Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Resource Reviews - My Faith, My Life and EMX

Well somehow I've managed to end up behind on these! So to catch up I'll be doing two this week.
A great book that I can't believe I haven't reviewed for you already and a great website that I can't believe I haven't reviewed for you already as well! Both are Episco-centric but that's OK.

My Faith My Life - A Teen's Guide to the Episcopal Church By: Jenifer Gamber 194 pages $14.00 Published by Morehouse Publishing

OVERALL - A book written for teens that answers the questions they have and provides them with the background they need as they grow up in and into the Episcopal Church.

WHAT'S IT ABOUT? I've reviewed several books recently on being Episcopalian and said very good things about them. I suddenly realized that I had overlooked what I believe is simply the BEST book on the subject for youth ministry. Jenifer (yes I spelled it right) Gamber is among other things the confirmation leader at the Cathedral Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem PA. She's taken her experience and created a fabulous resource. The book walks you through the process of giving your youth a solid background in what it means to be an Episcopalian. Baptism and Confirmation, The bible, Knowing Our History, What Do We Believe, Worship, the Sacraments, Spirituality, Navigating the Church and What is God Calling You to Do? It provides the necessary information in straight forward easy to read style but also offers activities to help imprint the information more deeply. It's everything I'd hope for in a book like this.

RESERVATIONS Um, give me a few more months and maybe I can think of one but I doubt it.

RECOMMENDATION Yes this book is in my "Must Have" library for youth ministries in the Episcopal Church. It's a solid basic foundation element that will help us walk with our youth deeper into their faith. I'm convinced that most Episcopalians DON'T know a lot of this stuff, youth and adult. This book can be the turning point in our life together. Jenifer has also created a great web site resource as an adjunct to the book here


Episcopal Mission Exchange
OVERALL - EMX is an Episcopal program designed to match parishes and dioceses with trusted mission opportunities and provide groups with tools to organize a trip and prepare a team. A simple plan to help anyone put together an amazing mission trip. Even if no one in your group has ever done one before!

WHAT'S IT ABOUT?Always wanted to do a mission trip? Intimidated by the details and planning? Here is the help you need. This is a partnership between the Episcopal church and a company called Passport, Inc. Passport is a Christian group that does mission trips and camp programs. They've created a mission program with a Episcopal flavor that has been an amazing addition. When you start the process with EMX you'll discover that all their years of expertise are yours, for FREE! All groups who participate in EMX are required to read the workbook, complete the training sessions, attend a pre-project visit, covenant together as a team, and complete a post-trip evaluation. These requirements assure our mission partners that we will be sending groups who are prepared in all ways possible. For your group, it means that your participants will engage more deeply in the experience, and get more out of it. We also hope the training before and after the exchange will contribute to your group’s sense of community. You still have to cover the usual expenses but they even provide a time line to help you plan out your fundraising process based on their past experience.

Sure you could do it all by yourself but why when you can have the support of a great group of people to help you anticipate and avoid the bumps? They offer experiences that are Easy, Medium and X(tra) Challenging based on your level of experience at locations all over the United States plus a couple outside the country.

RESERVATIONS Again I just can't come up with any. You'll still face the challenges of fundraising for the trip but you start off way ahead by choosing the option of partnering with a great organization with lots of memorable opportunities.

RECOMMENDATION This is such a great way to get started with mission work. This kind of hands on expression of faith has an impressive effect on our young people (and the adults too). We need to show our youth that faith has real effects on the world as well.

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