(616) 754-4194 ext. 125
(616) 754-4194 ext. 125
The Youth Ministry program (YM3) serves high school teens from both parishes – St. Charles and St. Joseph-St. Mary. We work as a group to view one another as God sees us and to support each other on the journey that is our own spirituality. Our goal is to support the teens by learning more about God’s love and Church law so that they can become life-long disciples of Christ and engaged members of the Catholic Church.
YM3 is an ever-changing and vital ministry because it is about the teens, for the teens, and by the teens. We are flexible because of their incredibly busy schedules, but we try to create events and opportunities worth the time we ask them to share. Friends are always welcome.
8th graders and all high school students are encouraged to join the group. We gather three times a month for various activities. And while nothing we do is mandatory, we try to make our events something no teen would want to miss! Normally we meet on Sunday evenings, but this year we are also trying out a new time – after the 11:00 am Mass at St. Joe’s.
We have an awesome team of Peer Ministers who lead the group. They help with the planning and provide leadership of all kinds. Sometimes they will lead discussions in small or large groups; often they will present and lead games and mixers or they might perform a skit or share their musical ability. Peer Ministers are servant-leaders. They think of others before themselves and they seek no recognition or gratitude for helping their friends.
Our Adult Core Team is a special bunch. They are a very dedicated group of people of all ages and walks of life. The one thing they have in common is that they heard God’s message to share His love with the teens. The core team is made up of volunteers who selflessly give of their own time and energy to serve the needs of the teen community.
Once a month or so, we will host an OUTREACH event. The purpose behind our OUTREACH events is to be Christ-like to one another. The activities are based on the Corporal Works of Mercy and can include Scavenger Hunts for Canned Food, clothing drives, can and bottle drives, rake and run afternoons, local service projects, and adopting a family at Christmas. The OUTREACH events are always a lot of fun and they are a great way for us to help those in need.
We also host FOCUS each month. During FOCUS we will use a brand new resource, The Catholic Faith Handbook which is a book by the same editors as the Catholic Youth Study Bible. It is a fabulous book that introduces concepts that every teen struggles with and needs to understand. This book is written in an easy-to-use format and answers questions that so many of us wonder about. In fact, a major component of these times is a question and answer session so that teens can learn how to ask and where to find answers to questions they or their friends might have about our faith.
Some other destinations for YM3 this year will include rallies and conferences in Ludington and Grand Rapids; retreats – NET at Camp Roger in December and Theology of the Body in January and March in Lowell, and; conferences like the Diocesan Youth Conference and, of course, Steubenville.
We will often reach out to the middle school students and those in Confirmation preparation and invite them to attend special events. We want to share our energy and message with them so that they will be eager to become a part of this growing ministry.
We are always looking to expand our group. New teens and adults are always welcome. It is never too late to join us!
For more information about our group, please check us out on Facebook.