How to Achieve a Minimalist and Christ-Centered Christmas

How to Achieve a Minimalist and Christ-Centered Christmas

Perhaps it was the look of disappointment from my daughter when she didn’t find any more presents under the tree with her name. Or maybe it was me sprinting outside to put up the “Keep Christ in Christmas” sign while I grabbed the four Amazon packages sitting at my door. Or could it have been the shoving of toys into the closet that was already bursting with items not played with in years? Whatever it was, several Christmas’ ago my family and I decided we needed a change and adopted our version of a “Minimalist” Christmas.

Minimalism has been trending lately and I have been intrigued by much of their philosophy. KEEP READING

Revering the “Mystery” in Youth Ministry

Revering the “Mystery” in Youth Ministry

“And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.” – Luke 2:19 

As youth and young adult ministers, we spend a lot of time trying to teach, guide, and positively influence others.  We may sometimes feel very confident in this role, as we see in some of our youth living reflections of different stages of life and development that we passed through ourselves. Other times we might feel completely overwhelmed and insufficient as we walk with a young person whose life and personality are very different from our own.

I think in both cases it’s very important to step back for a moment, and remember that our youth are not problems to be solved or lost sheep to be saved (by us at least!). KEEP READING

What Are Your Advent Traditions?

What Are Your Advent Traditions?

Traditions. Every family has them. Even our Church has Traditions/traditions. While gathering my thoughts for this Advent reflection, I did some thinking on what had been traditions for Advent in my family as I was growing up. I don’t think I ever heard the term “Advent.” And the fact that there is a theme for each Sunday of Advent – Hope, Love, Joy and Peace – who knew? This came as a real surprise to me. 

I certainly didn’t know it as the beginning of the Church year, or the symbolism of the wreath and the four candles. I am pretty sure there was no Advent Wreath in our house. KEEP READING

Why is Joseph an Important Part of the Story?

Why is Joseph an Important Part of the Story?

It’s so easy to get swept up in the Advent season to get excited about Mary and Elizabeth and John the Baptist and on and on and on. There are so many giants of our faith in Advent that it’s easy to glance over Joseph. He is huge figure in the life of Jesus and an example to us as parents, teens and all Catholics. Here are two takeaways from his role as Jesus’ papa.

Quit Talking and Listen

There is not a single word uttered by Joseph in Scripture.

It’s that simple. We need to quit talking. We need to quit with all the busyness. KEEP READING

Where’s Home For The Holidays?

Where’s Home For The Holidays?

We’ve heard the familiar phrases: “Home for the holidays” and “Home is where the heart is.” But for teens of divorce, those common phrases may bring up feelings of anxiety and confusion. If you haven’t experienced divorce yourself the easiest way to relate is to think of any loss or heartbreak that you have suffered. Anyone who has lost a loved one or is newly single knows that the holidays can be an especially difficult time. I have had to walk through this as a parent, but I reached out to Marissa McDonald, one of my teens, to assist me in providing some tips to help you walk alongside teens of divorce. KEEP READING

Happy Advent!

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It’s OK to Say No

It’s OK to Say No

Feelin over-scheduled? Stretched too thin? Trying to be in too many places at the same time? We’ve found the answer –––– JUST SAY NO! It’s Ministry. It’s our Passion. It’s our Faith. It’s our Vocation. It’s the right thing to do. It’s rewarding. It’s frustrating. It’s...

Are You Comfortable in Your Role Yet?

Are You Comfortable in Your Role Yet?

The fall is quickly coming to an end and you might find yourself reflecting on this wild, new role as youth minister. Questions such as, “Am I doing a good job?” might be circling your brain. This is always a great opportunity to ponder on how you are doing in this...

5 Ways to Pay it Forward During Advent

5 Ways to Pay it Forward During Advent

Advent is a time of slowing down and reflecting on God’s gift to the world in his son, Jesus. While this is a great time to introduce your teens to some more contemplative prayer, it can also be a time to take that grace from contemplation and put it into action. Here...

Surviving The Holidays With Your Coworkers

Surviving The Holidays With Your Coworkers

Working in ministry has a lot of perks. One of the greatest perk for me has been to be able to be a part of people’s lives during the holidays. Whether it is Advent, Christmas, Easter or other Church holidays, as a minister, we were able to be a part of how a person...

Come to the Feast – Inviting Friends to Mass

Come to the Feast – Inviting Friends to Mass

I grew up with a best friend by my side. We had met in kindergarten in Mrs. Jones’ class and from that day forth we stuck together like glue through everything. Elementary school, middle school, first boyfriends, first kisses, and other friendships came and went. Our...

We want to help your ministry thrive.

How to Achieve a Minimalist and Christ-Centered Christmas

How to Achieve a Minimalist and Christ-Centered Christmas

Perhaps it was the look of disappointment from my daughter when she didn’t find any more presents under the tree with her name. Or maybe it was me sprinting outside to put up the “Keep Christ in Christmas” sign while I grabbed the four Amazon packages sitting at my door. Or could it have been the shoving of toys into the closet that was already bursting with items not played with in years? Whatever it was, several Christmas’ ago my family and I decided we needed a change and adopted our version of a “Minimalist” Christmas.

Minimalism has been trending lately and I have been intrigued by much of their philosophy. KEEP READING

Revering the “Mystery” in Youth Ministry

Revering the “Mystery” in Youth Ministry

“And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.” – Luke 2:19 

As youth and young adult ministers, we spend a lot of time trying to teach, guide, and positively influence others.  We may sometimes feel very confident in this role, as we see in some of our youth living reflections of different stages of life and development that we passed through ourselves. Other times we might feel completely overwhelmed and insufficient as we walk with a young person whose life and personality are very different from our own.

I think in both cases it’s very important to step back for a moment, and remember that our youth are not problems to be solved or lost sheep to be saved (by us at least!). KEEP READING

What Are Your Advent Traditions?

What Are Your Advent Traditions?

Traditions. Every family has them. Even our Church has Traditions/traditions. While gathering my thoughts for this Advent reflection, I did some thinking on what had been traditions for Advent in my family as I was growing up. I don’t think I ever heard the term “Advent.” And the fact that there is a theme for each Sunday of Advent – Hope, Love, Joy and Peace – who knew? This came as a real surprise to me. 

I certainly didn’t know it as the beginning of the Church year, or the symbolism of the wreath and the four candles. I am pretty sure there was no Advent Wreath in our house. KEEP READING

Why is Joseph an Important Part of the Story?

Why is Joseph an Important Part of the Story?

It’s so easy to get swept up in the Advent season to get excited about Mary and Elizabeth and John the Baptist and on and on and on. There are so many giants of our faith in Advent that it’s easy to glance over Joseph. He is huge figure in the life of Jesus and an...

Where’s Home For The Holidays?

Where’s Home For The Holidays?

We’ve heard the familiar phrases: “Home for the holidays” and “Home is where the heart is.” But for teens of divorce, those common phrases may bring up feelings of anxiety and confusion. If you haven’t experienced divorce yourself the easiest way to relate is to think...

It’s OK to Say No

It’s OK to Say No

Feelin over-scheduled? Stretched too thin? Trying to be in too many places at the same time? We’ve found the answer –––– JUST SAY NO! It’s Ministry. It’s our Passion. It’s our Faith. It’s our Vocation. It’s the right thing to do. It’s rewarding. It’s frustrating. It’s...

Are You Comfortable in Your Role Yet?

Are You Comfortable in Your Role Yet?

The fall is quickly coming to an end and you might find yourself reflecting on this wild, new role as youth minister. Questions such as, “Am I doing a good job?” might be circling your brain. This is always a great opportunity to ponder on how you are doing in this...

5 Ways to Pay it Forward During Advent

5 Ways to Pay it Forward During Advent

Advent is a time of slowing down and reflecting on God’s gift to the world in his son, Jesus. While this is a great time to introduce your teens to some more contemplative prayer, it can also be a time to take that grace from contemplation and put it into action. Here...

Surviving The Holidays With Your Coworkers

Surviving The Holidays With Your Coworkers

Working in ministry has a lot of perks. One of the greatest perk for me has been to be able to be a part of people’s lives during the holidays. Whether it is Advent, Christmas, Easter or other Church holidays, as a minister, we were able to be a part of how a person...

Come to the Feast – Inviting Friends to Mass

Come to the Feast – Inviting Friends to Mass

I grew up with a best friend by my side. We had met in kindergarten in Mrs. Jones’ class and from that day forth we stuck together like glue through everything. Elementary school, middle school, first boyfriends, first kisses, and other friendships came and went. Our...

What I’m Thankful For This Year

What I’m Thankful For This Year

I couldn’t wait to get a Fitbit when they came out.  I was convinced that once I got one, I would suddenly become this ridiculously fit, muscular, healthy being.  Because, you know, watches do that.  So I was given a very generous gift card to Target…and I went and...

Retreat E–vangelization: Sharing Experiences

Retreat E–vangelization: Sharing Experiences

Ok, Youth Ministers, Directors of Faith Formation, and all you adult types in the field.  This time, the article is geared towards your teens. Read it to them, send it to them, work it in a talk.  It's good stuff.  I promise There’s a boldness that Christ calls us to...

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