Ecumenical Youth Group

Work Is Love Made Visible

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Home About EYG EYG History

EYG History

The Delaware Ecumenical Youth Group (EYG), founded in 1972, serves Delaware area teens by offering them an opportunity to engage in meaningful discussion and fellowship regardless of their religious beliefs or church affiliations. Its mission is to provide Delaware teens a safe setting in which to experience acceptance and support as they explore life issues, develop physically, emotionally and spiritually, and engage in service to the community. Originally sponsored by four Delaware area churches, Asbury UMC, William Street UMC, St. Peter's Episcopal, and First Presbyterian, and later by the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, it is now governed by the Ecumenical Youth Council, Inc. The sponsoring churches viewed EYG as a mission outreach program for any Delaware Youth, not just their own youth members. These churches provided financial support to cover the Director's salary and programming costs. Several years ago the five sponsoring churches reduced their monetary support due to the significant downturn in the economy. Although they continue to give what they can, EYC has sought other funding options such as grants, corporate sponsorship, and personal donations.

We aim to provide Delaware County youth an environment to engage freely with each other and adult mentors to discuss important life issues, such as faith and poverty, and to become aware and accepting of racial and cultural diversity. Although school provides the education lessons necessary for work and churches offer doctrine for religious growth, EYG allows students a means to mature intellectually and spiritually and to develop assets that will enable them to maintain healthy personal relationships, and to function and prosper in their adult lives. We accomplish this through our weekly meetings held during the school year, bi-annual retreats, and service projects. During the school year students learn active listening skills and learn to articulate their opinions in a clear and respectful manner.

EYG's programming culminates in the annual Work Camp, held in June after High School Graduation. The first Work Camp was in Madisonville, Tennessee in 1975. EYG teens and counselors embark on a week long community service project and provide rehabilitation, building, and repair work on homes for those who can neither perform nor have the financial resources to contract the work themselves.