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Youth ministers go back to basics in masterclass

By Mary Brazell, 25 March 2020
Youth ministers pose for a photograph during the Catholic Youth Parramatta Youth Ministry Masterclass at Campion College, Toongabbie. Image: Diocese of Parramatta.

 

More than 40 youth ministers ranging from veterans to those just starting out have gathered for a day of back to basics ministry training.

The Youth Ministry Masterclass, organised by Catholic Youth Parramatta, was held on 29 February at Campion College Australia in Toongabbie.

View images from the Youth Ministry Masterclass here or below.

Participants were encouraged to attend Mass in the university’s chapel before the start of the day.

James Camden, Director, Catholic Youth Parramatta, begun the masterclass with an ice-breaker game that had the youth ministers examining and describing lemons, a metaphor for the young people they minister to.

Youth ministers during the Catholic Youth Parramatta Youth Ministry Masterclass at Campion College, Toongabbie. Image: Diocese of Parramatta.

Dr Paul Morrissey, President of Campion College Australia, was the keynote speaker during the Masterclass, and spoke about how kerygma is at the heart of evangelisation, and its application in youth ministry.

“There’s three structures of kerygma – a great sign of wonder with a consequential effect, the explanation and then the exhortation.

“If we’re going to be kerygmatic, we need signs and wonders. As those ministering to youth, we need to pause and reflect on the signs and wonders that the Lord has done in your life because that can be the sign and wonder that has an effect on someone else.

“Testimonies are important. Prepare different testimonies. You can have your big life-changing testimony, but there’s also those little testimonies, the little things that happen in your life where the Lord helped you, and you can share that with the young people.

Dr Paul Morrissey, President of Campion College Australia, during the Catholic Youth Parramatta Youth Ministry Masterclass at Campion College, Toongabbie. Image: Diocese of Parramatta.

“The explanation comes through the sign and wonder itself. Sometimes, this way of explaining the faith is called apologetics, but first and foremost with this idea of kerygma, of this explanation, is to draw people in to knowing Jesus, and the way we do that is through our witness.

“A really interesting question to ask in this situation is ‘who is God for you?’ It’s a question that leaves a bit of distance, but often, you get a really good answer of where they are in their faith life. In your youth groups and in your youth ministry, you’ll be giving answers to that question in an ongoing way.

“The exhortation is an encouragement to come forward towards the Lord. We need to bring them closer to the Lord, because sometimes people need that encouragement – the kerygma is entering into a friendship with Jesus and with the Church,” he said.

Following lunch, the cohort of youth ministers participated in four different workshops.

Chantelle Ogilvie-Ellis, Community Organiser for Sydney Alliance, spoke to the youth ministers about succession planning and how it was important that when it comes time to step away from ministry to have a pool of leaders to handover to, rather than a single replacement.

Chantelle Ogilvie-Ellis, Community Organiser for Sydney Alliance, during the Catholic Youth Parramatta Youth Ministry Masterclass at Campion College, Toongabbie. Image: Diocese of Parramatta.

Claire Brown from St Finbar’s Parish, Glenbrook, shared her wisdom and experience on how the mission is also in the music.

Rosie Drum mgl, Assistant Director, Catholic Youth Parramatta, shared her tips about running younger youth groups with age-appropriate content in our local contexts.

Diocese of Parramatta Social Justice Coordinator Patrice Moriarty then spoke to the group about encouraging their young people to put faith into action through social justice programs.

Youth ministers during the Catholic Youth Parramatta Youth Ministry Masterclass at Campion College, Toongabbie. Image: Diocese of Parramatta.

Chloe Daley from Holy Spirit Parish, St Clair, told Catholic Outlook that she gained a lot from Dr Morrissey’s keynote and is excited what 2020 will bring.

“The Youth Ministry Masterclass was an amazing day as we got to learn more about the Gospel message we are sharing.

“The thing that stood out to me the most was learning that we are the signs and wonders for others when we are a witness to the faith. It’s so important that we live out the Gospel in our everyday lives in the hope that we encourage others to experience conversion or return home to the Church.

“For me, 2020 is going to be an incredible year in youth ministry as I’m so inspired by the other leaders I spent the day with and I can’t wait to go out and share the Gospel to other young people,” she said.

Rosie Drum mgl added, “I realise anew the wonderful privilege and responsibility of sharing the Gospel when I gather with the young leaders of our Diocese on a day like this.

“They are mostly all volunteers, who willingly give up their precious time to be trained so they can lead the young people they lovingly serve closer to Jesus.

“I find their humility and generosity to be so inspiring and encouraging – our Church is definitely alive!”

View images from the Youth Ministry Masterclass here or below.

2020 CYP Youth Ministry Masterclass

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