It’s been a while since I’ve written on the website, so I figured it was time to give you an update. A lot has been happening in Youth Minstiry for us; from the march for life, confirmation retreat, teen council meetings and BASIC nights we have been very busy.
Six teens from our parish attended the march for life last month and joined thousands in protest against abortion. Together we were front row for Vice President Mike Pence’s historic speech. It was inspiring and refreshing to be in a place where we felt intellectually safe and surrounded by like minded individuals. One speech stood out the most to me and I would highly recommend looking up Congresswoman Mia Love’s astonishing words. (Shout out to Rebecca for being the only girl in attendance and putting up with all us guys).
Just at the beginning of this month we took some 60 ninth graders to the outdoor education center for their confirmation retreat. The retreat was led by several of our teens who shared personal testimonies and performed in carefully rehearsed skits. I am very proud of all of your hard work! And of the ninth graders who almost all said they thought it was going to be boring and were pleasantly surprised. I hope to see you at BASIC and participating in the parish.
Next, the teen council has begun to take its own initiative and is currently planning our winter retreat, which will be March 3 – 5. Permission slips are out and all teens are welcome to attend. Lastly, BASIC continues this Sunday with an exciting guys and girls divided night. Looking forward to what’s coming next. God Bless.
Merry Christmas Teens! I hope you all get a chance to rest up from a busy semester and to prepare for the New Year.
Here are some thoughts for you to consider as we have a number of weeks off before we return on January 8. The most important of which is to KEEP PRAYING! Keep practicing all the things we have been learning together; accepting our weaknesses, forgiving others, falling on the Father’s mercy, and enduring trials.
What small acts of love can you do during the Christmas season? Remember, Christmas lasts from December 25 until January 9 in the church.
What small acts of trust in Jesus can you perform to grow in confidence?
What are you doing right now to become a SAINT?
These are important things to keep in mind so as not to lose any of the momentum we’ve built up. The last thing I wanted to remind you is, just because we don’t have anything official planned during the next few weeks, doesn’t mean that you can’t get together. So make plans to see each other.
It is hard to believe that I have only been here since July; it feels like much longer with all that has gone on in Youth Ministry here at St. Anastasia. I’m feeling a little whiplashed from the hurried movements of the Holy Spirit that have been leading me through BASIC nights, meetings and retreats. He has been showing up without fail and the Adult Core and I have been following His lead; and he is leading us to some new and exciting places.
One such place is the restructuring of the Teen Council into a self-governing body, led by two of our High School Seniors, Brendan DeSantis and Barbara Sammut. These two have stepped up to take charge and I want to commend them for doing so without much knowledge of what will be expected of them. They will build those expectations for their predecessors and that is both an honor and a daunting challenge.
Here is where things get exciting and where the rest of our BASIC teens, and all teens, come into play. On December 4, the Senior Leaders and the Teen Council will play host to a unique BASIC night with more of a work shop feel. At this night, a series of three sessions will be set-up in which, given specific themes, the Teens of St. Anastasia and BASIC will be able to offer their direct input, expectations and hopes for your youth ministry program. These suggestions will then be put to use for the duration of the year and into future programming.
The new Teen Council is now formatted to have several key teen coordinators for service, liturgy, event planning and our bible study groups. Beginning in January the new leadership will begin to take a more active role in the planning and implementation of BASIC nights.
What's Been Happening at BASIC?
How we are becoming Saints!
I thought I should give a little update as to what exactly we have been doing so far this year at BASIC for those who have been unable to attend. I can really sum it all up in just two words – becoming saints!
Since the start of BASIC, three weeks ago, the Holy Spirit has led us to journey together with St. Therese on a series that covers the simplest application of her ‘little way.’ What is the little way? Well to put it simply it is a way to abandon yourself as a child to the love of our Father in heaven, and to capture his heart.
Who doesn’t want to capture the heart of their father? Even those of us who have great earthly fathers and not so great can relate to this simple image. All of us, from the young to the old, the 13-year-old to the 80-year-old are beloved children of God.
What difference does it make to the God of the universe weather you’re 13 or 80? None, it makes no difference and in fact this is a great blessing because if you approach him as a child when you make mistakes, He will respond with the greatest Love.
As St. Therese puts it, if a small child says, “Daddy, I’m not perfect, I do lots of silly things, but you know how much I love you! And when I do something silly, I ask that you punish me with a kiss!” I can’t imagine any father not being moved to love in such a situation and we can have the same effect on our Heavenly Father.
In the last two BASIC nights we have learned how to invite Jesus into our littleness and imperfections. We’ve learned that our weakness actually attract God’s love, if we accept them and put them into His hands. We also learned that a great way to become holy is to do small things with great love (like the dishes; extra points for something gross like picking up dog poop).
Just this past Sunday we expanded by adding trust into the equation and learning ways to grow our Trust in the Father. Much like love, we learned to do small acts of trust as a way to continue our growth in holiness and to reach our goal of becoming saints. We all may be a work in progress but that is what will make us holy.
A group for upperclassmen to study the faith with Fr. Jim.
Bibles and Bros (B&B)
Girls Fellowship Group
Will be meeting from 7 p.m. - 9 on Monday, November 28 in meeting room E. All high school girls are welcome! Hope to see all you ladies there!
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