Recommended Subjects for First Year SCYD Students

Young people who attend SCYD are usually from 12 – 24 years old. A lot of them usually enter first year, but not everyone will complete the full three years. in most cases, less than 50% of the first year students will go through the second year, and only a handful about 2-20) students will complete the third year. The following breakdown will provide a description of the students of SCYD, as well as the subjects that they need to learn throughout the SCYD.

First year students

The average age of first year students are 12-16 years old.
They are in High School, and they come from different churches within each annual conference.
They are fairly active in the Youth Fellowship in their church and in the district.
They have usually attended the Christmas Institute, and other youth events.
They may have completed the confirmation class.
Since they are in their adolescence and early teenage years, they tend to be swayed easily by peer influence. Continue reading

The Sad Truth About HIV and Pinoy Youth

According to a piece of research from the Philippine Daily Inquirer:

A total of 560 Filipino youth aged 15 to 24 years were recorded as HIV-positive from January to October last year. In October alone, 65 cases of HIV in the same age bracket were recorded by the Department of Health.

My first thought was, “No way!?” After all the LCM and True Love Waits seminars that ministries are conducting, young people are still, well, promiscuous and sexually active.

But then again, this is the 21st century, and young people’s sexuality are very much influenced by the media, which is in turn influenced by the highly sexually charged Western media.

Five hundred sixty young people, with HIV?!

That’s just sad. The lives of these kids will never be the same again. Sure, there’s a sorta cure for HIV-the anti-retroviral (ARV) drug, which could prolong the life of a person with HIV. Still, that’s no substitute for a life without HIV.

But who’s to blame?

Partly, it’s the HIV victims. You could say that they had it coming. They might have experimented with many sexual partners. Or, who’s to say that they had lots of sexual partners because they saw prostitution as their only chance from debilitating poverty?

These HIV victims might have been abused, raped, or what have you? Then they are really victims in every sense of the word.

I doubt that 560 is the real number. Those are the only reported cases. There may be other cases that remain unreported, festering in the dark, waiting to be discovered when it is far too late for the victim and any sexual partners they may have had.

Which brings us to another important question. HIV is but a symptom of a bigger social malady. There’s the issue of responsible sexuality; parental supervision of Filipino youth; providing for the needs and well-being of these youth so they could become good citizens.

Seen in this way, we could say that it is the fault of the society why there are HIV victims. Fault-finding, and blaming, however, will not solve the problem. As a society, we should recognize our collective role in preventing the spread of HIV.

As a church, what’s our role in spreading knowledge about HIV and AIDS?

Too often, we shrink in the corner when confronted with the need of educating our young people about their sexuality, and what it means. The secular world, particularly the media, goes all out in showing cheap sex in front of Filipino young people. When the church is silent, then young people would listen to the noisiest source of information.

Perhaps, we need to reexamine our efforts at teaching LCM (Love, courtship and marriage) topics, and really address SEX, sexuality and reproductive health openly and intelligently using Christian perspective. And by Christian, I don’t mean conservative Lola-mentality, but rather, an informed view based on our Wesleyan heritage, you know the Wesleyan quadrilateral–scripture, reason, experience, and tradition.

The people in Africa no longer has a choice. That’s why, sex education is mandatory even among young children. While we hesitate on the fine points of a bill such as the RH bill in the Philippines, other countries are way ahead of us in teaching their young how to deal with matters involving sex and sexuality.

So, I dare you, with February 2012 and the Love Feast, Love Congress, Love Courtship Marriage seminars and events coming up, why don’t you take a diversion, change your strategy and talk about SEX.

I assure you, your young people will be all ears!

Observations and Insights on UMC’s School for Christian Youth Development

In May 2010, I visited seven annual conferences that conducted the annual School for Christian Youth Development. I visited the following annual conferences:

VisayasPhilippinesAnnual Conference
Northeast LuzonPhilippinesAnnual Conference
Northern PhilippinesAnnual Conference
NorthEast PhilippinesAnnual Conference
Central LuzonPhilippinesAnnual Conference
PangasinanPhilippinesAnnual Conference
NorthWest PhilippinesAnnual Conference

Although I did not personally go to the Mindanao Philippines Annual Conference, I got in touch with the SCYD Director to ask about their SCYD curriculum and subjects.

The School for Christian Youth Development is an annual project of the Board of Discipleship of the annual conferences. In several annual conferences, it is the Council on Youth Ministries that implements this program. It is a three-year school meant for the development of Methodist youth so that they would be equipped for ministry in their respective local churches, districts and annual conferences.

The SCYD usually runs for two weeks. In several conferences, it is implemented for three weeks. Still, others do it for only a week! The students for each year level goes through around 6-7 subjects in a year. After attending the school for three years, the SCYD graduates will then be recognized by their annual conference as official youth lay speakers. This school is more than just a camp. It is a formal school being run by the church with classroom instructions, field work and extra-curricular activities for young people.

A number of pastors and deaconesses from all over thePhilippineshave decided to become full-time church ministry as a result of their exposure and training in the SCYD. The SCYD, however, is mainly implemented by annual conferences in theBaguioand Davao Episcopal Areas. Only two of the conferences in the Manila Episcopal Area do implement this program.

The School for Christian Youth Development is a three-year program implemented by the Board of Discipleship of the Annual Conference. It is meant to equip young people for ministries in the church. It usually lasts for two weeks during the Summer (April or May).

Curriculum and subjects.

The subjects being offered in the SCYD vary from one conference to another. There are similarities and overlaps. Most of the time, the curriculum has been established in the past several years and most of the present SCYD Directors do not even remember the last time they changed the curriculum.

The subjects could be categorized under 1) Bible; 2) Worship and Liturgy; 3) Methodism; 4) Ministry; 5) Outreach. The following table shows the different subjects as offered by different annual conferences. Some of these overlap with other year levels.

Continue reading