Anxiety in the Ears and on the Minds of Youth

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Music plays an important role in the lives of young people. Remember the songs of your teen years? Every generation in history has felt their own love and deep connection to music including the generation of today. Music is a product of the times and is reflective of the situations it arises from. Some would say that music reveals the prevailing th...
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Serving in the Sun

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This has been (and still is) quite the winter. Here in Iowa, we've been bombarded with snowfall after snowfall, with lots of below zero days to make life even more fun! So it's natural for our thoughts to turn with great yearning to spring and summer. With summer only four months away, I've been focused on our summer mission trip for high school yo...
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New Year’s Resolutions – Embracing Change in 2019

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I enjoy making personal resolutions for each year. I find the reflective and visioning process invigorating and challenging. I use a mind mapping process to celebrate what I've accomplished and what I hope to be true in the next year. Like many people, my resolutions span from personal health goals, learning new things, improving personal relations...
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Carried to Christ

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World Youth Day begins January 22 nd in Panama City. In 1993, while I was Director of Youth Ministry for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, I traveled with 800 youth and adults to World Youth Day in Denver. This was the first time that World Youth Day was held in a site that had not already been recognized as a holy shrine or place of pilgrimage. The ...
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In the New Year, What Will Our Response Be to Youth Who Advocate for Change?

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There is a popular holiday song called, "My Grown-up Christmas List" that tells the story of an adult remembering their childhood wishes and then writing an adult Christmas list. "Do you remember me I sat upon your knee I wrote to you with childhood fantasies Well I'm all grown up now And still need help somehow I'm not a child but my heart still c...
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Are Arts and Crafts in Youth Ministry Still Relevant? Surprisingly Yes!

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This summer while leading Just5Days (a middle school summer mission experience) , I was taken aback by the reaction of middle school youth  to a small, simple thing . Of course, the youth loved providing service out in the community, participating in our community prayers , and all the games and activities we did. B ut , something else surpris...
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Experiencing Solidarity

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If one member of Christ's body suffers, all suffer. If one member is honored, all rejoice. 1 Corinthians 12:12-26 ​ I recently wrapped up leading a middle school mission experience, Just5Days , in Weslaco, Texas. It was an awesome week with many unexpected events! This year's theme was on solidarity and it sure felt like we experienced that on a wh...
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Connecting Technology and Faith

Connecting Technology and Faith
I forgot my phone. Many of you will relate to this experience. For me, the most recent time this happened was a day I was traveling that was filled with family visits. The morning and afternoon were the Confirmation of my niece and the family party that followed. We went straight from there to dinner and a play featuring my nephews. Once I realized...
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How Is Your Parish Helping Youth to Leave Their Mark on History?

How Is Your Parish Helping Youth to Leave Their Mark on History?
"Today Jesus, who is the way, the truth and the life, is calling you to leave your mark on history." Pope Francis, World Youth Day 2016 Right now, more than one billion young people between the ages of 10 and 24 are studying, working, serving, and discovering their purpose. This is the largest generation of young people the world has ever seen, and...
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Small Things with Great Love

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"Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love." Mother Teresa A constant challenge in youth ministry is finding the "right" leaders. We struggle many times to recruit new ministry leaders and retain the current ones. The challenge persists for many reasons but the one I think that doesn't get enough conversation is ...
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