Welcome! We’re so pleased that you’ve chosen to check out “622.”
Taking a few moments to read these brief introductory notes will provide you with an overview of what we hope to accomplish with the series and how you can get the most out of it for your group.
WHY IS THE PRAYER BOOK SOCIETY OF CANADA COMING OUT WITH A NEW CURRICULUM FOR TEENS?
Solid Christian education resources for teens are crucial to the future of the Church. In the face of a world of declining belief in God, biblical literacy, and church attendance, the answer is not to abandon a rich heritage and sound theology. The past few decades have demonstrated this powerfully, but left us with a growing gap between the culture of the Church and the minds of those we seek to engage.
Offering excellence in Christian education for teens must be among the highest priorities for churches looking towards the future with faith and hope. Church leaders have recognized for years that solid youth programming is a key component to growing parishes. The quest for something of value for their kids is one of the top reasons why families switch churches. Moreover, the formation and nurture of disciples is one of the fundamental functions of the Church—and youth ministry is a ripe mission field for this work. It has never been more clear that the Church needs to find effective ways to engage the young in the tradition, facilitating the spiritual formation of a new generation of believers!
The market is saturated with material that misses the mark, failing either to offer more than platitudes or go beyond contentious issues of the day. The amazing richness of the Anglican tradition provides a great opportunity to offer timeless, relevant resources that can guide teens into a lifelong practice of meaningful private and corporate devotion.
WHAT IS 622 ALL ABOUT IN A NUTSHELL?
622 is easy to access (downloadable for free – please see links at the top of this page), is highly adaptable, and it’s intended for any parish seeking to both engage and educate with their programming for youth. 622 responds to this challenge (opportunity!) with a curriculum geared towards teens aged 12-16, designed to run the length of one school year in 42 lessons.
WHY IS IT CALLED 622?
622 is the page number of the BCP on which the Order of Service for Young People begins. The PBSC’s new study series revives the use of the 622 service.
The study series aims to facilitate an experience of God—grounded in scripture and tradition—to help youth understand their relationship to God, discovering who they truly are in the process, while at the same time equipping them with the tools they will need to answer the questions posed by life, culture and critics of the faith.
Each lesson uses a blend of group activity, study and discussion (with additional “at-home challenge” assignments for individual work during the week) in order to explore the transformative relationship that lies at the heart of who we are.
HOW CAN MY GROUP GET THE MOST OUT OF 622?
EVERY GROUP IS UNIQUE
Churches and group leaders are invited to use this resource in whatever way makes the most sense for them: feel free to cut and paste. Not enough time to include the ice breaker? Drop it! Your students are already accustomed to saying morning prayer together when you meet? Swap that out with the 622 service! This resource is meant to be adapted to the needs of your group: use whatever parts you need when you need them.
ENGAGEMENT PLUS LEARNING
We’d like to see two things happen. We’d like to see your youth engage: have fun and want to come, share and just thrive in the context of your group. But we also want to see them learn solid content. 622 seeks to strike a balance. If you find that your group is more responsive without the handouts then feel free to set them aside and walk them through the lesson using Bibles and the BCP. The handout is there to make life easier, not to get in the way! The same is true for the leader’s notes, and we have a few more tips on using those in the next section.
BEST RESULTS FOR THE LEADER
Leading a group involves a significant commitment of time and energy. We want to make it a bit easier. The following are a few general tips for leaders:
Review the leader’s notes ahead of time. When you open up the first lesson, you’ll see that we have erred on the site of lots and lots of notes for leaders. These are there to help equip you to guide discussion, not to intimidate you or to be referenced exhaustively. For most leaders, the best route is to set aside some time beforehand to read through the notes, highlighting the things that you want to make sure you touch on or that you may need to refer to during the lesson. Feel free to cross off or disregard things that are not relevant to your group. Pay particular attention to the “worth pointing out” sections in the discussion areas. The idea is to review in broad strokes. Don’t feel you have to memorize anything!
Remember that authentic engagement is key. Try to facilitate discussion in a manner that makes your teens feel confident in sharing their thoughts and participating in discussion, even if/when they are wrong. Getting them to open up and exchange ideas will create teachable moments. If some topics remind you of a personal anecdote that you can share: great! Real learning happens best in an environment where personal connection thrives. If the teens raise theological or biblical questions that you don’t feel confident answering, say so, but let them know that you’ll find the answer and respond at the next meeting. They will respect you for being honest with them, and appreciate your taking their questions seriously enough to do some digging.
Adapt and improvise with the “at-home challenge”. As your group begins to share and grow, the specific concerns and struggles that characterize your youth will come to the forefront. One way to adapt 622 to these needs is to modify this section to incorporate prayers around these issues. For example, perhaps you notice that self-esteem issues are really front-and-centre for your girls. Invite them to come up with their own “at-home challenge” for reflection and prayer that points them back to how precious they are to God.
LET US KNOW HOW IT’S GOING!
We’d love to hear from you on what is working well and what can be improved in future projects. And in the meantime, we’ll be praying for you!
Almighty God, who hast committed to thy holy Church the care and nurture of thy children: Enlighten with thy wisdom those who teach and those who learn, that, rejoicing in the knowledge of thy truth, they may worship thee and serve thee all the days of their life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. BCP p. 47
Developed for the Prayer Book Society of Canada by Kerry Dickson (kerrydickson.net); edited by Diana Verseghy.