After collaborating on several events in the summer and fall of 2018, we are thrilled to announce that the youth ministries of First Baptist Church, First Presbyterian Church, McMinnville Cooperative Ministries, and St. Barnabas Episcopal Church will begin meeting together weekly in 2019 as the McMinnville Youth Collective. This decision comes after regular conversations from staff and leadership from both churches this fall, and is based on similar models of youth ministry happening in Portland and Bend. So, starting on Sunday, January 13, we will gather for a program and meal every Sunday, from 5:30-7pm, and to begin with, we will meet First Presbyterian Church (390 NE 2nd St in McMinnville). We are excited to share our financial, physical, and human resources to create a consistent, safe time and space for the youth from our churches and beyond to experience authentic community, grow in their faith, and make a difference in our world.
We are currently working details for our programming, and will share more soon as we firm up plans for each weekly gathering. But the purpose of this letter is to communicate the reasons why we have initiated this partnership and the vision that is driving this collective. Bottom line, we’re better together than we are apart. Practically, when we combine funds from our budgets, each dollar goes further. When we pool our supplies and equipment, we have a greater variety to choose from and use. When we create one team of our volunteers, our youth have more adults in their lives who know and care about them. When we bring all our youth together, we create the important critical mass that produces a necessary comfort level and desire to be part of something. So, from a purely functional perspective, it just makes sense to do this together.
But, on a deeper level, this just makes sense, because all of our churches long for the same things for our youth…
- We long for youth to build meaningful relationship with self, others, and God.
- We long for youth to be equipped with tools and experiences which balance mind, body, and soul on their journey.
- We long for youth to be immersed in the stories of faith, the stories of the world, and the stories of one another, as they discover and live in to their own story.
- We long for youth to have adults in their lives who are committed their well-being, and are supported and resourced to do this in the best ways possible.
- We long for youth to be engaged in current culture, discovering ways to be peacemakers, agents for social justice, and a part of the healing and restoration of people and things in the world.
We know all of this is possible, and worthy of pursuing on our own, in our individual churches. But we are ecstatic about this opportunity to do it together, and are looking forward to all God has in store for our youth, ministries, churches, and community. We believe that this communal approach to ministry will create a welcoming, inclusive space for the youth from our churches, and will become known outside our churches as a place where all are accepted, included, and valued. We will be a sanctuary for any and all teenagers in and beyond McMinnville.
Please reach out to any of us, anytime, if you have questions or anything to share as we begin this collaborative adventure. And more very soon on how it will all work & happen starting the second Sunday in the new year! Thanks for being part of the journey with us, take care.
Erika Marksbury, Senior Pastor, and Sean P. Williams, Children’s & Youth Minister
First Baptist Church
Matt Johnson, Pastor & Head of Staff, and Kate Satterstrom, Director of Children, Youth & Family Ministries
First Presbyterian Church
Brennen Guillory, Pastor
McMinnville Cooperative Ministries
Helen Durany, Pastor, and Shirley Treadwell, Lay Leader
St. Barnabas Episcopal Church