Totally Catholic Youth Ministers Lounge

Are you in youth ministry and you've had it with crazed parents? Rollin' your eyes at the pastoral council? Tired of administration work? Love youth? Love the Church? Appalled at parish politics? Looking for some good games? For a creative ways to teach a lesson for Religious Ed? Just need a place to veg out and say "phew! Someone outside of the parish to talk to!"? Grab y'r Starbucks, turn the computer away from the staff's eyes, grab a seat on a donated dusty couch and let it all go.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Mad, Sad, Glad

I realized today that I do a lot of thinking here, but not enough creative YM ideas. So, as I'm in the throes of packing the supplies up, I thought I'd take a break and do just that-tell you what we're doing!

Wednesdays are the nights that most of the kids come to RelEd. We are having the 6th-8th grade classes meet us at 3 different Nursing Homes and doing crafts with the residents.

This has needed quite a bit of planning-I have a coordinator at each spot, a few parents and the catechists, obviously. The kids will meet us there-as opposed to meeting us at the Church then bussing them to the various sites which would cost us money and time that we don't have.

We decided to do a Valentines visit intead of Christmas caroling because many of the places said that they are overwhelmed with visitors during the Christmas season. So, Valentines time it is.

We are doing crafts with the residents: making tissue paper flowers (email me if you want the exact how to), door hangers made of card stock (it's nicer looking that construction paper) and pipe cleaners, and placemats both of which can be decorated with foam hearts, colored markers, crayons, stickers and such.

What I do at our Service opportunities is first, gather and pray. Then I go over exactly what to expect (esp important if you are at a nursing home!) and what is expected of the teens. Then we do our thing-this time we have about an hour. About 15 minutes before the end I regroup them and we do "Mad, Sad, Glad". I think it's quite important that they have a chance to talk about their experience together and this gives them that chance.

Mad, Sad, Glad is just going around the circle and each person gets to say if they are mad, sad or glad. Then they say why, which usually includes a story about something that happened that evening. We always end with a prayer. Oh, and I always "circle up" so that we can see and listen to each other.

I'm very big on the fact that not only should they be serving, but that we do it together as a community to support and help one another, but also that they get a chance to process their experience to whatever depth they want to.

I'll let you know how it goes. It's 9:30 pm and I'm still packing the boxes. Tomorrow is going to be a loooong day!!


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