Ken Bell: Part Two

 (An article for the October 1994 Deep Cove Crier)
 When many people think of youth, the first that comes to mind is the tragic increase in senseless violence and destruction.  Violence seems to be the continual message that young people are hearing about how to really enjoy your life.  Many high-tech video games like Streetfighter and Mortal Combat are encouraging kids to get their thrills by fantasizing  about the decapitation of another person.  Some video games even portray the ripping out of another personís heart, with blood spurting all over the place.  Many Rock Videos shown on  TV nowadays glorify the mixing of sexual promiscuity with physical violence.  All of us hear through the media when teenagers kick someone to death, or knife someone over the border.

How often do we hear about the good things that  are happening among young people?  Ken Bell, who has been working in the Seymour/Deep Cove area for the last  3 1/2 years, is part of the good news about young people.  Back in 1991, I wrote an article in the Deep Cove Crier  entitled "Meet Ken Bell".  Now as of this fall Ď94, we have moved Ken Bell from a part-time Youth Worker position to a full-time Youth Worker position.  Ken has just graduated from Simon Fraser University with a Bachelorís Degree in Criminology.  As part of his Criminology involvement,  Ken has led teams of young people and  adults from Seymour/Deep Cove to visit the Willingdon Youth Detention Centre.  These teams have played basketball once a month, held Christmas and Easter Services in conjunction with the Chaplain Fr. Bill Ferris, and brought in special Christmas gifts like Rice Krispie Squares for residents who might otherwise be forgotten.  All this was a way of showing the love of Jesus for teens who may have known little other than rejection  and violence in their lives.

Called to Serve...
St. Simonís Church sees itself as a servant of the Seymour/Deep Cove area.  We are deeply concerned about the needs of the hundreds of young people today who seem to have lost a sense of direction  and purpose in their lives.  We have seen over the last several years that Ken is uniquely gifted to help young people find a new start to their lives.  Ken has been called in many times over the last few years as parents and teens have been in crisis.  These people may have had little or nothing to do with the church.  But they sensed that Ken had something to offer them in their time of need.  Ken has also appreciated the opportunity to consult from time-to-time with Craig Johnston, who does an excellent job as the community Youth Worker in Deep Cove.  Craig has always been very encouraging of Kenís youth work, as he believes that the needs of young people are so great that there is plenty of room for various youth programs.

Teens Make a Difference...
At St. Simonís we believe that teens really matter.  They are important members of our communities today. Teens need to be listened to, heard, and respected.  When we as adults take the time to really listen to the thoughts and feelings of a teen, we leave an enormous impact.  Ken likes to meet with young people on a one-to-one basis, as well as in the larger groups, so that solid friendships  can really form.  This fall there will be four different youth groups for preteens, junior highs, senior highs, and College & Career.  Kenís hobbies  include football, basketball, cycling, hiking...all areas of common interest to todayís teens.  In his youth work, Ken likes to make use of gym nights, out-trips, small group bible studies, video/discussions, crafts, God rap, baseball, and overnight camping.  Ken knows how to discuss faith issues and moral issues in  ways that excite rather than bore teens.  As the North Shore News put it in a 1992 article, "Ken Bell acts as a spiritual and social model  and guide to youth both  in the community and in the parish."  Ken is really excited about being able to devote his full-time energy to getting to know the teens better in the Deep Cove/Seymour area.  He is also looking forward to connecting with the teens in their schools.  Youth ministry for Ken is a wonderful opportunity to serve God through reaching young people.  To Ken, Jesus Christ is the most important person in his life.

If you are a teen, or a parent of a teen who wants to learn more, please call Ken Bell at 980-7521.  Ken Bell is here for you.

 The Reverend Ed Hird
 Rector, St. Simonís Anglican Church 

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