The General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada has appointed Sheilagh McGlynn as its youth animator, signifying a new stage in the church’s ongoing commitment to youth and young adult ministry.
McGlynn is currently the justgeneration.ca facilitator for the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund, and has a long history in youth ministry. She previously served as the national coordinator for the Student Christian Movement of Canada, an ecumenical campus ministry program focused on issues of social justice, and spent five years in Colorado actively engaged in youth and campus ministry.
As youth animator, McGlynn will work closely with youth leaders from the Anglican Church of Canada, and in some cases the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. Her responsibilities include gathering youth leaders together for the annual event Stronger Together, as well as serving as staff support for the biennial Canadian Lutheran-Anglican Youth (CLAY) gathering.
“I’m really excited to be able to put my energy and work into seeing what this position can create for young people in Canada,” McGlynn said.
“This isn’t new work [for the church], it’s just that our commitment to it is different at this point,” she added. “So I’m really excited to be able to take on that work and connect with people across Canada and encourage them in the work they’re already doing, and to encourage them to try new things within youth ministry.”
McGlynn noted that many of the people engaged in youth ministry are volunteers, even at the diocesan level. She plans to work closely with then to help make the most out of their available resources.
“I really look forward to working with the youth leaders,” McGlynn said. “They’re, I think, some of the most amazing frontline staff out there, working with young people and helping equip them with the tools they need and the support they need to be able to do their work … I look forward to working with the places that don’t have youth ministry yet, and want to start and try to figure out with them what will best meet the needs in their context.”
The role of youth animator is a permanent part-time position.