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I endeavor, in the near future to run for both my local and indianapolis area YPD presidency. I have sat a year out, sort of as a young advisor, but really to see what kind of shape the indianapolis are YPD is in. I see that it is not in the best of shape because there are hardly any meetings, there is minimal participation in the meetings, and nothing is ever decided upon AND acted upon. I believe the main reason is the fact that our Advisors are tired of dealing with the children and it is the same with the children. They are almost all in the YPD, choir, and Youth Lay Organization, which is not being ran separately, but as YPD and YLO in one. I want to put the fun back into YPD where we have workshops and meetings and where the children look forward to the meetings. I have a few ready ideas, such as guest speaker, college tours, etc., but I would love to have A LOT of suggestions. Please. I dont' want the indiana conference or the indianapolis area or even the Allen Chapel, Indianapolis YPD to fade away. Please send suggestions as to what I can do to make this more interesting. thank You and God Bless

-- Anonymous, June 09, 2003


Hello Cory:

I am sorry to hear that your YPD/YLO is facing so many challenges at this time. It really is a challenge to rekindle fires that have seemingly burned themselves out- especially among the youth in the Church. I commend your willingness to turn things around despite the circumstances. I am not involved in the YPD, but I am very involved in the Lay Organization. Being a former Director of Youth Lay Activities for the Michigan Conference, I understand many of the challenges that you face. However, I don't think that you should knock the fact that the YPD and the YLO have combined their forces to encourage youth to be active in their church. If it brings the youth together to some capacity, don't knock it! The Lay Organization is a good place for young people to learn about their Church, as the Lay Organization emphasis is on the total Church. This includes missionary emphasis, political interests, as well as bible study and spiritual interests. Remember, those who aren't of the clergy are laypersons. So teaching young people about their role in the church as a layperson is very important and will help to retain youth instead of entertain youth until they are 18. As our 4th District Lay President often says, "an informed layperson is an effective churchperson." The AME Church needs effective youth as churchpersons! So I don't believe that you should breakup the aliance among the young people that you currently have. The YPD is a strong entity that involves many young people. I think that you can do a better service for the young people by keeping the two groups together at this challenging point. Have you considered creating a survey to see what the needs and interests of the young people, young adults and supporting adults are in your conference? Are you planning to attend the Missionary Quadrenial in Dallas or the Lay Biennial in New Orleans? That would be an excellent place to network with youth and youth leaders to find out about how to restart a grass roots effort that will excite many people. Both of those meetings are international conventions so there are many folks who might be able to help you and lead you in the right direction. And check out some websites of churches and YPDs. See what they are doing and then contact the leaders of those efforts for ideas. I don't know if this will work, but it is a start. And pray for the negative spirit of defeat to leave the young people and their supporters. Good luck to you and keep me posted.

-- Anonymous, June 10, 2003

Ms. Terry

I understand fully what you are saying. I guess that I never looked too optimistically about the balance that is forged with an alliance between the YLO and the YPD. What you said helps me to thinks from both point of views on particular subjects, missions, etc. I will try to come up with a way to teach the children about their role in the A.M.E.C "churchpersons" as well as YPDers and YLO members. but , just so that we are on the same page can you tell me what you mean by church persons.

-- Anonymous, June 11, 2003

Hello again Cory:

I first want to start by apologizing for being so familiar in using your first name instead of your last name. I know people of both genders with the name Cory. I didn't want to offend you by making an assumption about your gender. I hope and pray that you have not taken offense thus far.

To answer your question- churchpersons are those people in the AME Church who are knowledgeable about their Church. Unfortunately, there are many (uninformed) lay people who sit in a pew and kinda go with the flow Sunday after Sunday never really understanding why we practice certain rituals and traditions. (The extreme of this are lay people who have never seen or read the AME Discipline or don't even know the Apostles Creed or the Missionary benediction after so many years of being an AME.) There are many people who don't truly understand how our Church is a connectional church- that the so and so AME Churches we attend at the local level are a part of something much larger. Youth tend to have a narrow view of the AME Church. Young people (especially young adults), think that the AME Church is only Sunday service, Church School, Wednesday night Bible Study, Interest meetings (like singles ministries, etc.), Choir practice and/ -or YPD meetings (for those who participate). They don't attend church conferences, quarterly conferences, annual conferences, conventions, etc. So they'll be active in their Church with no voice for policy and/ - or change. Some youth as well as adults don't truly understand how the Church functions politically, administratively, traditionally as well as spiritually. The AME Church is much bigger than just the YPD or the Lay Organization. There are so many facets that it's amazing. To have an understanding of many the dynamics and goings on of the AME Church is to be an informed layperson and an effective churchperson. Richard Allen, Absolom Jones and their supporters didn't just throw a Church together. What they created was ingenious. The Church of Allen will become more effective if more of us were effective laypersons and churchpersons. Especially It's young people. I am still learning about the AME Church. It really is a wonderful experience (despite its faux pas). It becomes more and more wonderful as I grow older. I hope that my response has been helpful. Let me know.

-- Anonymous, June 11, 2003

Greetings. Just a clarification/technicality. You mention Absolom Jones as one who didn't just throw together a church. While it is true that the Rev. Mr. Jones was a leader in the walkout from St. George's Methodist Episcopal Church, he was never an AME. He chose to follow the route of the Anglican/Episcopal church and became its first black clergyman in the USA.

-- Anonymous, June 12, 2003

Hello Mr. Clark:

Thank you for your comments to clarify my commentary regarding Absolom Jones. You are correct, he wasn't an AME. I hope that my comments weren't misleading. I made an assumption when making that comment that people understood the relationship between Bishop Allen and Mr. Jones to be a collaborative effort that resulted in the formation of what would later become the AME Church. My apologies. Kudos to you for taking notice of my oversight. I love a good discourse. This is the beauty of the message board- to learn and relearn from others. Take care!

-- Anonymous, June 12, 2003

Ms. Terry

I was not at all offended by you using my first name, in fact I prefer that over my last, but thank you for your courtesy. Secondly, I thank you for clarifying what it means to be a church person and now that you mention it, there are alot of people in my church that are not informed of the way that certain things are supposed to go. they belive that anything they decide is "alright." The Bible tells us to train a child in the way he should go and when he is older, he will not depart from it, so I am going to try to start with the children to teach them the ways of the A.M.E.C and try to get them to understand their role in the church. I also would like to have at least one or two members of the Minsterial staff to help outin ways like have them speak to the children about the A.M.E. Church, it's history, it's endeavors for the future, and how the children can help the church move forward. This is a start (for Ministerial involvement), but i think I need more from them. I also need to come up with a way to have parents doing more than just dropping their children off and leaving, but becoming involved as supporters.

-- Anonymous, June 12, 2003

Absalom Jones was at first a member of Mother Bethel Church, thus technically making him first an A.M.E. Around 1893, when the Episcopal/Anglican Church was being establish in the USA., they offered Allen and his congregation and opportunity to join. They also wanted Allen to be the leader of this African group. Allen refused and remained Methodist. Jones accepted and eventually became the first African priest in what is now the Episcopal Church. His congregation still exists and is know as Saint Thomas Episcopal Church, but initially both Jones and his original congregation were members of Mother Bethel Church.

You will also note that even though they were preaching the Gospel and circuit riding in their early years, neither Allen nor Jones were among the ordained clergy at the time the members of Bethel(A.M.E) left Saint George's in 1787. Allen was not ordained Deacon until 12 years later in 1899. Jones was ordained Deacon in 1795. So it was not the ordained clergy who founded the A.M.E. Church (not a Bishop, an Elder, nor a Deacon) but two LAY Preachers named Allen and Jones.

-- Anonymous, June 12, 2003

Please forgive my being forward, but I don't want this thread to become a big discussion about clarifying one or two words within a larger context of a conversation. I would like to believe that everyone can have a conversation without having to qualify everything that they say. I would also like to believe that we are here to have a healthy discourse, not to police what people say and then if they make a minor oversight totally leave the subject of conversation to go on off on tangents. I think we all get too much of that in a church meeting. I do thank both persons who have been so kind as to correct and contribute information due to one comment of mine in a series of comments made by me. Let us not turn Cory's dilemma about what to do to rekindle the fire of the Indianapolis YPD/YLO into a conversation about if Absolom Jones was or was not an AME or if Richard Allen started the AME Church when he was a layperson or a bishop. That is not the issue at hand or the subject of this thread. I would enjoy a learning session about the AME Church and it's beginnings concerning Absolom Jones. How about if someone start a thread on the subject or maybe that can be a future topic for the AME Herald group discussion. But I really don't think that it is fair to go off on this tangent and leave Cory sitting behind on a backburner with no help to get ahead. Let's get back to the issue. What suggestions can we give to Cory to help the Indianapolis YPD/YLO get back on its feet running the race for the Lord?

-- Anonymous, June 12, 2003

Dear Sis. Terry, I consider many on this board to be my mentors. For I have only been A.M.E. for two years. They have taught me the ways of the church, corrected me when I made mistakes and I have grown spiritually because of the vast knowledge on this board. The responses that are made on this board are read by many people. Not just the person who posted the initial response. And I have found it helpful to have correct information. Robert Matthews III is one of the most knowledgeable people on the board. He is also PR director of the sixth district Lay organization and 4th generation A.M.E. He cares deeply about the youth of our denomination. By giving brother Holland correct and accurate information that helps his YPD organization. One of the points I gathered from reading Bro. Matthews post was that he was stressing the power of laity and thus building upon your point about the importance of working with the Lay organization. Bro. Holland is to be commended for reaching out and asking for help. I would also suggest that he write bro. Matthews privately for Bro. Matthews has experience with a strong YPD. and sister Terry thank you for responding to Bro. Holland. You were the first one to do so. I enjoy your posts and I hope you will continue to post. Retaining our youth and young adults has to be made a priority in our church. And there are many of us that truly believe that. I am one of them as is Robert Matthews III.

-- Anonymous, June 12, 2003

I hardly think it is the intent of anyone in a free and open forum such as this to police, dispute or confuse. The point is that we cannot fully know where we are going until we first know where we have been.

It has often been said that the black man has been so busy making history he has forgotten to write it down; so that those who follow might profit by it. We see this truth being evident today in many of our churches where both members of the clergy and the lay have no inkling of what we are about or in what direction we should go.

One correction to the previous post I made is that all dates which I listed as 1800 should be 1700 instead. That is to say 1793, and 1799 rather than 1893 or 1899.

When we know the foundation upon which we are building, we then know that what we are building has and will stand the test of time.

Since the YPD are Lay it should be quite encouraging, indeed, to know that it was Laypersons who founded the great church we now enjoy. Thus, the Lay have a major input in who we shall yet become. Anything less than this is tantamount to building on sinking sand.

-- Anonymous, June 12, 2003

I hope that my comments weren't read as being defensive or offensive. I am not too big for correction or for reprimand and I appreciate those who corrected my oversight. My only concern in my comments was that in our attempt to learn and teach that we do not get away from the youth piece in this particular thread that I thought was being left behind. I am glad to hear that there are many who support youth activities in the AME Church. That is very encouraging for young adults such as myself. I look forward to many more exciting conversations. To all who have contributed thus far, thanks! I've learned a lot myself. I hope Cory (and others) have learned a lot too from our discussion and that Cory can get the neccessary assistance for the future.

-- Anonymous, June 12, 2003

Ms. Terry, Rev. Rogers., and Bro. Matthews

I just returned home from work and I have just read the dialogue between you three and I must say that I am deeply apprectiative. Ms. Terry I would like to especially extent my thanks to you because, like Rev. Rogers stated, you where the first to respond and you have helped me along a great deal. Rev. Rogers, I know by what you are doing now, that I have a lot that I can learn from you about how to be so new yet make such a large impact on the A.M.E.C in that you have only been A.M.E. for two years. Bro. Matthews, I see that you indeed are knowlegable about the A.M.E. church and I want ALL of that knowledge. My email address is c.holland@rxpost.com. I will be getting in touch with you peronally, Rev. Rogers, and Ms. Terry, I will be personally emailing you two as well. I know God has provided me with three dynamic aids as an answer to my prayer of support and foundation. Thank You three again and God Bless You collectively and individually. Please pray for my strength, determination, and perseverance.

-- Anonymous, June 12, 2003

Sister Terry and Bro. Holland, you both are also my mentors! My daughter licentiate Danielle is 26 and she returned home several years ago to co-found our church. There would not be a st. paul community a.m.E. church without Danielle. She is also co-editor of the Herald. We have got to keep our youth and young adults and let them be leaders in the church or our church will die. The issue that brother Holland raises is so important for it needs to be addressed in all of our districts. Let us keep brain storming, because God has his hand on all of this. I love you all dearly. Please call me Denise;-)

-- Anonymous, June 12, 2003

Alright Denise

You all can just call me Cory ( I prefer that over holland). I have printed our entire dialogue and I am sitting down with my bible and my discipline tomorrow as I head to the Sunday School Convention. Please feel free to continue with ideas as we can never have too many, but I am going to begin praying about this and I hope you all pray with me and for me. God Bless you all

-- Anonymous, June 13, 2003

Hi Cory, I am a former member of the Indiana Conference Indianapolis Area now in the Michigan COnference West Detroit Area. My suggestion for revitalizing the Indianapolis Area is have more social/ getting to know the YPD'ers better outings. At Bethel, Indianapolis, we tried to have a least one YPD outing a month to visit with other YPD'ers in the Conference. During Annual Conference we would invite other Conferences to our YPD night. I think the YPD'ers there still do that. However, It's my experince that inviting others always helps.even if they don't show up, the invitation was put out there. -- Bekah B.

-- Anonymous, June 27, 2003

Hi, and greetings from North Carolina! I'd rather keep my city and church anoymous (everyone in cyberspace aren't good God-fearing A.M.E.'s like us! :) ) I am currently an advisor to the YPD. We had the EXACT same problem at my church. I am going to tell you EXACTLY what we have done to REALLY boost membership this year, (from about 25 or so members last year to about 50 members now) so I apologize in advance for the length of this post. If you, or anybody else wants to contact me, you can hit me up at oldschoolypd@hotmail.com.

Here's the low-down: The current YPD director was BURNT OUT, suffering from health problems and tired of dealing with the kids. Plus, the kids had lost interest. I came back to the area and started assisting with the YPD mid-year last year, and I was saddened to see the condition of things. The YPD was SO MUCH fun when I was a part of it, and I was upset to see them not doing much. Plus, the meetings seemed kind of pointless and boring. There was little community service going on, and the director's illness and burnt-out status sort of contributed to her not giving out information in a timely manner for events (for example: we'd call kids on Thursday to tell them about an area meeting that upcoming Saturday). It was AWFUL. You couldn't PAY any older kids to attend a meeting, and the little kids (13 and under) went because their parents forced them.

I officially graduated from YPD at the past Quadrennial, and now I am an OFFICIAL advisor. I KNEW we were in crisis, so I came up with a plan to revitalize the group. At the SAME TIME, God spoke to two other people and gave them ideas to revitalize the group, too. So this year there are THREE new advisors, each serving in a different capacity, but working to uplift the group.

Here was my plan: My job is in public relations, so I knew we had to do some P.R. work to build up buzz and hype about YPD. We had to get people talking! It all started with the first meeting of the year. Instead of announcing, "We're having our first meeting of the year, come attend" like we usually do, I decided we had to spend some money and hype it up. We all agreed to call it a "YPD Kickoff Party". I made a ton of flyers in COLOR, and advertised HEAVILY. On the flyers, one of the MAIN things I advertised was the PRIZES we were giving away (somtimes it comes down to plain-old BRIBERY). *NO* "Dollar Tree" prizes: We gave away a DVD player, and TEN $10 gift cards to Toys R Us, Claire's (girls LOVE Claire's), and Blockbuster. On the day of the meeting, the pastor also TALKED about the kickoff party and the prizes from the pulpit. I put up a ton of green and white balloons that day, and made signs that said "YPD Kickoff party" with an arrow pointing towards the room, and put a balloon on each sign. I also decorated the room with balloons. The DVD player was a door prize--we handed out tickets and drew a name. For the gift cards, I wrote an essay about YPD history (when it started, what year, the colors and what they mean, the Area, Conference, and Episcopal Distrit we're in, etc.) and at the end of the meeting we quizzed the kids on the history. You should have SEEN that first meeting! It was PACKED! I think there were even several people who didn't even attend the church at the meeting. I made sure we got names, numbers and e-mail addresses of EVERYONE at that meeting (and now I make sure I call, e-mail, and pester EVERYONE who attended that first meeting when we have activities coming up). After the meeting, everyone was hyped up. Some of the kids who were members of the church had never even HEARD of YPD! We HAD to keep the momentum going, and let people know that this group is on the move. I made sure there was a community service project planned with in TWO WEEKS--you've GOT to keep the energy up! We quickly adopted a highway (trash pickup--they put up a sign with the name of your organization, too). We also followed up with a visit to an area orphanage (we will donate school supplies). Parents and kids need to see the group in action. Me and the other advisors planned out a JAM PACKED schedule for the next three weeks--and when I say jam-packed I mean almost EVERY weekend there is a YPD activity. It's a LOT of work- -it is NOT easy. As far as other advisors talking but not acting, YOU must become the "action person", and the others will follow suit. Ask permission to plan stuff, follow through, call the kids parent's and just GO FOR IT.

Another thing that helps--take TONS of pictures, and put up a bulletin board at church. Let people SEE visual images of community service, fun activities, etc.

The day of each YPD meeting, I put up color signs that say, "YPD Meeting Today", put it in the church announcements. That way, if people forget, there's a big sign right there in their face to remind them.

This is already long enough, but there's actually a little more--I haven't even touched on the different way we run out meetings this year, and how we are dealing with the YPD officers this year. We're giving them MORE responsibility, and holding them accountable (if they don't perform, they WILL be replaced. Last year a girl "forgot" she was vice-president--but she didn't "forget" to put it on the scholarship info she sent out). E-mail me, or maybe I'll post here again later.



-- Anonymous, September 29, 2003

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