The Saint Paul's Young Adult Group (Los Angeles, California) is made up of single and married people in their 20's and 30's. The principal activity of our group is what we call "Faith Sharing", which meets in a series of eight Thursday evenings at 7:30pm. The leaders pick different topics for each week, such as "The power of temptation" and "Earthly possessions versus spirtual possessions". After doing a check-in to see how each person's week has been, the leader asks a volunteer to do a reading, usually from Scripture. Then we break up into small groups of three or four people and answer a set of questions that the leader has prepared. The questions are usually experience-based or faith-based, so no one is criticized for right or wrong answers. It is not a therapy session, but a gathering where we can see different views which hopefully make our relationship with God closer. After about a half an hour in the small groups, we gather once more in the larger group where a couple wrap-up questions are asked, and then we end with refreshments. For only an hour and a half or so each week, it sure makes people feel good!
The nice thing about it is that people share as much as they want to. People answer questions as deeply or as superficially as they want to, and most people respect that. Honestly, the people that come to the meetings are some of the nicer people that I know.
Currently there about 15 or so people who come regularly to faith sharings, and a couple dozen who are active within the young adult group. On the roster, we have names and addresses of just over 100 young adults in this area who at one time or another expressed interest in our group.
Another thing which has drawn us closer to each other is Mass, and having dinner after Mass. A lot of us try to go to the 5:30pm Mass on Sundays, which has a *fantastic* choir. Afterwards, we try to catch a dinner at one of the local restaurants. Laid back, and a great way to get ready for the new week.
At least once a year the leaders try to do a roster-wide phone-calling session to try to spark up interest for those who have been away for a while. That time is usually around Thanksgiving, when we hold a fantastic dinner with invites to the whole roster. It's nice to see the old faces mixed up with the new ones. We had 20 people come last year to our first Thanksgiving dinner, and with its reputation and better planning, we might have 30 or 40 this year. Who knows.
The material we use is Brown-Roa's Young Adult series. That is an excellent series that does all the footwork for a faith sharing group. Recently, we have become more daring and have created material by ourselves with topics that most interest us: Dating within the faith versus dating outside the faith, learning to pray, in search of daily meaning, and so on.
I am no representative of Brown-Roa, but I'll gladly give you details for ordering the books. There's a set of 10 or so books which I paid approximately $50 for. They were recommended by the Archdiocese, and after seeing them at the Catholic conference in Anaheim earlier this year, I bought them.
We also organize social activities! For more information, call (310)474-1527 x908.
If there are any St. Paul parishoners or St. Paul young adults out there reading this, send some e-mail!
If you want more suggestions of holding a group together, or you've got some cool suggestions (I'm always looking!!), send me some e-mail!
Here's some other Young Adult Ministries around the country:
The Faith Sharing series starts up again on Thursday, Sept. 9th in the Multi-Purpose Room at 7:30pm. The theme for the 8-week series is "A Return to Basics: Prayer." Some topics in the works are meditation techniques, the Taize prayer phenomena, and a day when members share with each other their favorite bible passage or poem or song for reflection. After each meeting, join us for an optional dinner at a local restaurant. For more information call the YAM hotline or email Adrienne at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Young Adults are recruiting members to help in the celebration of the 75th anniversary of Ascension parish, the sister parish of St. Paul's. First come volunteer to help cook from 10-12 on Saturday Sept. 25th, and then join us at the 5 p.m. Mass, celebrated by Cardinal Roger Mahoney, at Ascencion parish. In addition to the cooking, we need volunteers to help serve the food and clean up afterwards. It's a great way of giving up your time for a good cause, and you can work side by side not only with other St. Paul's Young Adults, but with most of the other St. Paul's ministries. We encourage you to come! For more information, call the YAM hotline (310)474-1527 x908 or e-mail Adrienne at email@example.com.
Young Adult Thanksgiving Dinner! We extend an invitation to all members of St. Paul's in their 20's and 30's, whether you've been coming to our church for just a week or for many years. Come join us at St. Paul's on Saturday, November 20th, in a night complete with turkey and chocked full of home-made family recipes. Do you have a gift of cooking? Bless us with your gift! Lots of your gift! We will also need help with setting up the room, and a lot of help with cleaning up! Join us and make this a special Thanksgiving Dinner. For more information about the dinner, or if you're intereseted in volunteering to cook, set up, or clean (Yes! Yes!), call Tina, or e-mail Adrienne at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Social events to help build group rapport as we prepare for the Thanksgiving and holiday season are on the rise. Some events include:
Also, our Young Adult Ministry is looking forward to the Great Jubilee next year. Here's a calendar of events that will inspire us through much of 2000.
What is the Great Jubilee? (Thanks to the Catholic Diocese of Lubbock!)
The ancient custom of jubilees goes back to the traditions of the Old
Testament. We find them in the Books of Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy.
In those times, every sabbatical (seventh) year was dedicated in a special
way to God. Every fiftieth year was a jubilee year.
During sabbatical and jubilee years, the earth was left fallow, slaves were to be liberated, and debts were to be forgiven.
In our Catholic tradition, jubilee years are times when the Church shows particular indulgence in granting the remission of sins and the punishment due for them.
The Great Jubilee of the year 2000 is meant to be a time of extraordinary grace. It is a gift from the Holy Spirit to refresh and renew our faith.
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