Interview with Emily D’Silva – Youth Pastor
What are your main aims in your new role as Youth Pastor?
To develop Youth Ministry through such activities as the Upper Room and the Youth Group, and to encourage young people not to drift away from the church. There is plenty going on for younger children, but less for those aged 11 and over.
What works well at present and where are the gaps in provision?
The Upper Room is much enjoyed and usually well attended. Historically The Youth Group has met monthly, so little continuity was possible. Our plan to meet weekly should help enormously. “The Selfish Giant” Musical Theatre Holiday Club was a great success, and I was glad to be able to do something similar in February 2015.
How do you intend to achieve your aims?
There are plenty of resources available out there, so there is no need to reinvent the wheel. For example, Mary (Hawes) has an excellent web-site called “Going for Growth”. Often young people‟s Bible knowledge is good, but it is a question of fitting it into a modern context, meaningful for them. It is important to use modern technology and media they understand and connect to.
What help do you need?
The greatest need is for more volunteers with the Youth Group; it does not have to be only parents who are involved, many other parishioners will have wonderful skills with young people. Youth Group isn‟t about teaching young people, but rather, getting to know them. For the Upper Room we need people who are prepared to teach – we have a fantastic team who would warmly welcome another helper or two to join their ranks. For those who feel unable to help, we would really appreciate your prayers, as we work to foster faith and friendship with the young people of our parish.
What will you bring from your previous role at SMWSA to this one?
A good working knowledge of the church and parish, and useful links with the Scouts, Guides and Youth Pastors in some neighbouring churches.
What problems do you envisage?
Not enough time, as I have to combine this role with my other commitments, and a lack of volunteers to support the ventures mentioned. It will also be a challenge to raise the visibility of this age group within the church community.
I am very excited about the potential this new role holds. I have no doubt it will be a challenge, and probably frustrating at times, but the reward of working with the wonderful young people of the parish and helping them to feel more welcomed and at home, will be a great motivator.
As told to Sue Stevens