The Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana lives into our Baptismal Covenant by welcoming, inviting, and including children (0-12) and youth (12-18) in our churches and schools as integral members and leaders within the Body of Christ. We equip and empower our young people to discern and discover the unique spiritual gifts that God has given them and we commit to walk with them as they discover how they can use their gifts to grow into the full stature of Christ and serve their churches, schools, communities, and beyond. We support and nurture their eagerness to hear how God is calling them and we believe we are called to serve as guides as they explore and articulate their faith as Christians and Episcopalians.
After engaging in a long process of listening, reflection, and visioning with youth, parents, and clergy throughout the diocese, these NEW endeavors will replace the quarterly diocesan youth events of the recent past.
As we grow and expand our diocesan youth ministry in Louisiana, we thank you for your prayers, presence and continued support. There are multiple ways to be involved, such as the Youth Forum for grades 8-12, serving as a chaplain for the Youth Forum, the Parent Connection Calls, as well as the Diocesan Youth Leadership Committee (DYLC).
More Information and Questions:
To learn more about any of our programs contact:
The Rev. Jane-Allison Wiggin
Diocesan Youth Coordinator
This is a NEW group of 8th-12th graders representing our churches and schools from across the diocese. There is no limit to the number of youth who can join this initial cohort. These youth already show or would benefit from developing: spiritual practices, servant leadership, and meaningful service project/pilgrimage planning, i.e., the “Mountaintop” experience. They are individuals who are known to be a person of prayer, welcoming of diverse backgrounds, and can engage in civil discussions. Meetings will be monthly via Zoom with some in-person gathering opportunities as well as an in-person planning retreat. Terms will follow the academic calendar, with the first year beginning in early 2024 and running through spring 2025 for the inaugural group. Youth will benefit from mentorship from the DYLC and mentors in their deanery.
Mentors For Youth Forum
We are seeking up to six additional members of the clergy (deacon or priest, active or retired) not already serving on the DYLC in 2024. A mentor for the youth forum should possess the temperament of a chaplain, prayerfully and relationally supporting youth in their faith journey. Mentors will be a cheerleader to promote local, deanery, and diocesan offerings for youth. For those serving in schools, convene lunches or other meetings during school hours. Parish priests, meet with youth during youth group or other gatherings. Mentors attend Youth Forum online and/or in-person meetings, generally 1-3 hours per month, to pray, connect, and brainstorm. As the Youth Forum plans and prepares for the first Mountaintop, mentors may be asked to chaperone or be a part of a local, domestic, or international diocesan youth pilgrimage or event. All clergy must be up to date with all training to work with youth.
Parent Connection Calls
Will begin in late 2023. These monthly online calls and occasional in person gatherings via deaneries are open to parents with children in Episcopal schools or connected to an Episcopal church. These will be engaging, lighthearted opportunities to connect with other parents, to share ideas for diocesan youth ministry and how best to support parents. This is not a committee membership. DYLC membership is open for parents who are interested in a higher level of involvement and commitment.
Diocesan Youth Leadership Commission (DYLC)
This committee will continue the work it has started, pivoting from quarterly events at the conference center to discipling youth involved in the Youth Forum. There are openings for up to 6 new lay members in the 2023-2024 year. Generally members serve for a two year academic term. Members uphold the diocesan youth ministry in prayer, serve as the eyes, ears, and enthusiastic voice that advocates for the EDOLA youth ministry vision, assisting in the annual recruitment, training, and celebration of event leaders/volunteers, creating plans to achieve three-year goals and one-year benchmarks for the youth ministry (Strategic Plan), conduct communication contacts to assigned congregations around diocese to help promote and intentionally engage youth from across the diocese. Members provide support for the youth ministry in at least one hands-on volunteer role annually, are up to date on all required trainings to work with youth, and welcome and affirm the diversity of youth involved in diocesan offerings. Members attend committee meetings and sub-committee meetings online and in person, generally 1-3 hours per month via zoom with an annual in-person planning Summit. They are all an active part of an Episcopal church or school community.
Adult Members and the deaneries they reach out to
- Diocesan Youth Coordinator: The Rev. Jane–Allison Wiggin (Jefferson)
- Darryl Durham (New Orleans Uptown & Downtown)
- The Rev. Liz Embler-Beazley (Northshore)
- The Rev. Gina Jenkins (Southwest)
- Meghan Scarlato (Northshore)
- The Rev. Peter Wong (Baton Rouge)
Upcoming Youth Events
Parent Connection Calls will begin in late 2023.
The Youth Forum will begin meeting in 2024 to plan the first Mountaintop of 2024. While there are no diocesan youth events for the Fall of 2023, please reach out to your deanery for deanery youth events in your area.
Stay tuned for information for the first Meet Me At The Mountaintop of 2024!