Sunday, November 1, 2015

Notes from class for diocesan youth

John 14:27 would be apt for the youth. "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid."
The symbol of the fish in Christianity and the power of two.

Luke 10:1-12- After this the Lord appointed seventy[a] others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. 2 He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. 3 Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. 4 Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road. 5 Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house!’ 6 And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you. 7 Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the laborer deserves to be paid. Do not move about from house to house. 8 Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you; 9 cure the sick who are there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’[b] 10 But whenever you enter a town and they do not welcome you, go out into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off in protest against you. Yet know this: the kingdom of God has come near.’[c] 12 I tell you, on that day it will be more tolerable for Sodom than for that town.

1 Timothy 4:9-15- The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance. 10 For to this end we toil and struggle,[a] because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.
11 These are the things you must insist on and teach. 12 Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. 13 Until I arrive, give attention to the public reading of scripture,[b] to exhorting, to teaching. 14 Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you through prophecy with the laying on of hands by the council of elders.[c] 15 Put these things into practice, devote yourself to them, so that all may see your progress.
1 Corinthians 6:12-20- “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are beneficial. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. 13 “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food,”[e] and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is meant not for fornication but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 And God raised the Lord and will also raise us by his power. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Should I therefore take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! 16 Do you not know that whoever is united to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For it is said, “The two shall be one flesh.” 17 But anyone united to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. 18 Shun fornication! Every sin that a person commits is outside the body; but the fornicator sins against the body itself. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple[f] of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.

Luke 15:11-32- Then Jesus[a] said, “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.’ So he divided his property between them. 13 A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and traveled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living. 14 When he had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs. 16 He would gladly have filled himself with[b] the pods that the pigs were eating; and no one gave him anything. 17 But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger! 18 I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands.”’ 20 So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. 21 Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’[c] 22 But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly, bring out a robe—the best one—and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; 24 for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’ And they began to celebrate.
25 “Now his elder son was in the field; and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 He called one of the slaves and asked what was going on. 27 He replied, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has got him back safe and sound.’ 28 Then he became angry and refused to go in. His father came out and began to plead with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Listen! For all these years I have been working like a slave for you, and I have never disobeyed your command; yet you have never given me even a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours came back, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fatted calf for him!’ 31 Then the father[d] said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.’”
Youth ministry: From doing office work to becoming more faith conscious. Increasing our faith and knowing what our faith is.

Luke 24:13-35
Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles[a] from Jerusalem, 14 and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15 While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, 16 but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17 And he said to them, “What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?” They stood still, looking sad.[b] 18 Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?” 19 He asked them, “What things?” They replied, “The things about Jesus of Nazareth,[c] who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. 21 But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel.[d] Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place. 22 Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, 23 and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. 24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him.” 25 Then he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! 26 Was it not necessary that the Messiah[e] should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?” 27 Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.
28 As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. 29 But they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.” So he went in to stay with them. 30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. 32 They said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us[f] while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?” 33 That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. 34 They were saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!” 35 Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.
In the same way, youth ministry begins with a presence to the young which engenders the confidence and the hope to ask questions. Attentive listening to the concerns of the young person enables the youth minister to understand more deeply the youth’s needs and stage of growth. At that point, the youth minister is able to respond, sharing with the young person the help, insights, or values that are the fruit of a life rooted in faith. By drawing out of the youth reflections on the action of God in the events of his or her own life, this sharing enables the young person to begin formulating answers in the light of witnessed tradition and Gospel values. The bond created in this relationship is celebrated in the community, most fully in the Eucharistic celebration of the Orthodox community.
If we follow the Emmaus model, youth ministry is the Church’s mission of reaching into the daily lives of modern young people and showing them the presence of God. It is a return to the way Jesus taught, putting ministry before teaching and people over institutions. In this ministry, religious content is a way of life for the person ministering and the young person touched, through a sequential development of faith, dependent on the readiness and need of the adolescent.

Principles of Youth Ministry
The living dynamics of youth ministry, through which these goals are achieved, may best he articulated in several key principles of ministry. These character arid underlie its effectiveness.
I. Youth is a unique time during personal growth.
the teenage years represent the critical period of transit from childhood to adulthood, during which physical, psychological and social growth is more concentrated than at any comparable time span in life. Since the development
of faith is tied to the interpretation of meaning in one’s life and experiences -
the teenage years are an important juncture for the individual’s spiritual development. the youth begins to forge a personal sense of meaning and set of values, and becomes capable of a deeper personal relationship with Christ and responsible Christian action. To help young people as they struggle with this effort, youth ministry must involve the understanding of parents, the guidance and example of peers and significant adults, and the ongoing maturing of the faith community which accepts the responsibility to share in the youth’s search for meaning and a language of faith.

II. Youth ministry is concerned with the total person.
Youth ministers should take seriously their responsibility to help young people grow as total persons, socially, spiritually, culturally, etc. The total young person has many important concerns which must be understood in the context of daily living, including family situations, relationships with peers, academic and extra-curricular involvement, response to religion, and moral value questions. In the life of each young person, different needs express them-
Themselves at various times during the process of maturing, and one of the hallmarks of youth ministry should be sensitivity to the young persons readiness for new steps.

III. Youth ministry is rooted in relationships.
Youth ministry involves first and foremost, not programs, but relationships. Within accepting relationships, young people are enabled to face and accept themselves and others, to clarify their goals and values, and to dare to become the persons they are called to be. Relationships that form youth ministry are those that form community and mediate the grace of Christ, challenging young people to greater growth and openness to God. The relationship of persons in a ministerial situation involves a mutual openness to change and willingness to grow. Both youth and adults are enriched by this bond, in such a way that the faith community is vitalized arid the risen Christ witnessed to.

IV. Youth ministry is a call to community.
God calls youth and adults alike to be members of His people, the Church, to join in pilgrimage to the Father and share insights into the meaning and value of life. As the Body of Christ, the community brings to youth the life-giving presence of Jesus in Word and Sacrament. Absolutely essential to effective youth ministry is the support and lived example of the surrounding faith community, particularly the parish. Without this, youth ministry exists iii a vacuum that cuts short fuller growth arid maturity in faith. Because the young person is involved most fully in the local communities of family, parish and school, youth ministry is most eflectivenly carried out in these settings. Youth ministry serves to support and enhance the basic faith committment of youth in each of these community contexts. Youth ministry also exerts a force for healing and reconciliation in those communities which suffer from the strain of youth’s need to reject and then re-integrate their roots.

V. Youth ministry proceeds as an affirmation of gifts.
The recognition and development of individual gifts and the building of a positive sense of personal worth and ability are an important aspect of the process of youth ministry. To effectively call the young person toward maturity, affirmation must be united to genuine trust of the young person’s integrity and ability. By awakening a young person’s potential and accepting his or her gifts, the community enriches its life and its own ability to minister to others.

VI. True youth ministry duplicates itself.
It is essential that youth ministry evoke in each person the willingness to offer ministry to others. Youth ministry should call youth not only to join programs, but also to join with others in living out tile Church’s mission to share the good news, live in community, and serve others in love and justice.
The interrelated principles out med above serve as a foundation for the concept ot youth mini stry, hut this listing is not necessarily exhaustive. With the maturity of ministry, others will be able to identify additional principles to complement those described here. Love of the neighbor- Bishop Don Helder Camara- “When I give food to the poor they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.” Teaching people to fish rather than giving them fish.
Caring for the neighbor is not an add on but the essence of Christianity.

(Section of notes from class taken for the Bangalore diocese youth at the St. Gregorios JSO Church, Hosa Road on October 31, 2015.)

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