I am also so moved by the amount of faith and confidence Fr. Tony and the parish staff have put in me; to see in me things that I don’t always see in myself. The fact that they have entrusted to me, in my new position as Director of Children, Youth, & Family Ministries, one of our parish priorities, is both overwhelming and uplifting.
I am so excited to be taking on this new position and ministry. This ministry encompasses three main areas: children who we have identified at 3-10 year olds, youth who we have identified as 5th-12th graders, and families which really are all of us!
Over the past few years, we have spent time revamping many of our children’s programs. We’ve revamped our sacramental preparation for First Reconciliation and First Eucharist, we’ve debuted our new Sunday worship program for kids at the 9am and 10:30 am masses called Bible Adventures, and we’ve grown our summer Bible Adventure Camp to more than double the size and began offering this program for free. Our work to grow and improve Children’s Ministry is never done; ideas and programs are constantly emerging and we are always looking for new volunteers, both adult and teen, to help out!
Family Ministry is an area we are currently working to build. One of our first steps is to debut a new Family Baptism Workshop. We hope to offer a welcoming and informative workshop for families who are at the beginning of their involvement in parish life. We recently brought on 6 families to mentor in this exciting new ministry and we are still looking for a few more families to mentor. We have also begun working on presenting more parish wide family events that will appeal to multiple generations. Examples of these types of events are the Thankful Family event held in November and our Fossils and Faith event coming up in March.
The most immediate priority of our new ministry is launching our newly developed youth ministry programs. This will be happening in March and you can find information about what to expect in the handout in your pew. Our first step is to expand our adult leadership team. We will be holding an interest meeting for adults, any one over the age of 18, who would like to get involved in Youth Ministry. A meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 9th at 7pm at the Woodstown Parish Center. If there is any part of you that feels like the Spirit is guiding you to work with the youth of our parish please, PLEASE come to this meeting.
Our first Youth Ministry program, Endurance, will begin on Sunday, March 13th from 6-8PM and will be held the second Sunday of every month from 6-8pm at the Woodstown Parish Center. We are encouraging all 5th-12th graders to attend. They will be in separate rooms and groups by grade. Everyone who attends is invited and encouraged to bring friends! Endurance events will be packed full of fun and positive energy. There will be ice breakers, games, and snacks, as well as time for prayer, reflection, discussion, and service.
Through the spring and summer, we will be looking to building our Summit Team. We are looking for teens in 9th-12th grade to serve on this teen leadership council. Summit Team will meet once a month to share ideas and plan events. Members will earn leadership hours and will need to apply to be a member of this team.
If anyone would like more information on what to expect from our Youth Ministry over the course of the next year, please feel free to call or e-mail me, my contact information can be found on the handout.
On the back of the handout, you will find a list of each area of our Children, Youth, and Family Ministries where we can use more volunteers. There are many great ministries in the parish that can also use more volunteers and you can find more information about each on our parish website or in the “Share the Spirit” pamphlet, available at the information desk.
We are all called to serve; we have each been gifted with strengths and talents and we are called to share those for the greater good of the church. Sometimes it is hard to recognize our own strengths and to feel confident enough to share them with others; but I promise you, it will be so rewarding. Please spend some time considering if you are being called to serve and share in any of our parish ministries; we would be honored to have you on our team. Thank you.