|Ways to pray, learn and share: Parish - Ideas for Youth Ministers
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- At usccb.org/globalpoverty, sign up your youth group to be part of the one million Catholic voices raised up to confront global poverty. This will also allow you to get regular updates about new resources and ways your youth group can be involved in Catholics Confront Global Poverty in the future.
- Use the stories at usccb.org/globalpoverty to illustrate the impact of global poverty on real people. Have your youth group engage with the stories by creating skits in small groups to act out the stories from the perspective of the person impacted by global poverty.
- Have youth learn about one or more of the issues of focus for Catholics Confront Global Poverty (foreign aid, peace, debt, trade, natural resources, climate change, and immigration) by listening to the Podcasts or reading the double-sided handouts at usccb.org/globalpoverty/ccgp_issues.shtml and then brainstorm about how they can educate their peers and parish community about that issue.
- Help youth to write a prayer service for global poverty, focusing on the issues listed in the previous bullet point.
- Invite youth to write intercessions about global poverty and related issues for use during Mass.
- Have youth choose one issue that is the focus of an “Action Alert” and write an e-mail message to an elected official about that issue. Encourage youth to sign up at usccb.org/globalpoverty for action alerts so they can advocate regularly for an end to global poverty.
- Invite youth to say a rosary for global poverty. Pray each decade for one of the issues related to global poverty at usccb.org/globalpoverty. As you pray together, remember those living in extreme poverty and pray for elected officials with the power to enact U.S. policy to combat poverty.
- Visit the Faithful Citizenship Young Catholic Web site at faithfulcitizenship.org/youth to learn about how to be a “faithful citizen” who works to address issues affecting the poor and vulnerable.
- As part of opening or closing prayer during your youth night, confirmation classes, or other gatherings, use the following book of prayers written by persons in poverty: Prayer without Borders, Celebrating Global Wisdom. Edited by Barbara Ballenger. Catholic Relief Services, 2004.
- View the DVD, The Line in the Sand: Stories from the U.S. Mexico Border, available from crs.org/dramaproject. This stage drama by Villanova University theater students tells the story of immigration from all sides of the issue. After the video, have a discussion about the issues raised in the video.
- Encourage your youth group to “Face the Fast” by participating in Catholic Relief Services’ Food Fast, a 24-hour hunger awareness program for Catholic youth. Food Fast teaches youth about issues faced by their peers in the developing world; encourages youth to take action on behalf of the poor and hungry; and calls youth to share their perspectives and knowledge about our world with their community to create lasting change in our world.
- Sponsor a Global Poverty “open mic” night at which youth can share art, music, poetry, etc. on the theme of global poverty. The event should be announced weeks in advance, to give youth ample time to prepare poetry, music, or other creative expressions. Offering refreshments and prizes is always good for attendance.
- Host a Global Poverty “coffee hour” where teens can come together over their favorite hot drinks and discuss Global Poverty. Use the double-sided handouts on issues related to global poverty that are found at usccb.org/globalpoverty/ccgp_issues.shtml and provide discussion questions to help youth talk about global poverty in small groups.
- Have young people find out if your church brews coffee that is “Fair Trade certified.” This certification means that the producers are part of a poverty alleviation program that guarantees producers a fair wage. Organize a sale of fair trade coffee and chocolate at your church and encourage these groups to use fair trade coffee regularly. Go to the Catholic Relief Services web site crsfairtrade.org to find out more about fair trade coffee and chocolate.
- Have a sale of Fair Trade craft items from developing countries through CRS’ Work of Human Hands program. Donate the proceeds to groups that work on global justice. Visit crsfairtrade.org for instructions on how to host a sale.
- Encourage young people to visit the Youth Advocate page at usccb.org/sdwp/yaryouth.shtml for ideas on how to be a voice for the poor in their community and in the world.