young people become formed in their faith
  • a variety of worship experiences that help young people connect with God and one another
  • teaching about the Anglican expression of Christianity
  • a means for young people to develop their individual prayer and spiritual life
  • assistance for young people in developing values, ethical norms, and a sense of Christian community
  • interaction with adults who authentically model the Christian faith
  • activities (games, sports, waterfront activities, crafts, etc.) which involve fun and the building of sense of worth
My hope is that we are raising young people who are committed to Christ, committed to the Episcopal Church, and have the Christian Leadership experience to make a difference.

Grace and Peace,
Karen Schlabach
Youth Missioner

Join us for an ADVENTure in December!

The season of Advent always seems to be very crazy with the preparations for Christmas. During this retreat, we will spend a short amount of time in silence. Time in silence allows us to step out of the complexity of our life and to listen deeply to our heart, mind, and God. We will unplug ourselves from technology, relax, and seek balance and spiritual renewal. The youth will be guided through several different stations to help them be silent, pray, and experience the presence of God. 

Additionally, we will learn more about Advent. Everyone will have the opportunity to make an Advent wreath for use at home. We will learn a bit more about the Advent Wreath tradition and have prayers available for youth to take with them and share with their families.  

No youth event would be complete without some awesome fun stuff! We will make gingerbread houses and then devour them while watching a movie. 

ADVENTure is a retreat for youth in grades 6-12, December 7-8 at St. Andrew’s in Emporia. The event begins at 1:30 pm on Saturday and ends after the 10:45 am worship service on Sunday. The priority registration deadline is Monday, November 25. The registration fee is $35 and increases by $10 for anyone who registers after the priority deadline. Forms are available at on the “Forms” page. 


Please pray for Happening #88

Youth rector Olivia Allen wrote this prayer for the weekend:

As your son, Jesus Christ, once walked with his disciples, please show us how each of us walks with the light of Christ shining within them. Help us to see your light within our community and within ourselves as we learn the beauty of your work. We thank you for blessing us with this community and for this weekend. In your name we pray. Amen.

Former Happeners and Rectors have created a Facebook event called "Happening #88 Cyber Vigil." Anyone is welcome to sign-up. The group will meet at 7 pm Saturday, November 9, via the Internet to pray for the Happeners and staff and do Compline together. 

Send your love to Happening

We need your help to make this weekend super-special! Part of the joy of Happening is expressed through what is called CARITAS, which is a Latin word meaning “charitable love”. The youth-staff will make and present surprise bags of Caritas to each Happener twice during the weekend, and you are invited to contribute as well. This special kind of love can be expressed in many ways: a note or card, a poem, a book, candy, jewelry, a spiritual gift, etc. You can mail caritas to the Youth Office or directly to St. Thomas in care of Katie Knoll Lenon. Don’t forget, Caritas is a surprise!

There are currently 24 youth and adults signed up to attend for the first time.

Youth can still sign-up for Happening

The 88th Happening in the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas will be November 8-10 at St. Thomas in Overland Park. It will be led by high school senior Olivia Allen from St. Michael and All Angels in Mission with the theme, “What if God was one of us?” Youth in grades 9-12 are invited to attend. If youth have already “been through” Happening, they will serve on staff as family group leaders, gophers, or in a variety of other leadership roles. More information and registration forms are on the web site The cost is now $60. We will continue to take registrations until the event begins. As always, youth are encouraged to invite friends!

New Year-Round Health Form

Brand-new this year, Diocese of Kansas Youth Ministries has developed a health form and emergency contacts document that you only have to fill out once each school year. Complete this form for the first event you attend in the school year (hopefully that’s Fall Fun Fest!) and then you don’t have to worry about it again until next Fall! 

Each youth event will still have a short registration form and community covenant to sign, but we’ve cut the paperwork in half!

We will ask at the start of each youth event if there have been any changes to your personal contact information, health insurance, medications, or emergency contacts. You can always submit a new form to keep us up-to-date. Make sure to include a photocopy of your insurance card!


Youth Ministry Wish List

The bishop asked that I create a Youth Ministry wish list so people know how they can help us out. Here we go:
  • Board games
  • Camp Scholarships
  • Sharpies
  • Bandanas
  • Plastic tubs (for storage)
  • iPad mount for microphone stand
  • Logitech broadcaster Wi-Fi web cam
  • Digital HD video camera and attachable microphone
  • Portable PA system with iPod dock, guitar and microphone plug-ins
  • High Definition computer projector (HDMI)
  • Wholesome, Christian, positive adult role models to serve as Camp Counselors :)
See more by searching for our Wish List on You can find us under  "Episcopal Diocese of Kansas Youth Ministry" or with the e-mail address 

Upcoming Events and Deadlines

Happening #88, St. Thomas, Overland Park, Nov. 8-10

ADVENTure priority registration deadline Nov. 25

ADVENTure, St. Andrew’s, Emporia, Dec. 7-8

Miqra priority registration deadline Jan. 6

New Beginnings rector applications due Jan. 17

Miqra (MEEK-rah), Grace Cathedral & St. David’s, Topeka, Jan. 18-20

Youth Commission Meeting Sat., Feb. 1, 10 am-noon (Online or Phone)

Summer Youth Ministry Internship applications due Feb. 28

Youth Commission Meeting, St. Andrew's, Emporia Sat., Mar. 8, 10 am-noon

Forms and more information available on our web site:

Save the date!

Episcopal Summer “Mega” Camp @ Camp Wood YMCA June 1-7

Episcopal Youth Event (EYE) @ Villanova University, Philadelphia, PA July 9-13
Youth Missioner Contact Information

Karen Schlabach
EDOK Youth Office
10122 W. 96th Ter.
Overland Park, KS 66212

913-708-5927 mobile/text
800-679-4214 fax

Printable versions of this newsletter (and previous editions) are available on the diocesan web site. Go to and click on "Resources" then "Youth Newsletters" or click here.

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