Who are "Young Adults"?

That question could have different answers depending on who you ask and the context of the question. If you go into a bookstore the words "young adult" will lead you to the 13-17 section of series fiction. 

If you are in a religious context and definitely if you are part of the Christian dialogue about young adults as a faith community the age range is something totally different. 

It represents that stage of younger or young-ish adulthood in which we move from children to adults, marked by various possible landmarks--a first job, entry into or exit from college, and possibly even marriage or little ones. 

It can also represent that chaotic and mystifying time of search for identity and self-hood which can become overwhelming--it is a time where people can also fall into the broken places of traumatic experience, addiction, and it is a time where mental health issues can come to the surface.

Maybe some of these depict your early adulthood--from the normative to the painful. 

In terms of age range the range can be as young as 18 and as old as [some might say] early 40's. The most common definition running, in the Episcopal church and other denominations and traditions, is often 18-35. 

If you have suffered traumas, and illness, and addiction that period of time can be stretched out beyond what our cultural timeline assumes; for some of us, life at 40 can look like that of a 20 year old with a "straight line" life story. 

So, we leave you with these parameters. Without any definitive landmarks. You decide for yourself, for your communities, for the young-ish adults in your life, what that age group looks like. Because it can be quite variable. 

What is The Episcopal Diocese of SE Florida Young Adult Community?

The Episcopal Church is broken up into diocese--which are regional contingents of the Episcopal Church. The Diocese for Southeast Florida Spans from the Florida Keys up to about 1 hour north of Palm Beach County. Inside of this area are some of the major metropolises of southern Florida: Miami, Ft Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach. 

The Young Adult Community of the Diocese consists, broadly, of all young adults who are in some way part of programs or parishes within the diocese itself. It is currently co-chaired by Daniel Ledo & Teresa B Pasquale who are the primary organizers of this conference and facilitators of diocesan-wide programming for persons ages 18-30s. 

This conference is an initiative to learn from each other and the ways we engage with the younger adults in our midst. We are all teachers. We are all learners. We are all enlightened by what we can do, together, in community.

While the Diocese of Southeast Florida and the funding of the Diocesan Young Adult Community are sponsoring this conference, and the community of All Saints Episcopal Church in Ft. Lauderdale has generously offered us the space to host it, we hope that this invitation is inviting to all denominations and those of no denomination at all, to all ages and those working or living with young adults in their home communities. 

It is for young adults. It is for young adult ministers. But it is also for anyone looking to connect with the young adults of today and tomorrow who exist in the fabric of our churches.

Who created this conference and why?

After a year as leadership of the Young Adult Community Daniel and Teresa noticed a pattern. People were eager to engage young adults in their parishes and on their college campuses and their daily lives but they didn't know how. People were hungry to connect but felt confused about everything from who young adults were, where they lived, how they lived, what they liked, to what they wanted in faith community.

This conference was intended to be an answer to all those questions and an expansion beyond those parameters even further to ideas, concepts, causes, and needs of young adults that felt vital to the story of the who, what, when, where, why and how of young adults and contemporary Christianity. 

What does the name of the conference [Where Tomorrow Meets Today"] mean?

The often used tagline or concept when thinking of young adults and the church is that they are "the future" of church. In truth, they are also a part of the church's present. As long as we think of them, their time, their needs, as something yet to come we will stay behind on what the needs are to support and foster faith in young adults now, today. 

This conference was intended to bridge, both in language and action, the young adults of tomorrow with the needs of young adults in the church today. 

Who is invited to attend? What can I get from this conference if I am outside of the Diocese or the denomination?

Again, while this is a mission and conception that was born out of the Episcopal diocese of Southeast Florida we hope that what we have to share, and the speakers that have come to share with us, will feed all of us no matter what denomination we come from. 

We carefully selected speakers, teachers, preachers, and action-ers from around the nation and in a variety of denominational contexts so that we could hear the wider voice of young adults and community-building in church.

Our church of today has many voices and, due to virtual networks and national conferences, those voices are bridging and connecting across lines of denominational difference. The foundation of our faith present and future is connection, collaboration, communication and understanding that spans wider than one parish, one regional community, one denominational context.

This conference is a way to show how we can grow together--still holding strongly to the centers and hearts of our own traditions, but informed by the growing and expanding world of faith dialogue around us, which is bigger than any one context or culture.

How is this conference different than other conferences? How can it supplement and add to the benefits of other conferences and resources that exist?

Within our denomination there are conferences for all kinds of contexts and at all levels--local, regional, church-wide. And beyond that there are a variety of conferences any one person can go to on nearly any day of the year. The choices are vast and constant.

We do not intend for this conference to take the place of any other conference, only to supplement however you are fed in these other contexts. If you read our list of speakers, our workshop options, our mission and intention and this feels like the place for you, please, come join us. 

All are welcome, and we hope all will be fed. 

We integrate a series of interactive workshops, some reflection and discussion of new media, mind-body ministry practices, creative arts and music as ministry, activism and movement in YA contexts, and a broad range of denominational vantage-points and ecumenical partnerships that we hope will foster this kind of a cross-pollenation exchange of ideas.

And we have tried to do so in the most cost-effective ways possible. 

What is the difference between the pre-conference and the conference?

The pre-conference is intended to be smaller and more hands-on. It is intended for persons already engaged in cultivating young adult ministry in their faith community or those persons who are looking for fresh ideas on how to begin a ministry in their community. 

We will include a fun en-vivo project will include local community interaction in the heart of Ft Lauderdale's Las Olas neighborhood-- a vibrant and young section of southeast Florida just one block from our conference location.

The conference will consist of a series of shorter workshops to learn a greater variety of tools and skills. It will be versatile and larger in context and options.

Can I come for one day only [if I can't make all the days]?

There is an option to purchase a 1-day pass for either Friday or Saturday. There will be some overlap with presenters over the two days but each day will have different material and a variety of different presenters. Friday will not be like Saturday. So, if you can only come for a day you are welcome. If you can come for both, all the better.

What is the cost? Why is the cost different for people in and out of the Diocese?

The cost structure is listed on the home page. The difference for in versus out of diocese cost factors in the diocesan financial support of the conference--all our financial output came from the funds of the diocese which come from the parishes and their parishioners. 
To show our appreciation of their donation to support this event happening we are giving a small discount to people coming from inside the diocese as they have, in essence, already donated into the whole event cost. 

Is there an option for sliding scale conference fees or scholarship assistance? Can I volunteer in exchange for attendance?

There are some exceptions being made based on need for sliding scale fees and a limited number of scholarship options. If this is something you need please contact Teresa at the email listed below. We have tried to make the fees as affordable as possible, but we also don't want to exclude anyone who wants to come based on cost.

If you would like to volunteer we would be glad to have you. If you help us out we would like to offer you free entrance to the conference in exchange. Email Teresa if you are interested in volunteering at teresa[at]stpaulsdelray[dot]org.

Can anyone volunteer to help out during the conference?

If you would like to volunteer we would be glad to have you. If you help us out we would like to offer you free entrance to the conference in exchange. Email Teresa if you are interested in volunteering at teresa[at]stpaulsdelray[dot]org.

Can I donate finances or materials to support the conference & conference costs in some way?

Yes. Yes. Yes. Always yes to any help. We are hosting this conference with a very limited budget and any assistance is greatly appreciated. 

In addition, the conference entrance fees will go to support the Wanikiya [Messiah] Episcopal Church at Wounded Knee on the Lakota's Pine Ridge Reservation. If you would like to donate to that cause directly you can contact Teresa or if you would like to support the summer mission trip to Wounded Knee in some way or get involved in this cause let us know.

What kind of low-cost housing is there during the conference? What kind of no-cost housing is there? Who is eligible for these housing options?

There will be very bare-bones limited housing [about 20 slots] for those who cannot afford accommodations but are coming from a distance to attend the conference. There are also some potential options for other host sites and/or homes to help with some housing but we cannot say with certainty as it will be a case-by-case and need-by-need basis discussion. 

Let us know if you want to come and housing is the impediment to coming and we will do everything we can to help you be with us for the conference.

How do I get to the conference? By car? By plane?

You can drive, fly, or [partially] take a train to southeast Florida. Since our church site for the conference [All Saints] is in such a prime location it is 15 minutes or less from Fort Lauderdale airport, so that is the quickest route via plane. That said there is a tri-rail that runs along the north/south highway and we have possible support to get people from other airports if need be. In terms of the FLL airport travelers we are going to try to arrange some supported transportation to and from as much as we have volunteers to do so. 

By car we are an easy trek from any other part of Florida and taking 95 south from anywhere on the east coast will get you to us in as straight a shot as possible. 

What is in and around the conference space?

We really lucked out with this conference space with the graciousness of All Saints Episcopal Church in Ft Lauderdale. They are a block from one of the main "drags" of Ft Lauderdale, 15 minutes to downtown, and the property is on a beautiful park of its own with green grasses lining the waterway where you can see all kinds of boats and kayaks and ferries floating on by. There is also a kayak and paddleboard rental right next to the church. 

And beach, beach, beach within 10 minutes. And sun, sun, sun and warmth in February. Who doesn't like that?

How is the conference structured each day?

Check out the SCHEDULE PAGE for a general itinerary [subject to some changes and tweaks as we go].

What kind of workshops are available at the conference?

Check out the SPEAKERS PAGE for workshop details for now; upcoming there will be a workshop catalogue which you will be able to download closer to November.

Who are the speakers? Where can I go to learn more about them?

Check out the SPEAKERS PAGE for now; there will be added speakers, topics, and details as we continue to add wonderful people with wonderful skills to our already growing list of some pretty amazing people [if we do say so ourselves].

What is the format for the workshops? [panels, group interactive, experiential, lecture, etc]?

The workshops vary in style and content--some are interactive, some are panels, some are fully experiential and immerse you in the actioning of this work in the workshop process. Each workshop summary [as they come] will provide you with a good bit of detailing to figure out what kind of offering it is and which ones are for you.

Why are there quiet times built into the conference?

We believe strongly in our essential law of spiritual gravity: for every action there must be an equal and opposite inaction.

What we mean by this is that in ministry and in life we get so busy moving we forget to stop moving and just be still. This is the space where God meets us. This is the time where he gets to do the talking and moving and being with us, in full unison. 

To model this in our conference [which can often be a time where we get busy learning and connection and thinking--all great parts but not all the parts of being-ness] we have added back some places and points for personal or directed quieting. 

We hope you take advantage of some of those opportunities. 

It is how we stay afloat in all the movement of God's work in us in the world. We must leave space for the quiet where God can recharge us for the journey and lead us in the direction we need to go.