ABOUT 100 young people came up with some bright ideas for making their faith more meaningful when they gathered on April 27-28 for a Young People’s Forum to discuss the key issues for Synod 2003 in Brisbane.
The young people met at the O’Shea Centre, Wilston where they took each of the issues and identified several focuses for action, including education, communication, liturgy and prayer and promotion.
They then suggested action strategies for each of these.
Virginia van der Meer from Parish Youth Ministry Services said the group processed about 240 action strategies from sectors including youth movements, deaneries, tertiary students, ethnic communities and schools.
‘We managed to prioritise the 240 strategies down to 55 strategies,’ she said.
‘These strategies were seen as the most desired outcomes of the synod.’
Each of the strategies was linked to one of the four key issues which are:
Understanding and valuing the spiritual treasure that the Church has to offer.
Responding to the spiritual hunger of people today.
Responding to, engaging with and animating the spiritual life of young people.
Nurturing the mission, ministry and vocation of priests and people.
In relation to understanding and valuing the Church’s spiritual treasure, the young people said developing an effective communication plan was necessary.
‘This could take into account using television advertising, cutting-edge Web sites, radio and newspapers to raise the profile of the Church and faith issues in the wider community,’ said Virginia.
In responding to the spiritual hunger of people, the youth suggested introducing more youth Masses with good music, art, drama and dance.
In responding to the spiritual life of young people, the youth suggested more youth forums where they could have their views and questions heard.
In exploring ministry, mission and vocation, the young people offered suggestions about implementing programs at primary school level that encouraged young people to be actively involved in their faith, rather than just teaching them about religion.
The final prioritisation will be outlined in a report to the Synod 2003 committee.
The forum ended with Mass, celebrated by Fr Morgan Batt, who was co-chair of the forum’s organising group with Parish Youth Ministry Services co-ordinator Michael Hart.
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