Recommended Pay Scale for youth workers

The PYM Recommended payscale has been recently updated for staff being employed due to the recent increase in the Living Wage.

2020 PCANZ-recommended-pay-scale-for-staff-working-with-young-people

The Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand adopted the Living wage at GA2012 as the minimum an employee should be paid. The Living wage is currently set at $22.10. This is the minimum amount any lay ministry staff member should be paid.
In addition to the current living wage, it is recommended churches take into account qualifications, experience, responsibility and their location when determining the pay.

It is hoped that the pay scale will encourage lay ministry workers to work longer for churches and to get better qualified.

It is recommended once employed, the lay ministry worker should be reviewed annually, with an increase in salary set on 1 July based on the Labour Cost Index to March, issued by the Department of Statistics.

ORIGIN coming to, Auckland, Hamilton, Christchurch and Dunedin

Origin events are put on by Word of Life ministries, these events would be great for our evangelical churches. The vision for these events is that young people would step out in faith and invite their ‘unsaved’ friends so they can hear the Gospel.

This is what Word of Life says about these events.

“ORIGIN is a wild, crazy night of fun for youth, full of loads of activities where teenagers can go free-for-all and choose how they want to pack their night! Every teen that attends is bound to have an absolute blast! More than that, it is an exciting opportunity for them to hear the Gospel!”

International Youth Day, 12 Aug 2020

The United Nations, since 2000, has declared 12 August as International Youth Day (IYD). This is to raise awareness about the issues young people in different countries care about the most. Youth organizations and organizations working with young people are invited to highlight the efforts of young people in creating a better world.

The World Council of Churches has put together an International Youth Day Toolkit to help youth workers prepare our churches to engage in youth issues.

https://www.oikoumene.org/en/resources/documents/wcc-programmes/youth/iyd-2020-toolkit/

Post COVID Retreat Resource for Youth Groups

SUNZ Youth & Camps Team have developed a weekend retreat resource for youth groups in this season of rebuilding and reshaping church communities.

This resource is designed to help process the past, acknowledge the present and dream/work towards the future as a body of Christ. SUNZ’s organisational mission is to be a resource supporting churches (and parachurch organizations) to help young people discover Jesus and become life-long disciples who serve the world around them, offering you these templates to use and to support you in varying degrees, from collaborating with you in the planning process, to facilitating the weekend for you, subject to conversation.

Here is the link to the resource: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1QBiyWY2-X-r2XJOqSlB7AeUhNTGFziu5?usp=sharing

SU Winter camps, both online and offline

 

SU camps are looking a little different this Winter as you can imagine, but they will be awesome as always.

Be Scene

Wellington
13-16 July 2020 (Day camps)
School Year 9-13 in 2020
$85

https://www.sunz.org.nz/youth/sucamps/sucamps-winter-2020/be-scene/

Do you love everything about the stage and acting? Then this camp is for you. Come along and join with other young people each day and have fun with all that is drama. Learn how you can use drama to worship and serve God. Meet new people, make new friends and grow in your faith as we dive into drama and the Bible. Please note this is a day camp, not a residential camp.

Re:create

Online camp (held on Zoom)
6-9 July 2020
School Year 11-13 in 2020
$60

https://www.sunz.org.nz/youth/sucamps/sucamps-winter-2020/recreate/

Join us for four jam-packed days of activities and connection as youth from across the country plug in to meet together and recreate community as we know it! Through Zoom calls in the morning (9-11am) and evening (7-9pm), we’ll be interacting in a variety of fun and safe ways – from creative challenges, to engaging with Creation, to thinking big thoughts… and everything in between. The sessions will consist of engaging faith-based videos, plenty of time to chat, and activities to get your minds racing and bodies moving both during the sessions and in the hours in-between.

Please register by 1 July so that we can get your activity packs delivered before camp!

Prerequisite: You need to have the use of a device that is able to connect to the internet via zoom.

 

Reset

Online camp (held on Zoom)
6-9 July 2020
School Year 7-10 in 2020
$60

https://www.sunz.org.nz/youth/sucamps/sucamps-winter-2020/reset/

Have you always wanted to go on camp but don’t see yourself as the outdoor adventure type? Do you like to meet new people but struggle in a crowd? Are you someone who enjoys being online? Are you sick and tired of rainy winter days spoiling your holidays? Then this camp is for you. Come and join us on-line and meet with young people from all around New Zealand for 4 days of exploring faith, fun and making friends.

Please register by 1 July so that we can get your activity packs delivered before camp!

Prerequisite: You need to have the use of a device that is able to connect to the internet via zoom.

COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Youth Ministry Advice -29 May

Read PCANZ Guidance

UPDATED COVID-19 LEVEL 2 GUIDANCE
New Zealand moved to Alert Level 2 on 13 May 2020. Since then there has been some changes to the rules and accompanying guidance, most significantly at midday on 29 May 2020 when the number of people permitted in gatherings increased to 100 and for the first time, faith based activities were referenced in the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Alert Level 2) Order 2020

.
29 May 2020 Changes
1) Faith based gatherings are now expressly excluded from the rules that apply to businesses and services. However, the rules for social gatherings do apply. In summary these rules are:
a. Gatherings must be limited to 100 people (not including workers) per defined space.
b. A contact tracing register must be kept, unless every person knows and can identify for the purposes of contact tracing, every other person at that gathering.

2. The concept of “defined space” is introduced. A “defined space” is an internal or external
space separated by walls with systems and processes in place to prevent intermingling. Intermingling means coming within 2 meters of each other.

3. Because a faith based gathering is not a business or service, physical distancing rules and rules for the serving of food and drink do not apply. However, if a church has a business or service operating on church property, they must comply with the applicable rules. For example, it is the responsibility of the person in charge of an op shop, café, or other external group which amounts to a business or service to comply with the applicable rules. These rules do not extend to faith based gatherings even if they are operating within the same building.

Advice on 14 May (some of the content here is outdated)

The PYM team sat down with the PCANZ Compliance director Matthew Hague to discuss youth ministry at alert level 2 on 14 May.

In the discussion the official PCANZ Guidance document is mentioned, as well as the governments COVID-19 website additionally there is reference to a pastoral care framework and small groups framework.

COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Youth Ministry Advice [updated 23 March]

There has been a lot of developments since our last communication regarding COVID –19. Please review this updated document.

From 25 March 2020 we as a nation are alert level 4. At alert 4 people are to stay at home.  Isolation can be a very challenging experience for any of us and this is especially true young people. We recommend you work out ways to stay connected with young people every day of the week now that we are in a lock down situation.

 

Tips on running your youth ministry online

We recommend running youth ministry online

  • Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts or Messenger

Hospitality is always important when we gather. In an online environment we need to think carefully about this, communicating by social media beforehand with participants; ensuring youth leaders are greeting young people as they join; engaging in conversation; telling jokes; or having an icebreaker conversation. These are all important tools to avoid awkward silent time.

Preparation. The chair of the meeting needs to well prepared. It is advisable to test your audio beforehand and to start on time. Because participants can’t have side conversations, the gathering needs to be engaging for the whole time. Such meetings can be more intense and more tiring. We recommend you do meetings no longer than one hour. Hosts also need to know participants can be more open and more vulnerable in online conversations.

Quality discussion. If you are doing your meeting using online software, we recommend all participants use their webcam and are in a quiet environment. Online conversations are always better when participants have a good internet connection. Plugging in directly to a modem with an ethernet cable is best. Using mobile data or public wifi will provide the worst connectivity, and home wifi will be somewhere in the middle for most homes.

Fun Activities. Our young people need pastoral care and each other now more than curriculum and games. However. many classic games can be done via online meetings: Mafia, charades, home scavenger hunts etc.

Safety. For safety we advise that you don’t interact with a young person one on one over online video services. Get another leader to join you. Please refer to our helpful online communications policy to keep you and young people safe online.

Helping young people to navigate through a pandemic

News of the pandemic’s sweep across the globe, the deaths of thousands, the lock down of thousands more and the anticipated global recession are filling many of us with anxiety and concern about what lies ahead. Our young people are also engaging with the often-troubling news regarding the pandemic. Research tells us that our young people already experience higher levels of isolation and anxiety than previous generations and the pandemic is likely to heighten that. Because of the high level of online social connectivity young people can feel more connected to the troubling global events going on around us and less connected to the immediate community around them.

 

  1. As a church community we have a great opportunity to model positive ways to cope with the challenges of this pandemic and give opportunities for our whole church community, including young people to respond in positive ways.
  2. Create a safe space for young people to express their concerns, to ask clarifying questions. Here are some helpful points https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/how-to-talk-to-teens-about-the-new-coronavirus-2020031419192.
  3. It may be helpful to explore the theme of where is God in human suffering. Here is an article that might help you as a leader think through some of the theological concepts https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2020/march-web-only/coronavirus-evil-covid-19-disease-theology.html There are many good teaching resources that wrestle with this question , One example is a 3 part video series “Is God Good?” in the free NUA
  4. Invite your whole church community including young people to be praying regularly and specifically around global and local issues arising in relation to the pandemic. Here are two links to some prayer suggestions to get you started 24-7 Prayer, chvnradio, World Vision
    • Consider using some psalms of lament to help provide a pathway for healthy grieving for young people. Psalms 10, 46, 57, 86 or 61 could be helpful places to start here.
    • Consider practical ways your church can support people who are especially affected by the pandemic both globally and locally
    • Consider starting a fundraising campaign to support communities who are particularly affected overseas
    • Collect food and or funds to help those who have lost their jobs locally or have someone who has contracted the virus
    • Reach out to those in isolation who are not part of your church community
  5. Look out for signs and symptoms in our most vulnerable young people

For some people tragic events like this can trigger a very negative spiral of thinking which can lead to greater levels of depression, anxiety and even suicidality. The best thing we can do here is to create a space for young people to express how they are feeling and to be straight up with them if we have any concerns for their safety. Zeal has produced an excellent and simple resource to help guide you and parents through a conversation if there is any concern about a young person’s mental health post this event. https://zeal.nz/blog/supporting-each-other-through-13-reasons-why-a-youth-workers-perspective

For more information please go to the
COVID-19 Website
Ministry of Health Website
PCANZ communication
 

Online Ministry? Voke

As things progress with Covid-19, if it comes to the point we can no longer meet physically together. It’s good to think through how your group can gather online in different ways.

A couple years back I took a small group of 12 teenagers through the NUA material from SU. We watched the videos in a living room, ate food and had great faith conversations, it was so good. I think I paid $40 for the NUA material, but SU have got in contact with us, because the NUA material along with other resources is on a free app called VOKE.

In the app, young people can either go through the material on their own, with another person or it can be done as a whole group.

I think this is a great resource that could be very beneficial to youth ministries if they have to stop meeting together.

NUA

Apple: https://app.appsflyer.com/id1056168356?pid=VokeAppSite

Android: https://app.appsflyer.com/org.cru.voke?pid=VokeAppSite

Connect, national youth leaders Conference affected by COVID 19

As you will know, COvid-19 (coronavirus) is causing a great deal of uncertainly around many planned events this year.  

For PYM we have been wrestling with the safety concerns around running our Connect conference in June. We have engaged with other organisations running conferences, and we have seen some organisations opt to postpone their conferences and others continue to plan to meet if they are permitted to do so. 

We have decided to not run Connect as a physical gathering this year, but rather deliver a shorter, free online offering of youth ministry training instead. We will communicate more on this in due course. 

We believe that this year, there is an unnecessary health risk to Presbyterian communities in gathering people from every corner of our country and then for them to return home.  We are also aware that there is a reasonable risk that Connect could be required to be cancelled by the Ministry of Health with little notice right up to the event happening. Therefore, we are making this decision sooner rather than later, as we are aware many participants fly to Connect and we want to avoid unnecessary flight purchases.  

We know Connect is a highlight in the calendar for many youth workers, and so this has been a hard decision to make. We are deeply disappointed to not be able to meet for Connect this year. We are mindful this crisis will pass and while PYM will be delivering quality online training this year, we look forward to when we can again gather as a community of people who are passionate about youth ministry. 

Lent – Easter Reader

Easter Reader is designed to help individuals and churches reflect on the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

The readings start on 1st March and work their way up to Easter Monday on 13th April, spanning 6 weeks.

For many of us, Easter comes and goes so quickly we barely have time to stop and consider again the breath-taking wonder of what God has done for us through Jesus.

You can download the Bible2020 Easter Reader below.

Download Bible 2020 Easter Reader

The Easter reader invites us to slow down and enter the story of Jesus afresh. Each week of readings begin with a short reflection, which introduces the readings for the week.

The Easter reader (written by the Scottish Bible Society) suggests four simple, open questions, the first of which is, “What jumped out at you for the first time?” to help us hear God speak afresh through his Word.

The readings themselves cover three broad themes:

The Son – Meditating on how God reveals himself to humanity through Jesus, Jesus’ ministry of teaching, healing and exorcism, and the words Jesus uses to describe himself.

His Kingdom Comes – Proclaiming the truth that the Lord is king over all the earth, reading of God’s promise of a coming king, Christ’s declaration and explanation of the Kingdom, and culminating with a glimpse towards the day when the kingdom of the world becomes the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, when he will reign for ever and ever.

A Triumphant King – Journeying through the Easter story, exploring the reality and wonder of Jesus’ death and resurrection.