We want to keep building, so all Middle Schoolers, grades 6-7-8, please come join in on the friendship, faith and fun.
Parents, be sure to encourage your children and their friends to join us!
For more information, call the parish office and ask for Jessica, check out the bulletin or email Deacon Mike at email@example.com.
Here's some photos of our past XPERIENCES.
Social Media Night!
An Outdoor Xperience in April !
Our recent trip to Chunky's during school vacation was also great fun. Here are a few photos of our youth in Grades 6, 7 & 8 who enjoyed a movie, pop corn, soda, pizza and friendship!
PARENTS: For more information on the program and why you should get your Middle School children involved, scroll below for Questions and Answers with Deacon Mike.
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Parents, for more information on why you should encourage your Middle School child (grades 6, 7 and 8) to get involved in X-Perience, please read the following information from Deacon Mike.
Questions & Answers for Parents with Deacon Mike
How can X-PERIENCE help during a time when there is so much going on physically, mentally and spiritually in the lives of our adolescents?
Middle school youth need help making sense of what they see and hear. They need the guidance of the Catholic Church to navigate through the counter-Christian values and beliefs of today’s culture. In this important stage of development, youth need the Church to provide support and truth. We can no longer wait until they get into high school to help them have a life-giving experience of Jesus Christ and the Church. It is important that we begin to nurture and mentor them in matters of faith and truth during the middle school years.
Can I expect that X-PERIENCE will bring my child closer to Jesus Christ?
Yes! The main goal of X-PERIENCE is just that – leading the youth closer to Christ. Committed Core Members make the difference in the lives of your middle school youth. The EXPERIENCE Core Team serves as mentor, minister, teacher and spiritual director for these young middle school students. What middle school youth experience from the time they arrive until they leave is relational ministry. Core Team is about caring for each middle school youth we meet. Core Team uses relational ministry to understand where the youth are at and calls them to a deeper faith. The youth will be drawn closer to Jesus Christ through the witness of faith by the Core Team.
What types of activities will take place for the Middle School X-PERIENCE on the 3rd Sunday of every month?
Middle school youth are invited to participate in the X-PERIENCE Afternoon on the third Sunday of every month at 3:15. There are generally three types of X-PERIENCE afternoons – Issue, Spiritual and Social.
A Spiritual X-PERIENCE would help our youth better understand church topics such as Scripture, Creed, Church, Sacraments, Prayer, and Social Justice. —- A Social X-PERIENCE is designed to create a greater sense of community among our middle school youth and for them to have fun in a church setting. —- An Issue X-PERIENCE will be based on issues that affect middle school youth giving them a safe place to learn and explore what the Church teaches about topics such as: popularity, gossip, divorce, peer pressure, apathy, stress, temptation, abortion, chastity, euthanasia, poverty, materialism, self-image, drugs and alcohol, virtues, and modern and relevant topics that deal with technology and social networking web sites.
Who will be leading X-PERIENCE?
Deacon Mike Tompkins and his wife Danni will serve as the coordinators. They have over 20 years of experience in youth ministry throughout the archdiocese. In 1999 they both received the Pro Deo et Juventute (for God and Youth) Award, one of the highest awards given by the National Catholic Youth Organization, presented in recognition of continuous and praiseworthy service to young people. Serving with Deacon Mike and Danni will be a number of adults from the parish who have a love for Jesus and want to share that with the youth of our parish. Some of these adults have been involved with the youth ministry program here the past few years.
We currently attend as a family another Mass. Is it smart to have my child go to a different Mass without us?
The Eucharist is central to our faith as Catholics. In the X-PERIENCE model, a youth-focused Mass is a powerful liturgy that is geared to our youth. Contemporary liturgical music, homilies geared toward young people, and a welcoming hospitality are important parts of the Sunday night liturgy. Our young people experience Jesus’ great love for them in a profound way – through the community gathered for liturgy: the Word of God proclaimed and the Body and Blood of Christ received in the Eucharist. With that said, we would encourage families to attend the X-PERIENCE Mass with their children.
Will X-PERIENCE help my child to better understand and better appreciate the Liturgy?
The Eucharist is central to our faith as Catholics. To that end, the core of EXPERIENCE will be the weekly Mass Sunday evenings at 5. The Second Vatican Council calls for "active participation" of all the faithful in the Church's public worship. In the Experience model a youth-focused Mass is a powerful liturgy that is geared to our youth. Contemporary liturgical music, homilies geared toward young people, and a welcoming hospitality are important parts of the Sunday night liturgy. Our young people experience Jesus’ great love for them in a profound way – through the community gathered for liturgy: the Word of God proclaimed and the Body and Blood of Christ received in the Eucharist.
Can my child bring his or her friends?
Of course! All middle school youth are welcome to participate in any of the events planned for the group. EXPERIENCE is all about building the community and fostering friendships. During the middle school years, friends are imperative in the socialization phase from childhood to young adult to adulthood. Friendships are the lifeblood of a middle school youth’s life.
If my child has become doubtful of his or her faith, how will X-PERIENCE help him or her sort that out?
Just as with their physical and emotional development, middle school youth experience changes in their spiritual beliefs. As their minds develop, they begin to ask more questions and will likely enter a phase of doubt about their faith. Don’t panic! This is where the Catholic Church should step in. EXPERIENCE provides a safe place for middle school youth to ask their questions and express their doubts, while also challenging them to seek Christ. We cannot wait until they are in high school to expose them to the beauty of the Traditions of the Catholic Church. Middle school is a great time to introduce youth to various forms of prayer, worship and devotion and to help instill in them a spirit of reverence. EXPERIENCE also calls middle school youth to a life of holiness. As they enter the halls of their middle schools, many youth struggle to live out their faith. During a religion class or a Bible study, a youth may be able to give all of the right answers, but may not be able to apply these same answers to his/her own life. He/she may see how and why others should live this way, but will struggle to live out his/her Catholic values at school, at home and in the community. Edge Nights help middle school youth identify where they may sometimes struggle and gives practical application for how to live out these Truths.
Will this be faith-driven only, or will you also incorporate fun and social activities?
X-PERIENCE will include a variety of activities for the youth to attend. By offering other activities and outings, X-PERIENCE will provide a safe faith-based environment for the youth to build community with each other.
How does this program differ from the Youth Ministry Program that St. Francis has had the past few years?
Over the past few years there have been a number of events and programs for the youth here at St. Francis. Many of those events will continue such as Rise, Steubenville East, March for Life and Emmaus to name a few. X-PERIENCE will look to build upon the successes in youth ministry here at St. Francis by drawing the youth deeper into their faith and building community among them.