Helping Young Adults and College Students Stay Connected
Taking a step of independence, being on their own, going off to college and away from home is a monumental moment for so many young adults. The list of changes is enormouse and list of options is even greater. This can be exciting and stressful for young people all at the same time.
Coming of age and getting to make all your own decisions is part of what young people crave. Others have made their life decision for them: where the live, eat, learn, believe and how they survived. Now they get to make so many of those decisions on their own.
We forget sometimes the important roles mentors, youth leaders, pastors, Sunday school teachers and church support systems continue to play in their lives. Having played a part in revealing faith and giving examples of living out faith, what is the next step for these mentors while their important young adults learn to be on their own?
Research reveals that a local church maintaining connection with their young people in college or when they are just starting out is one of the most crucial pieces in helping them to continue their faith journey through these exploring years. When they know there is a community who loves them, cares about them and is there for them, they realize that the examples modeled by their mentors continues even when not physically present. Ongoing connection with them communicates that the baptismal vows they took on that sacred day or who others took on their behalf continues to be lived out and were not temporary.
What are some ways you can stay connected with young adults beginning a new chapter after high school? Send them a card, text message, email - send a care package before finals, for their birthday or "just because." For other great ideas, read this article.
If they are going to college, connecting them to a UMC Campus Ministry is also significant. Below are some campus ministries in our conference. For help finding a connection at a university not listed, reach out to Rev. Becky Motter, Executive Director of the Wesley Foundation in Cincinnati.
Bowling Green State University - Rev. Andrea Curry: revandreacurry [at] gmail.com / 419.353.9031
Heidelberg University - Rev. Paul Stark: pstark [at] heidelberg.edu / 419.448.2066
Ohio Northern Univeristy - Rev. David MacDonald: d-macdonald [at] onu.edu
The Ohio State Univeristy, Kinship Campus Ministry - Gwendalyn DeRosa: gwendolyn.derosa [at] gmail.com
University of Cincinnati, Wesley Foundation - directory [at] wesleyuc.org (Rev. Becky Schofield Motter) / 513.861.2929