Wednesday, September 1, 2010

New Year, New Beginnings

The graphic above was designed by one of our graduating seniors after our high school trip to Steubenville OH. I love it!

The beginning of another youth ministry year is so exciting. Back to school bashes, fresh ideas, creative posters, fun events, all the great planning right at the peak of perfection!

A few things I've compiled over the years that I try to keep in mind as I plan events for my youth:

1) Keep it consistent. Teens are so busy. Between work, sports, school, drama club, band, etc. the last thing they are looking for is another "thing" to keep up with. For middle school that means having youth group every single Monday. Same time, same place, a variety of activities.

2) Mix it up. Variety. In my ministry to young people, I've got to keep their interest. My goal is to offer at least 1 prayer experience, 1 just for fun/community building activity, and 1 family night a month. Sometimes this happens more than not. But the intention is to have balance.

The USCCB outlines this concept in Renewing the Vision: Components of a Comprehensive Ministry which breaks youth ministry into 8 categories.

The Ministry of Advocacy
The Ministry of Catechesis
The Ministry of Community Life
The Ministry of Evangelization
The Ministry of Justice and Service
The Ministry of Leadership Development
The Ministry of Pastoral Care
The Ministry of Prayer and Worship

2) The crazier, the better. Last year I took a group to a "lock-out" (the reverse of a lock-in) Lazer tagging from 1-3 AM! One mom asked me, "Why the odd time?" I thought the exact same thing when I sent out the postcards. But really, that's the beauty of it. We had 50 high schoolers come (which is always my challenge). This year we did it again, complete with a school bus, pizza and 20 high school students. Bad planning on my part. There was an away football game and soccer the next morning. Sometimes I don't always follow my own rules. Refer back to #1. Middle School's tradition started last year with celebrating youth group's "birthday". This year Powerhouse (as we call it) is turning FouRRRRR! So we're celebrating with a Pirate party, cake and ice cream. A parish member makes us a homemade cake, we sing and blow out the candles. The night is complete with the teens bringing fun gifts for youth group to use in the upcoming year. The challenge is that they can not spend more than $10 on their items.

Here's more of what I have in store for our high school and middle school programs:

PowerHouse youth Group
Grades 6-8 are welcome!
This Is What We’ll Do in September.

20- Mini-Golf @ Vitenese in Madison from 5 pm-9 pm
*You’ll need a permission slip for this event and some money. Please meet in the back parking lot, leaving @ 5 pm. More details coming soon!

27- Family Dinner & a Movie Night
“The Blindside” from 6-8 pm (8th Grade Room)

High School
Sept. 19th: Mass on State Street
Sept. 26th: Youth Mass @ 7 pm
Oct. 2nd: Fire on the Hill @ Holy Hill
Oct. 24th: Youth Mass @ 7 pm
Nov. 5th-7th; Youth 2000 Retreat in Madison
Nov. 14th: Theology of the Body Night
Nov. 21st: Youth Mass @ 7 pm

I’m looking forward to another awesome year to grow in my Catholic faith along with some pretty amazing teens!

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