Starting a new job is always a great time for self reflection. All those memories of first days at work, or maybe in a new college or school, come flooding back as familiar feelings of trepidation and excitement emerge.

Two years ago, I found myself feeling all of the above as I arrived from the United Kingdom to St. Francis-in-the Wood, West Vancouver, to become the youth director.

Phil Colvin, new diocesan youth coordinator.

My experience as a youth worker had been formed during the previous couple of years, when after working with students at the University of Bristol, I spent a year working with youth in the USA, Brazil, Australia and India (as well as visiting a few other countries in between!)


Employment at St. Francis was to be my first time working in a parish, and so I was looking forward to having the opportunity to share those feelings and ideas with others in my position elsewhere in the Diocese. However, as time went on it became clear that those opportunities just weren't there. That was pretty much what started me on the road which led me to where I am today.

Going out by myself I discovered some of the other youth ministries of the Diocese, including Camp Artaban where I spent this last summer working as the youth pastor. I met other youth and youth leaders with similar stories, all yearning for deeper and richer experiences of faith and church community than they had experienced working and worshipping in isolation.

And through those leaders I connected with what became last year the Diocesan Youth Movement-a group with a vision for a Diocesan youth ministry which extended far beyond individual parish walls.

Helping to bring that vision to life is a big part of what I'll be doing this year, both finding ways of connecting individual ministries, and using those shared experiences to, in turn, strengthen the individual ministries.

What interests me is working with and ministering to young people, pure and simple. And I believe any parish is very capable of operating youth ministry. That ministry may look very different from church to church. It may encompass dedicated youth groups and events inside and outside of the parish walls. Or it may be focused on the spiritual development of a few individuals within the church family.

From equipping leaders with appropriate resources, to those leaders with others in similar situations, I'm looking forward to helping support parishes as they discover and grow youth ministry throughout the Diocese.

I'm looking forward to sharing some of my own interests; movies, creative writing, skiing and (of course) exploring far flung places. But, especially, I'm looking forward to meeting those in the same position I was in two years ago by being able to offer new leaders and volunteers to our Diocese a multitude of resources. And to introducing our youth the rich and varied ministry opportunities they can connect with throughout New Westminster.