New freshman, new Core members, new school year – with all this “newness” going on, it is good to have some constants. Your trusty Life Support box has arrived! I encourage you to take some time and look through the resources (and yes, play with the toy). As always, the written content of the Life Support box is also available in the “member resources” section of ym.lifeteen.com. I pray that the contents of this box blesses your ministry and allows this school year to be filled with new opportunities to lead teens closer to Christ. Below is a short description of everything you will find in the most recent Life Support box and ideas on how to use the resources in your program:
1. Liturgy Planning Guide
This book is designed to enhance your youth-focused liturgies with music and teen-friendly homilies. It can also be used as a basis for a lectionary-based Bible Study. Be sure to share this valuable resource with your music ministry as well as the priests. This books covers the 1st Sunday in Advent (November 30, 2008) through the 6th Sunday of Lent (March 29, 2009).
2. Curriculum Guide: Sacraments Semester
This is the fifth book in an eight-book series. This semester helps the teens understand how the Sacraments are instituted by Christ to make God tangibly present in our world and incorporate us more deeply into the life of the Trinity. The semester will help give a deeper understanding and love of the sacraments. Based on the USCCB’s “National Doctrinal Curriculum Framework for High School,” this resource gives 8 educational Life Nights that can be used in building an engaging and educational semester for your teens. These nights are meant to be adapted to meet the needs of your teens, but work as a great starting point for your planning.
3. Video Support #5
This DVD contains videos that support the Curriculum Guide Life Nights. We have created a video series (called “the Party”) that can be incorporated into the Gather of each Life Night. In addition, we have included several excerpts from the 2008 Life Teen Training Convention. These training pieces are valuable tools to help in ongoing formation of your Core Team.
4. Spotlight: Volume 5
This resource is designed to keep you informed about what is going on in youth ministry as well as provide social and issue nights to use in semester planning. This volume has two Issue Life Nights and one social Life Night. Be sure to check out the Life Night on faithful citizenship called “Pray the Vote.” There are articles on the occult, using media as a teaching tool, making youth ministry work in the cluster model, and much more! Filled with valuable information, this resource is meant to be shared among your Core team!
5. Core Values: a Spiritual Guide for Core Members
The newest book from Life Teen is a valuable resource for your Core team! Taking the 7 Core Values of Life Teen, various members of the Life Teen family have shared their experience and wisdom on each of the values that help form our identity as a ministry. This book calls us all to greater holiness in our personal lives and in our ministry. This book is a great companion to our Life Teen Core Handbook and will surely help in the formation of a strong and spirit-filled Core team. Additional copies of this book can be purchased from the online store at www.lifeteen.com.
6. Soul Searching DVD
Based on the book, Soul Searching: the Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers, by Christian Smith and Melinda Lundquist Denton, which reports on research conducted over a seven-year period by the National Study of Youth and Religion. This compelling documentary illustrates some of the major themes and findings of the book, and goes behind the book in depicting the inner lives of a sample of American teenagers. Find out what these teenagers really think about God and religion, what their hopes and aspirations are, and what the research says about the effects of religion in their lives. This DVD is a fantastic tool to train and inspire your Core team. Take time to watch and discuss as a team.
7. Tenth Avenue North CD “Over and Underneath”
We’ve all heard it said that music is the universal language, and it’s so true. No other vehicle more powerfully captures our collective hopes and fears or more poignantly celebrates our dreams and triumphs. With one listen to the music of Tenth Avenue North, it becomes obvious that songwriter Mike Donehey and his bandmates have a gift for expressing truth in a way that simultaneously educates, enlightens and entertains.
8. Kelly Pease CD
A long-time friend of Life Teen, Kelly Pease is a woman of great passion and deep faith. Her love for the Lord is evident on her debut, self-titled album. Her music reflects a joyful heart and a humble servant. This CD is a fantastic addition for your Life Night and retreat playlist.
9. Life Teen Slinky
Need I say more?