Youth are amazing leaders. During the ups and downs of 2020, teens and tweens from churches in Capitol Region Watershed District have been moving water knowledge to water action for their churches, communities, and neighborhoods!
Macalester Plymouth United Church, St. Anthony Park Lutheran, Christ on Capitol Hill, Galilee Lutheran, and participants from a variety of other congregations have been taking a unique approach to caring for water in 2020. In partnership with Growing Green Hearts and Capitol Region Watershed District, groups have been using Connect-the-Drops: Faith, Science and Youth Leadership curriculum by Heidi Ferris to engage in environmental STEM and watershed discipleship while hiking their neighborhoods, paddling Lake McCarrons, adopting storm drains, and connecting via Zoom.
Creation care with Connect-the-Drops: Faith, Science & Youth Leadership™ is FUN! Laughing, teamwork, vocation, Bible studies, ecology, and climate science all wade together in the subject of water. There’s even a youth-driven creation care service project component that taps into effective, playful strategies of environmental STEM.
“You’re not just learning here- you are leading.”
Since 2015, this programming has demonstrated adaptability in a variety of youth ministry situations: small & large churches, urban, suburban, rural, high school youth group, confirmation small groups, intergenerational teams. By understanding the common ground on which faith, science, and many church traditions stand…kids in the St. Paul area are working to make this world a more trustworthy place.
How does it work?
Rather than a curriculum, Connect-the-Drops: Faith, Science & Youth Leadership™ is an experience. It blends theology with climate science, community and environmental stewardship in 6 steps. Each middle school, high school level, or intergenerational church group moves through 6 steps (called drops) in 6 weeks to 6 months. Churches work the model to best fit their needs.
Together we work to break down the false dichotomy between faith and science while building upon youth ministry faith formation strategies. Clergy, mentors, and youth leaders attend a training event led by Growing Green Hearts to explore the process. As part of the program, an environmental educator visits the church for environmental STEM hands-on learning then groups work water and energy assessments at your church and receive green coaching and funding on a creation care project that students decide upon. Youth from around the watershed district gather two times a year for a Collaborate & Celebrate green event in which youth leadership stories party with sustainability experts, creation care music, cultural experiences, and a meal.
What does it look like? Here’s a video highlighting youth leaders and community partnerships over the past few years.
When can I try it?
Sign up is happening for 2021 right now! Contact GGH here. Cohort groups run twice a year (January- July and August- December) with up to five churches in each cohort group.