Representatives from the Parramatta Diocese strengthened in Youth Ministry
|Representatives from the Parramatta Diocese gather at the Convention|
At the start of October, a group of five of us came together drawn by our involvement with young people in the Parramatta diocese, to attend the Australian Catholic Youth Ministry Convention in Melbourne. Some of us did not know each other well at the beginning, but were bonded during the insightful three-day weekend convention attended by 400 delegates from around the nation.
|Promoting WYD Madrid during the Convention|
We arrived in Melbourne in advance to attend the World Youth Day 2011 debrief in the Diocesan Youth Office prior to the convention also allowing time to enjoy the city sights and cafés, including an uplifting bike ride along the Yarra River getting us in touch with our youthful side. It was a nice lead up to the weekend that provided keynote addresses and workshops facilitating youth ministry.
Presenters from around Australia and the USA were present to provide formation to the attendants. One message that stuck with me was that a common element in vibrant youth ministry was its passionate leaders. And that youth want relationships, rather than being merely ministered to. The convention presented creative ways in how ministers can get more connected and in touch with the youth and foster their journey of spiritual growth.
There was opportunity to also meet and network with others working in youth ministry from around Australia, sharing in fellowship and from each other’s experiences and ideas. A vast number of workshops were available, providing valuable tips, tools and resources geared at successful youth ministry. One workshop I attended raised awareness for the care of Youth Ministers themselves, to avoid getting burned out, management of stress and the importance of formation and training.
An inspiring keynote address by the charismatic Bishop Joseph Grech highlighted the final day of the convention. Bishop Grech spoke passionately about living out and celebrating our identity as Catholics. “To be chosen by God for all eternity to be more and more like Jesus”. Bishop Grech revitalized the audience calling for Jesus to live in us and to stand for Jesus in our ministry and lives.
It has been a wonderful experience attending the Youth Ministry Convention. It has certainly equipped me with an improved outlook in approaching youth ministry. There is much joy in journeying with others as we share in fellowship and in service.
GenChristi Youth Group
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