By: Jeannette Manser
Hello!! This is Jeannette Manser reporting on the NCCYM. You might be asking yourself ... what the heck is that? Well, just like WCACYM will be celebrating their 25th year of being the Western Canadian Association of Catholic Youth Ministers in January at our annual AGM, the states have their National Catholic Conference for Youth Ministry Bi-annually. 7 of us Canadians represented, and 4 of us were WCACYM's finest!
Myself: Jeannette Manser - Alberta, Erin Kinsella - Manitoba, Clay Imoo - British Columbia and Deanna Beaudoin-British Columbia!
The NCCYM was held this year in Orlando Florida at a beautiful hotel and conference center in Disneyworld Resorts - The Dolphin! With shuttles and boat rides and monorails away from Disneyworld's theme parks, we were able to enjoy our stay quite well.
It is amazing to see how alive and active our catholic faith is all over North America. And how inspiring and affirming it is to be with other youth ministers that are totally the same way as you!
Thurs. Nov. 29th was our first day at the conference with opening liturgy followed by a session by Bob McCarty and his wife, who are really the hands and feet of making this conference possible.
After Deanna, Erin and I enjoyed dinner in Downtown Disney, we headed back to the conference center for Opening Ceremonies and a flash mob practice!!! Yes, that's right, I said Flash Mob practice. The MC's for NCCYM were a hilarious duo - Jesse Manibusan and Judy Mcdonald! (They're famous Catholic Super stars!!!)
On Friday morning as we had our opening praise and worship session, all of us involved in this massive flash mob stationed ourselves throughout the room ready to go before our morning speaker! It was wonderful!! I along with Erin, Deanna and Clay, were with all these famous Catholic Youth Ministry people!! I felt pretty special!!
Each day, we had opportunties to attend 2 break-out sessions on various topics in youth ministry. For example, on Friday I chose to attend Multimedia in your office, and Athletics - Renewing the Vision. On Saturday - 10 techniques in music prayer ministry, and Campus and High School ministry. They were all fantastic!! Each morning we would have praise and worship, a speaker, and then after lunch we would have Mass followed by a speaker.
The evenings varied. Thursday was opening ceremonies and speaker, kind of like a rally. Friday night was the Youth Extravaganza showcasing some of those famous Catholic Super stars leading skits and songs about ministry, which really helped everyone there appreciate what we do and laugh about what we sometimes have to deal with on a regular basis. On Sunday night, we had our final mass which was the 1st day of advent, and awards for youth ministry efforts were given out. This made me think, we should really do this for WCACYM - have awards for those really fostering the faith in young people in western canada and be recognized.
Couple of other bonuses to the weekend was the fact that there was a resource expo hall filled with many catholic organizations, missions, orders, clubs, and resources for us to check out. There was also a stage with various catholic performers featured as well! It was a great place to network and gain new ideas for ministry!
The Upper Room Adoration chapel was a place I spent saturday afternoon in during the conference. It was beautiful with different types of art to look at and reflect on. A prayer intention candle table, adoration and the sacrament of reconciliation. I loved the fact that we had the opportunity to just go there and spend time with Jesus whenever we wanted!
I love the fact that we all have a chance in the evenings to socialize and visit with one another. And of course with being in Disneyworld, Downtown Disney was our destination for dinner or late night snacks. Deanna, Erin and I stayed an extra day, and decided on Universal Studios as the theme park we wanted to go to. What a great last day! So much fun!
Anyhow, I am truly blessed as a youth minister that I can take these opportunities to attend such amazing places and gain so much wonderful knowledge of my ministry and to be affirmed in what I'm doing. It certainly has helped me truly re-charge and come back to my school ready to go!
I hope to see you all in Winnipeg! Thank-you for all that you do to bring young people to God! You ARE making a difference and Jesus is smilling down on you!! Thank-you!!
Youth Ministry Coordinator
Notre Dame Highschool
Red Deer Catholic Schools
A love letter to all Summer Seminar Students:
Doing your homework matters, and we love you and are proud of all of you persevering today finishing your assignments.
You may think it a crazy waste of time and stress. But let me give you a few reasons why it isn't.
1) You're not the first or the last to do it.
2) You inspire and support one another.
3) You're a testament to the work ethic of Youth Ministry workers. All these long nights, extra cups of coffee, and hand cramps help witness to your devotion to growing in your expertise at serving God's beloved children and church. Taking time away from team meetings, family, sleep, and work is a great sacrifice in order to better oneself to serve. Not everyone is willing to give that much of themselves, so be proud and know it is appreciated and noticed!
4) Your passion and dedication to your calling to serve young people is evident by not just relying on natural talent and, "winging it on a prayer". Although we're all gifted and guided by God's spirit - sometimes God asks us to put our own extra effort and investment. It is a humble act to become a life long learner, and you are all great witnesses to that! Know that your youth benefit from your tireless work to improve and gain new wisdom, but also by your example of dedication to a cause. Young people long to throw themselves "All In" as our good friend Michael Chiasson would say. They only benefit and gain courage to do so by seeing you do this into your craft and career in youth ministry.
5) You're paving the way for the next wave of leaders. I was a delinquent 3 years late to the party of starting my certificate in Youth Ministry. I was also a university drop out who didn't want to admit it, but was afraid of failing again at "school". The example of friends before me and their encouragement gave me courage to get back on the saddle. If this university dropout can do it, anyone can - and you all tell that story by your various situations and perseverance in completing the courses.
6) Finally, celebrate well. Eat a whole cheesecake. Have that beer. Dance in the snow. Rejoice and proclaim what you've accomplished. Call a friend and scream "I'M DONE!!!!" to them. Don't just jumped into the next thing. Relish and sit with your accomplishment. And of course, invite and encourage others to step up to the challenge next!
Well done Summer Seminar students. We're proud to have you in the family.
By: Erin Kinsella
So I just came back this week from Orlando, Florida! Nice vacation from the Winnipeg weather J. Why was I in Florida, you ask? Well, it was because the biennial National Catholic Conference on Youth Ministry was being held there. Just a perk that it happened to be hosted at Disneyworld!
Anyways, I wanted to share about something I found really interesting …
Youth ministry is defining itself more, and really is a collection of information/theory/best practices/wisdom about how to help young people to encounter Christ. It’s not fluffy.
Sometimes it’s hard to move forward in youth ministry, because often our pastors / bosses / parishioners / other bystanders / volunteers / teens / us see youth ministry as something that is merely a social gathering/a way to keep young people occupied/an extension of catechism/a way to get young people to Mass/a vehicle for service and justice/other narrowly focused thing that is ill-defined and unspecialized (YM is ALL of these things, and more, not just ONE of these things by itself).
Sometimes, the job of youth minister/campus minister/youth coordinator/person responsible for all evangelistic efforts to all young people from birth to 40 goes to the only person who is unable to flat-out refuse the role/the excited young guitar-playing college student who doesn’t have any experience but is really cool/willing to do it for free or for a salary that is unjust and/or literally criminal/ already doing a million other jobs in the parish and should now “take care of the youth”/the person who used to do “youth stuff” but might not be aware of how much theory around ministry to youth has changed/any other person who loves young people with that as the only qualification.
If we can help people to shift their focus and see that ministry to young people requires a whole skill set with specialized competencies and knowledge just like any other job, then we can help our young people to have access to those who both
a) Love Jesus and want to help them to be consumed by the love of God in such a way that it spills out of them into the world around them, and;
b) Have some training in how to go about this effectively
I’m not for a minute suggesting that those who don’t have formal training or education in youth ministry can’t be called to it and be very good at it (I’m a great example…I started professionally in YM with only a few years of experience and an unrelated university degree as a qualification, have taken part in lots of training stuff and gained more experience, and am now moving into more education to supplement that experience…but I started off as mostly a person who loves Jesus and teenagers and wanted to see them paired up). What I AM suggesting is that YM has grown a lot since it first began as socials and athletics for young people, and there is now a huge body of knowledge and theory and experience that we NEED to tap into when we minister to young people.
Whether you are a volunteer or are paid, you DESERVE to have a frame of reference to minister in. It’s awful to feel like you have no idea how to even start doing what you’re expected to do, which is often a whole lot, and this can lead to ineffective youth ministry, unhappy pastors and young people, and people who end up hurt or used as a result of their service in youth ministry. This doesn’t always happen, but it’s not necessarily uncommon either, and is this not something we would like to avoid? Think about it this way: it would be kind of like asking someone to be an accountant without them having an accounting degree, and then expecting them to balance the books because they are a nice person with good intentions. Sounds harsh, but it’s not fair to them, to the firm, or to the people who rely on their service.
In Canada, we are moving more and more towards this understanding, I think. We’re getting better at helping people to understand the concrete-ness and huge-ness of youth ministry, at equipping people to do it effectively, at discipling people who disciple youth, and more. It’s also likely that by the time we see these things coming more into their own, youth ministry will have morphed into new theories/practices/expressions that will require us to do it all over again.
Anyways, these are some thoughts that came out of the conference, especially because young people are SOOOOOOO worth it. They are worth knowing how to do our jobs well (whether we are volunteer or paid). They are worth taking care of ourselves for and making sure that our ministry doesn’t lead to burn-out or being frozen in discouragement. They are worth our own continuing growth and understanding of the richness found in our Catholic faith and teachings so that we can help them to do the same. And they are certainly worth us entering more and more deeply into a relationship with Christ so that we can enter into relationships with them and help them to encounter Him too.
The AGM is fast approaching, and I am putting together a video to celebrate our 25 years as WCACYM. I need the following from you all!!
1. Please e-mail me pictures from Summer Sem, AGM, and retreats from the last 25 years so that I can put them in a slide show!!
You can e-mail me at email@example.com
2. Send me video clips-(20 seconds tops long) interviewing people and asking them why WCACYM has been so special or important in their life.
3. VERY IMPORTANT! I need people singing and dancing to the song Call me Maybe, only change the chorus to "Hey! I just met you, and this is crazy, you have resources, so share them maybe!"
I need all these things NO LATER than January 10th!!!!! THAT IS THE DEADLINE!!
Please e-mail all this stuff at firstname.lastname@example.org
I cannot wait to see these, and I cannot wait to see all of you at our Annual Gathering in January!!
God Bless you guys!!
Youth Ministry Coordinator
Notre Dame Highschool
Member, Marketing Committee
I would like to update you to a few things with WCACYM from your Core team.
First of all, my apologies for the limited communication between Core and membership over the last few months. We have been working diligently (which I'll outline below), but without much update which I'm mostly to blame. I've discovered a great lesson in learning to share my weakness and struggles rather than keeping a brave face. Alongside that I have great appreciation for the great Joe Glaab's shoes I've attempted to fill and the 25 years of heroes before him! Items requiring my attention were held up due to some stress and sickness in the home scene as Sharon my beautiful wife was dealing with sickness ( which lead to discovering a gallstone among other things). Thank you to all the prayer warriors that have been holding her in prayer.
1. Current members from 2011-2012 were email a finalized WCACYM budget for this new fiscal year for WCACYM (Aug 2012-Aug2013). Again in past approval via email, we require your response within a week for approval. A non-reply will be considered a yes vote.
2. With the great help from fellow members of Core we have relaunched the www.wcacym.ca website as you can see. It is a bit more "fresh" and social media friendly. We're hoping to blog updates here in the future (with member contribution) along with many other neat initiatives. A members only section will be up and running by Christmas with pertinent documents, resources, and other exclusive items for members. Of primary importance is the ability to access info to register as a member and for upcoming events (such as our Annual Gathering in Winnipeg Jan. 17 - 20th)
3. The new brochure/form for WCACYM membership is also completed. Thanks to Lance Rosen for his work on it. You can access this information (and register as well!) here on the website, but for the paper friendly please pass it along to your colleagues and contacts in youth ministry in your Diocese/Eparchy.
4. Summer Seminar: Dates are set for August 7-13th, 2013 @ Queen's House of Retreats in Saskatoon. Sister Maybelle is looking to honor the mandate for lowered costs while staying at Queen's House in response to overwhelming student feedback at the end of the summer wishing to stay at Queen's House. Info packs should be going out end of December and available at the AG along with Sister Maybelle for any questions you may have.
5. Finally our 25th Anniversary will be celebrated at our Annual Gathering this coming January 17-20th, 2013 @ the Radisson Hotel in Winnipeg, MB. The Archdioceses of St. Boniface, Winnipeg, and Archeparchy of Winnipeg are pulling together a great event for us. Click to register! Highlights include:
So as you can see, much is happening with WCACYM! Stay tuned for many more exciting details as we gear up to celebrating our 25th Anniversary Year at our Annual Gathering in Winnipeg!
#iamwcacym, are you?
Coordinator, Youth Ministry Office - Diocese of Saskatoon
twitter: @wcacym , #iamwcacym