The new logo for the CYF ministry uses the name “Living Stones.” This is both a scriptural reference a nod to the Cathedral’s history. In the first letter of Peter, the apostle writes: “like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
This summarizes the goal of any ministry aimed at young people: give youth the opportunity to experience God's love, and share it with others.
“Living Stones,” is a roadmap for providing age-appropriate formation, pastoral care, and opportunities for spiritual growth to children and youth up to age of 18 and their families. Within each age cohort there are offerings aimed at those with different levels of engagement with the Cathedral:
The logo also helps us understand the Living Stones ministry model as it translates practically into day to day operation. There is intentional development of ministry offerings for different, clearly defined age groups:
At first glance it might look like a daunting amount of programming. In reality, the Cathedral is already offering, most of this programming - albeit on an ad hoc basis. We are now setting out to give existing programs deeper roots. We are also creating new offerings to meet the current needs of our people. We are able to do this because our Children, Youth & Families minister who is trained to create programs and curriculum for young people.
The graphics above give a sense of what types of programs are being offered for each cohort.
Like the people it aims to reach, Children, Youth and Family ministry is ever-evolving. One rule of this ministry is that nothing is permanent. This is especially true in the post-pandemic era. What used to be the norm for families may be more of a challenge today. To fulfill its mission, our ministry to children, youth and families must meet them where they are today. This means taking into account what they are able to commit to and participate in. It means offering them models of connection for the whole family. It means inspiring their formation at church and at home. It means creating a safe and transformative space for people to grow in their relationship with each other and God.
Not all programs are one-size-fits-all. We are blessed to have a skilled team to build a ministry model like this, based on the needs and capacities of families here and now. We also know that all churches are facing the same ministry challenges. We hope this program might work for them too, and we hope we can offer it to other churches in the diocese as a model and roadmap. Today, above all, our goal is to establish a continuum of pastoral care that meets the needs of our children, youth and families so they can grow their understanding of God and the church while finding a place of belonging at the Cathedral.