Life Is Wonderful
Edge Night Outline
Goal of this Night
The goal of this Edge Night is to teach the youth that human life is sacred at all stages and to help them understand the Church’s moral stance on the major life issues. The night will concentrate on God as Giver of Life and our role in overcoming the culture of death.
About this night
This Edge Night is all about life issues and helping the youth understand the dignity and sanctity of human life. Our Church teaches us that life is a gift given by God. From the moment of conception to natural death, all life is sacred and should be protected. As Catholics, we are called to see life as precious and to speak up for the most vulnerable in our society. This Edge Night will cover several important topics and give the youth an understanding of why the Catholic Church rejects any attack on human life: abortion, embryonic stem cell research, euthanasia, and the death penalty.
The session uses Christmas as a theme to help the youth relate to the joy of life and to convey the truth of God as giver of life. After creating a collage showing life in small groups, the topic is further introduced in the unwrapping of gifts containing symbols of the various major life issues. The Proclaim begins with a video clip from the movie It’s a Wonderful Life, which will point to the joy of human life and its God-given nature. After the talk, there will be small group discussions reflecting on the topic, during which each group will pray the “Prayer for Life” together. When the youth gather back for the Send, they will reflect on the Annunciation and Mary’s life, which will lead into a prayer asking for her intercession.
Tonight we continued to build on Catholic social justice teachings – the dignity of human life. In the first few nights, we discussed that we are called to love God with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength, and our individual dignity because we are made in the image and likeness of our loving God. Additionally, because we have dignity, we are called to protect the dignity of all human life. All life is sacred and is a gift from God. The Catholic Church reminds us that we must protect and defend life from conception to natural death. We discussed specifically the issues of abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cells, and the death penalty. The youth learned the Church’s teaching in regard to these issues and were challenged to pray and work toward a culture of life. We ended by praying for Mary’s intercession, as she is the vessel through which Jesus, Giver of Life, entered the world.
Here are a few discussion questions for the ride home:
- How would you describe the Church’s teaching on human life?
- What keeps the world from seeing life as sacred?
- What could we do as a family to more firmly stand up for the right to life?
Think Christmas. While it may be difficult, try to have the decorations be more religious and less secular. This will help the youth connect the theme of human dignity to the birth of Jesus. Ask the Core and parishioners to bring Christmas decorations, banners, etc. Try to find a large-sized nativity scene (or see if you can use one the parish has in storage). Place several gifts underneath the tree. Keep in mind the purpose is to highlight the birth of Christ as the coming of Life.
• Handout A: “Prayer for Life cards”
• Christmas decorations and manger scene for environment
• Specially wrapped presents under the tree
• Magazines and newspapers
• Scissors for small groups
• Glue sticks
• Poster board
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