Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Anticipation

Papers with color coded words are carefully arranged on the board.

Loops of painters tape are ready to post discussion questions.

Furniture is moved.

Floor chairs are arranged in a circle.

Four pounds of M&Ms are sorted into separate color dishes. (Yes, I'm paid to do this.)

Water is ready to be heated for hot cocoa and tea. The fridge is stocked with soda.

This is the anticipation of youth group. This is Sunday. This is the time when I take a deep breath, know I have prepared well over the past week, and acknowledge that something (or somethings) will not go according to my plan. And that is youth ministry.

We make plans, we move furiture, we do strange things with food. Ultimately, it is not our plan that unfolds. It is God's. I've learned to accept and embrace that.

One day I sat joking before Mass with a coworker (she works with the adult small groups). I said that on any given Sunday I have three youth groups planed:
  1. The one I actually hope to do and have spent a week working on preparing.
  2. A social night - needed if there are individual matters to attend to due to stress, current events, exams, or some other factor that pops up unexpectedly.
  3. The dreaded Plan C. This is in reaction to a major community event at one of the schools, in the parish, etc.
Ironically, the homily that week I sat with my coworker was unexpectedly about sexuality, dating, sex and marriage. Youth group was supposed to be on the Beatitudes or something. Yeah, Plan C. Just what adult leaders love, a last minute text with the note that we are probably going to be talking about sexuality that night at youth group.

But we're youth and young adult ministers. That's how we roll. Because we must. Because we love it.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Too early to say....

...But can I start warming up the phrase, "I told you so."

Whispers In the Loggia has tweeted that "strong buzz running that post-Madrid WYD will head to South America -- world's largest Catholic country: Brazil, Rio, July 2013."

Couple of things here - Brazil - fantastic. About time we head to South America.

July - fantastic again. With highs averaging in the upper 70s, it will feel cool in comparision to what we can expect in Madrid. Plus for the college kids going they won't have issues with rushing back to campus life or even missing a few days of classes.

July 2013 - Ay! Okay, that means that I will literally be starting to work on the next WYD before I've recovered from jet lag from this one! Whew!

I could use another cup of tea!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


This month, Youth Worker Journal, has dedicated their issue to Technology & Youth Culture. As usual, it is a fantastic, thoughtful read.
That said, here's my two cents.
Technology is a tool. Like any tool it can be used for good or evil. A tool in the hand of a master craftsman creates works of art. A tool in the hand of a genius or inventor creates useful, helpful, even lifesaving items. A tool in the hand of a fool, the careless, or someone with evil intent will be dangerous, harmful, or even lifethreatening. This is nothing new.
Perhaps instead of focusing on the technology itself, we need to focus on the user. For if we work to develop ourselves and those we work with as skillful, thoughful, holy artisans, the tools can do great good.