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Youth Engagement in the Mennonite Church

Centre for Community Based Research (CCBR) is collaborating with Mennonite Church Eastern Canada (MCEC) to explore how best MCEC can be a resource to its congregations and pastors regarding engaging youth in faith formation. Over the past five years MCEC leadership has heard many voices asking for resources for youth and young adults. The pandemic amplified the faults in how congregations do faith formation with children and families—the old Sunday School model was not working well pre-pandemic and is all but dead now. There is some experimentation happening in congregations, including among MCEC’s newcomer congregations who seem to have more engaged youth. A theme that seems to be coming out across the denomination is the need for intergenerational faith formation as the way of the future.

This community-based research project explores the current need of congregants and the current solutions for engaging youth. The methods of data collection include a literature review, an online discussion board, Photovoice with youth, and focus groups with pastors and youth leaders. The research supports MCEC to develop strategies for how they can best direct its limited resources in resourcing congregations and pastors in the faith formation of youth.

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