Creative ministry ignites a ‘Revolution’

By  Amy Crofts, Youth Speak News
  • February 4, 2008

{mosimage}CALGARY - Youth ministries across southern Calgary are teaming up for a series of monthly theme nights called Revolution. 

Here youth are able to integrate their faith, the sacraments and experience Christ with their friends and mentors in a welcoming and hospitable environment, outside of Sunday Mass.

“Connecting youth to each other, Jesus and the universal church was our original vision for Revolution,” said St. Bonaventure’s 24-year-old youth ministry co-ordinator Colm Leyne. “Now that it’s growing, we hope that more youth will come out and get connected.”

In November 2006, youth ministers were deciding to take their teens to events held by the Protestant Church, having found that youth ministry events were lacking in the Calgary Roman Catholic diocese. It was then that Revolution was born.

Revolution nights alternate between southern Calgary parishes on a rotational basis. St. Patrick, St. Albert the Great, Holy  Spirit and St. Bonaventure are some of the participating members while northern parishes are slowly making their way in.

Amanda Achtman was one of the 30 youth who attended Fantastic Faith: Episode 2 at St. Bonaventure parish on Jan. 18. It was an intimate turnout for an event that regularly accommodates 40-70 attendees.

“An effective youth ministry will show you that you are special, you are worth it, and that we believe in you. Well, this is where it’s at,” said 16-year-old Achtman, a Grade 11 student at Bishop Carroll High School in Calgary.                                                                                

Fantastic Faith: Episode 2 is a spoof on Fantastic Four, a fictional superhero team appearing in comic books published by Marvel Comics. The theme of each episode revolves around a young superhero endowed with reverent powers, episode one featuring Super Suzy focused on social justice issues, while Pious Pete linked scientific logic with God in episode two.

Amongst a backdrop of squirmy amoebas, bubbling test tubes, mathematical expressions and absurdly orange hair, God fit right in.  

Leyne, with his fabulous tangerine fringe, adopted the role of secular science teacher Professor Pete and his alter ego Pious Pete for the opening skit. The physics equation (F=ma) outlined the purpose of the night, the relationship between science and religion.

Pious Pete explained that the force of gravity (F) is God, keeping his children grounded in faith. Mass (m) is not Sunday Mass, but us, as followers in Christ. Acceleration (a) is the acceleration of the Holy Spirit.

The youth were then split into groups, each given an equation of pictures to solve; the answer was to be acted out as a skit. Teams acted out reverence, understanding and wisdom; their creativity was paramount to getting the message across.

Aside from ice breaker games that most often begin the night, and a series of activities that instruct teens on how to keep Christ connected into their daily lives, most youth look forward to the eucharistic element of adoration, where they can talk to Jesus one on one.

“Adoration is what keeps us coming back,” said Katerina Meckelborg, a 16-year-old Grade 11 home-schooled student. She also mentioned a survivor-themed youth rally in Edmonton “where there wasn’t a dry eye in the house” at the closing adoration.

Other youth such as Nathaniel Dobek, 14, from Calgary and Todd Langdon, 15, from Arrowood are hooked on the fun they have with their friends and youth ministers. Laser tag and movie nights are just a bonus.

(Crofts, 17, studies biology at the University of Calgary.)

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