As the Coordinator of Young Adult Ministry for the Archdiocese of Washington, I wanted to respond to this comment we received from a 30-something: “I must admit I have some concern that the Church is missing the mark in reaching out to people my age and younger.”
Your concern is very valid. Some dioceses don’t have a young adult minister, and the majority have a minister serving Youth and Young Adults. Can you image trying to focus on a ministry that includes 10-year-olds and 33-year-olds? I can’t! Sadly, in dioceses like that, the young adults are usually the ones who get the short end of the stick. However, the Archdiocese of Washington is very fortunate to have someone on staff dedicated to full-time ministry to young adults, yours truly.
What do I do all day? Well let me give you a snap shot of one 48 hour period last week to show how the Archdiocese is reaching out to young adults!
On Wednesday morning I had a meeting with the Coordinators of Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of Arlington and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. We discussed our successes, our struggles, and future collaboration on a regional young adult conference. It was a little work, a little fun, and a wonderful time for fellowship with my colleagues!
On Wednesday afternoon, I prepared the young adult announcements for publishing in the weekly Office of Young Adult Ministry E-newsletter. (To subscribe, email [email protected]) This email lists all the archdiocesan and parish young adult events including spiritual, social, service, and educational opportunities. It’s easy to browse and pretty comprehensive. Great for young adults who are new to the area or are looking for a parish to join.
On Thursday morning, I prepared the song sheet for Christ in the City which took place on Thursday evening. Christ in the City is an opportunity to establish a relationship with Christ truly present in the Holy Eucharist. The service includes recitation of the Rosary, Adoration of the Eucharist, Praise and Worship, Confession, and a scriptural reflection by a priest. The song sheet includes all the prayers traditionally sung during Adoration as well as some popular praise and worship songs. This allows people to participate and follow along especially if it is their first time to Christ in the City. There are usually anywhere from 75 to 150 young adults at this prayer service.
I also worked on the Annual Seven Church Walk which is coming up on March 28th. (Check the main page for a blog devoted to this event.) During this day-long event we visit and pray at seven churches in downtown Washington, DC. It’s my job to choose the churches, contact the pastors at those churches, create a schedule for the day, and coordinate a team of volunteers to help during the event. Everything is coming together nicely!
On Thursday at noon, I attended the Mass at Central Pastoral Administration (a fancy name for our offices). Why is this important? Because I want to let you know that we are all praying for you! We have Mass every day in our building, and we can also stop in the chapel any time during the day to talk to, listen to, or vent to God. He’s always there in the tabernacle!
That afternoon, I did some serious spring cleaning…that’s biblical right? Leviticus? 🙂
I also worked with a young adult on establishing a Young Adult Ministry Softball Team this spring! We’re looking at the DC CityBall League with games on Sundays at West Potomac Park. Check the e-newsletter for details!
Thursday evening, as I mentioned, I prayed and worshipped and adored at Christ in the City!
Friday morning, I had a planning meeting for our Ad Gentes – Young Adult Mission Trip to Squaw Lake, Minnesota this June. We placed a deposit on the condominiums we’ll be renting there, and our next step is to work with a travel agent to block our plane tickets for the group. We’ll be offer Vacation Bible School to the children of the Boys and Girls Club of Squaw Lake. Along with our missionary activities, we’ll be enjoying the outdoors in Chippewa National Forest and Leech Lake and coming together in community for Mass and Liturgy of the Hours.
So that’s how I’ve been reaching out to young adults. More importantly, that’s how I’ve been creating opportunities for young adults to reach out to Christ! If you have suggestions for me, please don’t hesitate to email me at [email protected] God bless!