Teens connect scripture, climate, teens, and problem-solving strategies? YES they are! Connect-the-Dots: Faith, Science & Youth Leadership™ from Growing Green Hearts is a more than a curriculum- it’s an experience for kids growing up in the reality of climate change. This program creatively blends solid theology with climate science, community, leadership and environmental stewardship.
How does it work? Each youth group or confirmation program moves through the 6 steps of Connect-the-Dots™ with mentors from their faith community and a coach from Growing Green Hearts. The steps teach creation care, earth’s systems, vocation, and climate change. With the coaching from Growing Green Hearts and site leaders, kids gain leadership skills and experience culminating in an environmental stewardship project for their church. They plan it, build it, polish it. Participants are using the engineering design process to find a “green” need for their church and community, research it, match up their strengths to then create a solution. Churches have demonstrated how Connect-the-Dots™ brings a powerful experience and is adaptable to a variety of youth ministry situations: small & large churches, urban & suburban, high school & confirmation, intergenerational & traditional programming. CtD uses best practices in STEM, differentiation of instruction, and strengths. It works to break down the false dichotomy between faith and science.
Imagine! How does Jesus’ love and forgiveness call us to care for our neighbors near and far by nurturing creation and wasting less? How will youth from your congregation want to incorporate creation care into worship? Which youth from your church community coudl research and share ideas about carpooling, rain gardens, or health issues connected to climate change? How do the cost benefits and environmental stewardship messages around energy conservation fit into your church culture?
“You’re not just learning here- you’re leading” Students are guided in leadership skills such as meeting the criteria, constraints, timelines, and budget. The participants must also understand vocation, teamwork, church policy and procedures. Teens from church youth groups and confirmation programs are collecting and sharing their stories of Connect-the-Dots: Faith, Science & Youth Leadership™ green projects with photos, video, and social media. It is these very stories that are motivating churches and community groups in energy conservation, care for natural resources, and waste reduction.
Interested in learning more about Connect-the-Dots: Faith, Science & Youth Leadership™? Check out the EcoFaith Network MPLS and Growing Green Hearts on facebook. Follow stories from congregations and youth leaders on Twitter with #EFNyouthlead #EFNaction #GGHconnect.