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2020-2021 Faith Formation and Youth Ministry Update

Thank you to all the parents who participated in the COVID-19 survey for Faith Formation and Youth Ministry! Your comments were especially helpful in seeing where everyone is at for the coming year and determining what is the best way we can support your families in your faith.

A majority of you said you prefer a mix of in-person and online faith formation and youth ministry, and a strong second prefer online only. We respect everyone’s preferences and are working to accommodate them while not sacrificing the quality of faith formation support. Here is our plan until further notice:

Given the survey and directions from the governor and bishop, in order for there to be regular faith formation without hiccoughs, we need to be accustomed to online learning. I found the My Catholic Faith Delivered website we used last year to be cumbersome for large families. We would like it to be a joy to learn our Faith, so we will be switching programs to Sophia Institute’s Spirit of Truth! The online class format will assist us (and you) in keeping perfect track of what has been done and what is still needed. Print books will be available to those of you who understandably desire to avoid the internet when it is not necessary. Homework from print books will be dropped off in the social hall in a drop box with the name and grade of the child.

I appreciate the comments about the importance of personal contact within our parish family. I could not agree more! Catholicism is more than book learning; it is relational. We need prayer, Catholic friendships and mentoring. However, people are in different places from each other on what is the best fit for them in their situation, and we cannot require any particular in-person program at this time. We will practice safety measures such as abiding by the diocesan guidelines of sanitation and social distancing while we make optional opportunities available for in-person gatherings. This year is an opportunity for you as parents to commit to your calling which you have always had as the first teachers of your children.

Some of the in-person gatherings I envision when we are allowed to meet are small gatherings of children and teens limited in size via signup.com to tie-in what has been learned at home to personal experience of relating to Jesus. We may also be able to have some optional social and prayer events for the teens, and practical workshops for parents. We will prioritize outdoor gatherings when possible.

Registration will begin after we have transferred to our new data system, sometime at the end of July or beginning of August.

Thank you again for giving your input on the survey!

Catechists Needed!
Our parish needs catechists who are comfortable meeting sporadically or on a rotating basis with small numbers of children and/or teens when it is feasible. These sessions will be primarily relational and prayer oriented, helping the children and teens to tie what they have been learning online with their lives and the central core of our Faith. Interested? Contact Simeon Willis: dre@saintbarnabasarden.org, 828-684-6098 x1303.