i think, the church can reach to youth is to involve the youth in ceremonies throughout the church, come up with youth groups-disgussing christ, family,etc. as well as walk around the church and ask the youth questions about their readings.
i agree with that nicole rox your world, i do believe that inorder for the church to reach with the youth today they should definately make youth groups, so that teens can come and talk about god,family, and different areas within mass and church.
i totally agree youth groups would be good, because teens can communicate and talk about whats right for their church, and even if they don't go to the same, teens can gve ideas to others in order for the church to reach with it's youth in a better way, but seriously "youth groups" all the way
I believe Antioch all the way .... youth group with a twist. In our area the youth in the community are so far and wide that they rarely do anything together. they need to be "invited" as all us recruits eventually were .... LOL.But also there needs to be more emphasis on the teens in the community schools to encourage them to join in at church in doing the readings, the offertory, the collection plates. Its about time the children's mass was handed back to the children and the youth mass was run by the youth.I'm not saying this is the absolute solution but it is one way of expressing to the kids that it IS all about them. In our Church the youth and children's choir are run by some LOVELY but old fashioned teachers. They sing all the old hymns in all the OLD ways (ie. the high pitch, the unreachable notes and the old doom keyboard) instead of trying to embrace the younger style (that which we call Christian rock) of music. In effect we need to pull a SISTER ACT on the church .... bring the Mass to the youth, as well as the youth to the Church.
I like the ideas of youth groups too.One of the most important things the church should do is instill in the minds of the youth that religion should not be feared.God should not be feared.I think traditionally, we have been unintentionally led to fear God and worry if we sin (Especially in traditional schooling). Knowing and believing this, it becomes easy to be led away from being faithful.Instilling the ideas that God is merciful and forgiving should be at the top of the Church's list. Perhaps guest speakers. Visual performances, music and movies are always a winner when it comes to attracting an audience. I think it is important to thing about the WAY we can deliver the message to our youth.
I have bever been part of a youth group. My neighbours once tried to get their antioch group to come to our house and make my sister and I join. Ive also been caught unawares at uni where people have come and sat next to me and started talking about it. I think this will always be a tough one to crack, with an ageing population the catholic church needs to reach out to young people more, there aren't enough youth services or some churches dont even have the resources or interest to put together a youth group.I think theres loads of ways you can reach out to youth. Theres stuff like music and guest speakers, but I think it has to be deeper. I like the comment about married priests, its moves like that (whether they happen or not) that would bring the church up to speed more with todays world.And this blog has also got people talking and interested which is great too!
My main concern is that the conservative hierarchy of the Church is not really serious about incorporating the ideas of what youth would want for a deeper involvement with all aspects of the Church. The youth of the Church must wonder if their participation is really valued or is it used "just for show". When young, learned and very enthusiastic clergy, teachers and administrators have a greater involvement at a higher level of what it means to belong to a modern Catholic Church the younger generation will naturally feel they are being truly represented.
I find myself asking 'What IS church?'. The students in my Year 4 class can tell me that church is not 'a building' but rather about people. I think that we do "church" when we "do" community. And being a community where God is the centre, is all about people feeling valued and feeling safe to be real, raw and completely themselves. I think church needs to be a place of freedom... a safe and loving place of freedom which doesnt judge/condemn but DOES ask "are you really okay?" "Is this thing/behaviour/choice really and truly healthy for you?"A church where each individual walks in and walks back out into the world, knowing that they are valued....I think that a place like that, is, inherently attractive.So what does the church need to do to reach out to young people?Be more fully itself. Much love :)xox.
singing/music...start a Catholic 'Glee' club/competition (that show is MASSIVE in the UK at the moment esspecially with the young ones who will be more receptive to youth groups since they haven't found their little cliques yet...and pump in the Chirstian Rock...the places where the youth get involved in their religion are places where it's actually cool to be part of it...kids love belonging to something, but not at the cost of their aceptance into the bigger world.i've been ribbed for taking part in youth groups and stuff like that by friends...but once you're not part of the catholic school system...you kind of miss it (but then i'm now 30 and prob don't fit into the 'youth' catergory anymore)...Keep the liturgy in the school, in fact do more of them... with all the student participation...that's what i miss the most and think reached out to me as a kid...and as a teacher :)
I think allowing priests to Marry and establish a family will allow them to then be percieved as PART of the commuity rather than above them. As a public school teacher I often come up against the comment "YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND" and once I tell the kids a story of how MY children behaved badly and did something similar they tend to back down and you can almost see them thinking "well MAYBE she does understand a little". It's all good and well for the kids to go through the motions of saying the prayers but are they really understanding that we are saying our prayers to show our love for a God who to them is the ultimate Judge AND Jury?It sounds terrible to say, but I have sat in Catholic Scriture Duty and watched a young Nun trying to talk to the children. They were restless, talking and plain ignoring her. I have also done Duty in the Anglican Scripture class and they were Involved in the lesson. Singing, dancing, listening and responding to the two young leaders. What was the difference? 2 people to watch instead of 1? The Music? The tone of voice? Or was it just the idea of the Nun as HIGHLY Religious and therefore BORING (as stated by the kids) and the 2 Young leaders as approachable, fun and more personally identifiable?
I think that there needs to be involvement within schools of priests and brothers that are accessible to kids in their attitudes and behaviors, this expands I think into how RE is taught in schools...this has a huge influence. If we ask though, how the church should be responding to young people's needs, should we not ask young people?
Our youth respond well to opportunities to publically express their faith. We saw in World Youth Day, and more recently through Matt Maher concerts, Catechesis events etc that young people enjoy exploring their faith and applying it to their everyday life. They love to share and to have a voice in the church community. The problem with this, however, is that these one off events are exactly that – isolated events which don’t necessarily encourage regular attendance at Mass. The opportunities provided at these events to build relationships with priests is largely what makes them the success stories that they are. Our young people often go from the highs of these events into parishes on Sundays feeling isolated and somewhat disconnected from the Mass. Parishes look after children well with most offering liturgies for Children, but there seems to be a gap between these and regular Masses. I think that there needs to be more regular Youth Masses where the hymns, homilies etc are geared towards a teenage/young adult audience. I agree with many responses posted already that Youth Groups, Antioch style experiences and the like are needed but on a REGULAR basis. Just a few thoughts!
Youth are not just the Church of tomorrow, they are the Church of today. We need to encourage young people to see that they have a place now. Parishes and schools need to work closer together. This needs to be encouraged froma Diocesan, Deanary and local level. The Church needs to embrace technology to speak to young people.
i agree with Fr Paul, the church does need to embrace technology to speak to young people. . . . . but how?. . . . .
i still don't understand "married priest",however, "state" said a good point, that this blog is taking in more viewers,and so this could be an advantage to the churches to enhance their technology. they can set up blogs just like this one, and allow teens to chat on it and talk about the ceremonies that the priests conducted, christ and god.
Adrian Hicks.I am a Religious Education Coordinator in Sydney Australia