Middle School Youth Ministry
The St. Francis Xavier Middle School Youth program (grades 6-8) provides a great opportunity for our youth to meet new friends, have fun, enjoy fellowship, participate in mission and service, and grow in their Catholic faith while growing closer to Christ and His Church. Our regular meetings are held on Mondays from 6:00-8:00 p.m. in the Parish Hall. We'd love to have you and your friends join us as we strive for Christ together.
WANT TO ATTEND #STEUBENVILLELIVE FOR FREE? LET US KNOW!
in-person youth ministry meetings are cancelled until further notice to prevent the spread of covid-19. thank you for your cooperation, and please keep praying for the end of it.
Recap of the "At the Table" series:
In social psychology, the term person perception refers to the different mental processes we use to form impressions and opinions of other people. It also includes the different conclusions we make about people based on our impressions. Without even being aware of it, our impressions have the potential to affect our judgments every day. Some of the factors that influence our impressions of others begin with the characteristics we observe, the context of the situation, and our past experiences. How often, though, are these initial impressions based solely on a person’s race?
Race refers to man-made distinctions based on skin color. Racism, then, is unjust discrimination based on a person’s race. Racism affects all of us all to a degree. While there are many emotions that can arise when speaking about it, it is important to talk about and discuss race and racism, especially as a Church. This week, we begin a series called At the Table, which presents the sinful reality of racism and equips the teens with Scriptural and doctrinal responses that will empower them to work toward self awareness, empathy, and solidarity.
Through this series, the teens will become more prepared to live in the diverse beauty of heaven by working toward racial justice in their daily lives. During the four weeks of this series, we will discuss the difficulties, discomfort, and challenges of racism so we can grow in awareness of the sinful reality of this issue and the way it impacts us all, as members of the Body of Christ. Through our Baptism, we are all called to live the mission of Jesus, which is that we all become one. Because we are all created in the image and likeness of God, no one is excluded from the table of the Lord, nor should anyone be treated that way. Therefore, racism is not just a human rights or social justice issue, it is an issue of faith. Racism hurts people and goes against the very nature of God, which is goodness itself. As we strive to live our baptismal call, to seek to live in and reflect the light of Christ, and to share the love of God with all people, we are called to recognize the effects of racism in ourselves, our community, and our country. Together, as one Church, we are challenged and called to fight against the sin of racism and offer the unconditional love of Christ to all people.
Continue the Conversation at Home:
What stood out to you the most about these people and their experiences of race?
Why is it important to listen to other people’s personal stories and experiences?
Have you ever formed an impression about someone based on their skin color? Has anyone ever formed an impression of you based on your skin color?
Have you ever directly or indirectly experienced racism? What happened? How did it make you feel?
How do you see racism affecting individuals? How does racism affect our society?
Based on what you have heard thus far, why do you think racism is a sin against the Body of Christ?
What are some emotions that you have (confusion, anger, discomfort, sadness, shame, helplessness, etc.) when speaking about racism?
Where do you see the effects of racism in our world today?
Join us again on Thursday at 3:00 on Zoom by clicking here. Please email us for the meeting ID.
Recap from Project YM's Alpha Youth series:
We, as Catholic Christians, are blessed to have beautiful prayers that we can call upon to speak with our Lord. Prayer is one of the most universal instincts. Simply put, prayer is talking with God. When I go to pick up my daughter from school, she gets so excited. She will start kicking in the buggy and will start yelling, “Mommy! Mommy!” This exchange makes me wonder- am I this excited to talk with God? Jesus makes it possible for us to have a personal relationship with God. Just like all of our relationships, our relationship with God grows through communication. Through prayer, God transforms situations, gives us peace, changes our perspective and shows us more of what he is like. Prayer changes things- big and small- just as long as we give these things to God. God is not a vending machine, though. Sometimes we won’t get the things that we pray for- even if they seem to be good. We can trust that he has our best interests at heart, even if we really want something. Prayer is indeed a surge of the heart and a look towards Heaven. Prayer is meant to be relational and is for our own benefit. We are called to grow closer to God. We know that he’s with us always, no matter what we’re growing through; Philippians 4:8 tells us that. If our teens aren’t sure where to begin with praying on their own, we recommend the following method: ACTS.
Adoration- tell God how much he means to you and how much you love him! Reflect on him becoming man and dying for you.
Contrition- tell God that you’re sorry for the things you’ve done and for not doing the things you should have done! Ask him to help you do better and pray an Act of Contrition.
Thanksgiving- tell God that you are so thankful for all the blessings that he gives to you! Be sure to list them out. Consider even putting a “top ten” list of blessings that God gives you in a visible place, so that you can become more grateful for these gifts. Feel free to add to it!
Supplication- tell God what you need! Perhaps it’s a physical thing; maybe it’s a reminder that he is there with you when you’re going through a tough time. Either way, God is ready for whatever you ask of him.
To be able to better talk with God, it is recommended that our teens have a regularly scheduled time to pray. If our teens forget to pray, we don’t want them to feel bad; we simply want them to begin again. This special time should be where our youth can focus and give themselves fully to God, so it might not be a good idea to pray as you’re falling asleep, laying in bed. It’s also probably wise to not be in a room where the television or tablet is one, so that our attention is where it should be.
We highly recommend that our students join us on Zoom while they are watching Project YM Live on a separate tab, so that we can participate in small group discussions together, during the designated breaks. To see last week's teaching video (Jesus: Who Is He?), please click here. To be a part of the Zoom small groups for Project YM Live, join us here a few minutes before 6:00 p.m. Please email us for the password to access it.
Continue the Conversation at Home:
What do you think about this episode? Did any specific moments or stories stand out to you?
If you could have a super power, what would it be and why?
Why do you think that God doesn’t give everyone what they pray for?
Have you ever tried praying from your heart? How did it go?
If God knows all of our needs, why does the Bible tell us to pray?
Ben talked about going through a challenging time and experiencing peace when he prayed. Have you ever experienced anything like that?
What do you think about the tips on prayer that Landry and Jassie gave? (The tips were to keep it real, keep it simple, keep it going.)
Featured FORMED Selection: "Facing Your Fears"
Mark Hart uses Scripture and his experience of surviving an earthquake to share how we can master our fears. He also reveals how our fears will pursue us if we don't meet them head on. Mark encourages us not only to face the proverbial giants in our lives, but also to slay them as David did Goliath, thereby finding freedom in Christ.
Want to serve as an adult leader for our middle school students? Please let us know! We really want to thank you for your desire to serve our Lord through the youth of our parish.
Note: All adults who sign up must have on file with SFX Parish the proper unexpired youth protection required training. It can be completed online here. They must also have submitted the volunteer inquire release forms at least three days before the day they plan to volunteer.
St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church abides by the Diocese of Birmingham in Alabama Youth Protection Program. Through annual training, our students are reminded that they are made in God's image and carry dignity. To review the materials associated with our Safe Environment/Sexual Abuse Prevention, please click here. For more information about becoming a chaperone and earning Youth Protection certification, click here.