Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Do You Believe?

Another liturgical year has passed us by, and that means, for those involved in youth ministry, another Spirit Day has come and gone as well. last weekend, the 6th annual Archdiocesan event put on by the Youth Ministry Office entitled "Believe" catered to over 1800 Gr. 7s, for the first time over 2 days and in 2 different locations (the same program was run twice). "Believe", because we believe in the Creed, in God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, in the Communion of Saints, in the Forgiveness of Sins, in the Resurrection of the Body, and in life everlasting.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

It’s the Most Wonderful Time…To Get Grumpy

It's that time of year! Advent is just around the corner, which means that in a little over 4 weeks, it'll be Christmas!! A time of joy, of peace, of hope, and of love. A time to spend precious moments with family and friends, to go play in the snow, to celebrate the birth of Christ, get frustrated and angry while shopping for presents.Merry_Christmas_1024

I used to work at Indigo Books. Yeah yeah it's a bookstore, but it was busy around Christmas time. I was a cashier most of the time, so I'd be helping people purchase their gifts, get them gift bags and gift wrap, all that good cheery stuff. But a lot of the people did they hate being there. Complaining about how the line ups were too long, or how we weren't going fast enough, or how all these books and dvds and cds were too expensive. And then somehow at the end of the whole transaction, they mustered up the courage to say "Merry Christmas.”

Sunday, October 25, 2009


It's been a pretty average day. You woke up, maybe gave God a little "Good morning!", had some breakfast, took a shower, and went about your day. Maybe you went to work, or hung out with some friends. Maybe you needed a day to yourself and just curled up with a good book and some homemade cookies. You had some dinner in the evening, maybe hung out with some friends again, and are now ready to go to sleep. You crawl into your bed. Maybe you're feeling really connected to God right now and you say some very sincere, meaningful, perhaps lengthy prayers as you thank Him for your day. Maybe you're in a rut at the moment and just acknowledge that He had something to do with something nice that happened; you give Him a tip of the hat. Maybe you in a sticky situation, and you take a few minutes to ask Him for some help. Maybe you're just tired, but either way, you eventually feel like you've done what you needed to do and drift off to sleep. 

Such is prayer life for many of us. Life is crazy, and we always seem to be running around within the noise. Sometimes, we just "don't have the time."

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Keep Going

Growing in faith is a lifelong journey, not a one time "here's your faith, have a good day" thing. Very understandable - life is full of success, full of opportunities, but it is also full of stress, sadness, and failure. In the whirlwind that is life, faith can be a difficult thing to hold on to.

But many people do hold onto it. They realize that faith is a journey, and that Christ never said it was going to be easy. Included in that faith journey is something that C.S. Lewis called the "Law of Undulations," the fact that we can experience times of highs and lows in our lives; a series of peaks and valleys - ups and downs. And yet, while we all experience these ups and downs, we can still be progressing, becoming more aware, becoming stronger, and becoming closer to God, despite our many setbacks.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Why I'm in Youth Ministry

Spirit Day 2009 planning is well under way. The annual pre-Confirmation event for Gr. 7s entitled "Believe" this year, is a fantastic way for the youth of the archdiocese to seriously think about their faith. As I am wracking my brain trying to think of ways to get the message of "Believe" across, I am reminded of a blog I wrote after last year's Spirit Day. As I read through the blog, it puts a smile on my face to know that my opinion of youth ministry hasn't changed - and that's a very good thing. 
This Past Saturday, Nov. 15th 2008, marked the 5th annual Spirit Day, entitled "Shine Like the Son", an event organised by the YMO for the Gr. 7s of the Archdiocese of Vancouver. The day was filled with awesome music (courtesy of Matt Maher and his band), Speaker sessions (courtesy of Apex Ministries), skits, testimonies, icebreakers and food. It was the largest Spirit Day to date - 1400 Gr. 7s; 500 eager youth had to be turned away. On top of those 1400 rowdy ones, there were a huge number of volunteers, including the stage team, the spirit team, logistics team, stage hands, lighting people, sound people, MCs, and adult chaperones. It was an amazing day filled with tons of people ready to open their hearts to God.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Look It In The Eye

The Youth Ministry Office organizes Youth Coordinator's meetings 3 or 4 times a year. It's a chance for everyone to see how active the diocese is, as well as for the YMO to update all the coordinators on all the youth events, training seminars, etc.

There was a point in last night's meeting where we split off into our individual deaneries (smaller groups based on where in the archdiocese our parishes are located). On the meeting agenda, one of the things we were asked to discuss was what we were most excited about for our individual youth ministries this year.

The other thing? "What are you not looking forward to?"