The Journey is in the midst of celebrating its 20th year of fostering growth and renewal in the field of youth work. We are proud and appreciative of the difference that we have been able to make with the ongoing support of The Lilly Endowment and, of course, IYSA.

But what do you do if the needs have not gone and away—and we want to be effective, significant, and relevant for the next 20 years? We think this is a crucial question—and one that deserves more intention and attention from us. Fortunately, our funder believes this too.

So…we are pleased to announce good news: we are taking a kind of sabbatical in 2023—not from each other, but from inviting new cohorts of fellows for that particular year. Instead, we are being encouraged and supported,–as staff and as a community, to invest our time over the next several months exploring, thinking, listening, talking and designing what The Journey of our desired future could be.

Indeed, we’ll be inviting and engaging with each other to think deeply about what renewal itself can be about for youth workers. We’re calling the year “Reimagining Renewal” and we want to do this together.

To be clear about 2023: the Explorer, New Professional and Executive Fellowships will not have any new cohorts for that year. There willbe Journey events that involve the current community of fellows, including 5:01’s, workshops, renewal gatherings, regional get-together’s and likely—an all-Journey retreat. These events will enable us to continue to facilitate renewal in the fellows community and youth work field in Indiana. Simultaneously, we can reflect, dream and plan about the coming decades of work for The Journey.

Another big transition this year will be the retirement of our founder Janet Wakefield. Janet will be “reimagining” her own next chapter and will continue working in her role–helping The Journey in its own process, at least through 2023.

Our process for “reimagining renewal” is still under design and will be evolving. Our plan is to utilize external process consultants and resources to guide us. We will keep you informed and invite your participation primarily via our Weekly Connections Email and social media. We are continually open to your thoughts, ideas, feedback, questions and any other middle-of-the-night inspiration.

Thanks for continuing to support and (re)create a community of awesome youth work professionals. The Journey is based on an old idea that we need each other if we’re going to continue to affect big, positive change for young people and our world. Thanks for being and bringing you.