In case you missed it Year 12 have just said goodbye to their school and their school mates this week. Now they ramp up to get ready for their exams.
For each young person this is different, for some exciting and hopeful, for some worrisome and lonely. No matter what perspective they come from it can’t help to be a big deal, they feel like these exams will decide the rest of their life. For our young people this is one of the times they need to feel that love in real and tangible ways.
Far from being old and redundant, this is an important time for Church members and communities to come together to support young people at this pivotal time in their lives. Having adults other than parents or guardians interested and invested builds resilience in young people and strengthens their connection to God’s community.
The Pulse Team have put together 7 ways to support HSC Students:
1. HSC Care Parcels
This is just a gift bag of things to encourage and support students. You can do little quirky sayings about the gifts and what they mean. There are heaps of ideas online, but you can see the pack that Quakers Hill Uniting put together.
2. Prayer Service
A prayer service could be as part of your regular Sunday service, a special service with a meal. Turramurra do a prayer breakfast for their young people where the Church comes together with them to pray for them.
3. Prayer habits
Create a prayer habit for your congregation for the time of the HSC, when everyone brushes their teeth, or put their shoes on they take time to pray.
4. Write a word of encouragement
We have lost the art of an encouraging note, why not commit to sending a card or a letter, an email or a Facebook or Instagram message or snap into snapchat. If you don’t know what any of these mean stick to the paper!
5. Sponsor someone to go to an HSC Lockin!
Roseville Uniting is running an HSC Lockin, maybe you could sponsor someone to go, or offer to drive them. Visit their website for more information.
6. Create a prayer Calendar
Auburn and Leigh Fijian Congregations create a prayer calendar, they find out the dates their young people are sitting exams so they can be actively praying on those days.
7. Take some time
Just be intentional about asking how they are going and LISTEN to the answer, ask about their hopes and dreams, ask how you can pray for them. Let them know you are and will be praying for them and that you are here for them no matter what. Ask them about what they are looking forward to most when they are done. Remind them that they are a beautiful child of God and no matter what happens God has got this.
There are so many great ideas of how we can help support our young people, what do you do in your congregation? Whether you have HSC’ers in your congregation or not, get praying prayer warriors our young people need you!
Pulse Leader, Rev. Karen Mitchell Lambert shares her advice and support for students.
“Now I know being older and wiser, having lived through this journey, this is just the beginning of the opportunities that will come in life,” says Pulse Leader Rev. Karen Mitchell Lambert. “On average they are now predicting each young person will have about five careers in their lifetime, but the first one is always tough.”
But there is more, now the HSC is one of our culture’s rites of passage. From here on in, these young people are no longer children but adults. It is important as a Church that we start to take that transition seriously ourselves. Here are some things to think about in our congregations:
- How as a Church do you acknowledge and celebrate this new stage in their life?
- How is living faith and discipleship different for them now?
- How do you physically show this?
- What are their gifts and skills that they can share with the community, beyond leading youth group and Kids Clubs?
- What are some keys to the Church we need to help them to know how to hold and when will we work with them to be able to become holder of the keys themselves?
- We need to take them seriously and help them grow into adult faith, what does that look like in your place?