Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
It is a bit surreal though to already be working so much on this trip. We are still 40 days from the Honduras trip, but is as if it had already happened. Like I often note, given how much preparation is required in this job, you have to really fight to experience the moment. As it is, I have my WYD 2008 green bag with liturgy guides from the last four WYDs to share with one of our music directors.
Expect to hear much more on this. Likely some more of my Law's and Necessary Items will soon be listed. As it is - never venture forth without duct tape, band aids, and candy!
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
The bad: According to separate reports from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life and the American Religious Identification Survey, fewer Americans now call themselves Catholic, and those who do aren’t attending church or praying as often as they used to.
The good news: The Catholics who remain, church leaders will tell you, are far more devoted and involved — particularly young adults.
For the rest, see Young Adults Lead Catholic Charge.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
What we'll be doing is trying to find ways to work this into all aspects of the ministry. I also hope to begin offering a mentoring program. We'll start first with our leadership team. Then once that has the major kinks ironed out, we'll move on to the broader teen group. Until we reach the point of implementation, I will be combing through everything I've got on discipleship, vocation, prayer, leadership...well, basically everything I can get my hands on. Ideas anyone?
First it was pulling my notes from Google Docs and neatening up the language, getting rid of my shorthand notes, and elaborating on things while they were still fresh in my mind. I emailed the whole revised version out to all the leaders so that they can add their two cents on what I may have forgotten or new thoughts they might have.
As one of the suggestions made was to create an interactive calendar, I set up a Google Calendar giving them admin rights. Now all our youth ministry events are posted to the calendar, adults can put notes in on whether or not they can be there, and we can have better communication. I also was able to post it to the website for the ministry so parents can merge it with their own Google Calendars or just have a nicely formatted version to print out.
With a resident expert on the web (she's in marketing and specializes in New Media), we're going to get some crash courses to better utilize things. In the meantime, I'm fiddling around with what I know and trying to learn on my own.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
As a youth minister, I also am incredibly conscious of the images we put before the youth. I watched Grease with the teens one night when we had to quick change plans for youth group and an adult leader happened to have it in their car. Even this film, seen on TV for years, has moments that I think aren't the greatest. I know kids see worse. I see worse. But it is what we show when they are consciously experiencing Church.
With a summer service trip coming that will take us to Honduras and an afternoon at the beach I face a particularly difficult situation. We obviously have dress codes. No speedos for the boys (most laugh at this) and only one-pieces for the girls (makes it easier than to deal with the gradations between a tankini and a bikini). Then there's me. I will freely admit that being a slightly chubby kid in middle school did not help my self esteem. I was never thin and to this day I am particularly self-conscious in a bathing suit. I'm working on getting over my issues and getting my weight to a healthy level (for health reasons - mom had a heart attack in her 40s and some family is morbidly obese). I will not, and I know this, though feel comfortable in a swim suit on this trip. My fear of fish won't help at the beach either. Likely I will spend the day in my suit and capris walking the sand and keeping the kids herded in a relatively small area. When girls come into my office with self-appearance issues, I completely empathize. I share my issues in all honesty and how I'm dealing with them. I also make a distinct effort to be comfortable with myself, particularly my appearance, at all times. I'm a work in progress. I know that. And I make sure to share that with the kids too.
On a similar note. I ran across this article on NPR's site. It is a letter to Pixar asking for a female lead that isn't a princess. I was always more into Minnie Mouse than the princesses from Disney. I agree that it would be great to see a female, non-princess lead. I agree with the author and the commentators that Pixar does have a great record of female characters. They can do more. I never wanted to be a princess - it was an astronaut, a Supreme Court Justice, doctor, or astronomer. I would have loved to see such a girl in a film.
Another quick note - see UP. It is a beautiful film that evokes laughter as well as tears (though I hid the dewy eyes from the guys in the young adult group). Plus the love story that is the underlying motivation for Mr. Fredrickson is absolutely wonderful. The ideas of family, love, friendship, adventure, and life in general are so well opened up in a terribly unique manner. Amazingly enough, the movie caught me enough to not start analyzing it immediately as a potential tool in youth & young adult ministry. I can't wait to see it again.
Monday, June 1, 2009
- How can the youth be shown, taught, experience, the incredible love of God?
- How do you do the catechesis on all the things the Church teaches about while always coming back to the relationships - between God and the youth and the community's relationships?
- How do you address the huge spectrum of faith, understanding, and interests within the youth as a group?
- How do you cope with your own struggles when you are also facing the struggles of the youth, the ministry, and the Church?