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Faith Formation News
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!
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: firstname.lastname@example.org, 828-684-6098 x1303.
Using God’s Gift of Time This Summer
It is so easy for summer to become a season of lazy boredom, especially when we may not be comfortable traveling. Helpful tools to fight this and have a great summer are to make sure we have daily prayer, a schedule to bring structure to our day, and some good spiritual or philosophical reading.
Do you have important ideas or thoughts to share with others right at the tip of your tongue, or are you in a rut, saying the same types of things from the news or social media? Consider picking out a new book in our parish library! We have added some real gems! We also have some fantastic new DVDs. These will add fruitful depth to our conversations and relationship with God and His people. We are meant to build each other up. Find and share a new perspective on our Faith with others.
Faith Formation/Youth Ministry Registration will be available starting July 12th. All registrations will be online through our parish website. Registering early will be extremely helpful for our staff and catechists, especially this year as we may have to make adjustments to how we facilitate faith formation and youth ministry due to COVID-19. The registration deadline is August 23rd. Class sizes may be limited with at home options available. Specific details will be given as we approach the start of faith formation and youth ministry.
Actualización para RICA y Primera Comunión
RICA: Tenemos la esperanza de que ingresaremos a la fase dos de la re-apertura de nuestro estado a fines de mayo. En el caso de que se nos permita reunirnos en el interior en grupos de cincuenta o menos, tendremos dos misas para quienes ingresen a la Iglesia para Pentecostés. Las fechas de esas misas se publicarán cuando estén disponibles.Estos grupos deberán mantenerse pequeños para estar dentro de la ley, por lo que solo se le permitirá la asistencia a la familia inmediata y necesitaremos saber cuántos miembros de la familia asistiran, no habrá recepción despues . En preparación para su recepción en la Iglesia, deberá recibir el Sacramento de la Reconciliación de antemano. El Padre Adrian hará los arreglos mas adelante. ¡Esperamos celebrarlo contigo!
Primera comunión: Mantenemos la esperanza de que entremos en la fase dos de la re-apertura de nuestro estado a fines de mayo. En caso de que se nos permita reunirnos en el interior en grupos de cincuenta o menos, tendremos dos misas para aquellos que completaron la preparación para la Sagrada Comunión durante el año escolar. Las fechas de esas misas se publicarán cuando estén disponibles. (Aquellos que planean prepararse en el verano tendrán que esperar hasta más tarde). Esto incluye a aquellos en el 2do grado y aquellos en el grupo de jóvenes que ya han completado su preparación para este Sacramento. Estas Misas solo están abiertas a miembros de la familia inmediata para que podamos estar dentro de la ley. ¡Gracias por su comprensión! ¡Esperamos celebrarlo contigo!
Sunday, May 3 is the 2020 World Day of Prayer for Vocations.
Please click on the image to open a flyer with information about the World Day of Prayer for Vocations and prayers and resources for you and your family.
March 13, 2020
Dear Parents of Children and Teens in St. Barnabas Faith Formation and Youth Ministry,
The staff of St. Barnabas have been tracking the spread of COVID-19 and are doing what we can, in union with the Diocese of Charlotte, to slow its spread and flatten the curve of cases. As part of this effort, please follow the guidelines below for faith formation and youth ministry at our parish:
If faith formation and youth ministry are canceled, OR you feel unsafe about having your children/teens attend, please prepare in advance by
- Picking up the grade-appropriate books/materials from your child’s catechist (this Sunday). For teens in youth ministry, I have YouCats or Didache books for high school, and 8th grade Faith & Life textbooks for middle school.
- Creating a Flocknote account (www.flocknote.com) so you can send messages to other families and your catechists. Catechists will communicate regularly with you about what materials you and your child should read.
- If doing faith formation or youth ministry at home, send texts to Simeon Willis (not the catechists) via Flocknote each week when your family has completed the weekly assigned reading. We will give each child/teen credit for this so that s/he will be on track for when you feel comfortable resuming faith formation/youth ministry, or it they are canceled, for when they are held again.
- Most importantly: Praying for our parish, our nation and our world. People are increasingly freaking out. We want control over our lives, but that is an illusion. Life is fragile, and while we should take care of ourselves, this life is always only temporary. Be prudent, but above all, be prayerful! Help your children to focus on Christ during these difficult days ahead. It is morally good to be reasonably prepared at times like these, but we as Catholics must avoid fear. Fear is the enemy of faith. Only one can reign in the heart.
Some ideas for praying daily as families: the readings of the Mass, the rosary, the Bible, spiritual communions, etc. All are very beautiful and helpful in maintaining the faith and participating with Jesus in bringing all to God. One particular prayer I encourage you to say together for an end to this pandemic is the oldest known prayer to Mary. It comes from the Council of Ephesus in AD 431:
Beneath thy compassion, we take refuge, O Mother of God: do not despise our petitions in time of trouble, but rescue us from dangers, only pure one, only blessed one.
Let us pray this together, united in faithful hope in the love of God!
Sincerely in Christ,