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“High Hopes”

Pictures often tell a multitude of stories to the observer.  As I look upon the picture in this resource blog, I notice the items the person walking is encountering along their journey.  I see the growth and new life surrounding them.  I also see a dense forest that lays ahead.  The path is likely full of so many unknown twists and turns, much like the path we embark upon this year.  I wonder, if they knew what was ahead, would they keep walking?  If they could climb one of the tall trees to see the terrain ahead, would they keep going?  I find myself asking, what drives this person to keep steadfast in the journey ahead?  Are they fearful or hopeful?  Are they full of concern or joy?  Do they look upon each step in awe and wonder as God’s creation unfolds before their very eyes?  Do they feel the presence of the Holy Spirit as they embrace each step?  Do they call upon Jesus to open their eyes to see things new?

As I reflect upon this image and all of these questions, I think back to the story of Zacchaeus the Tax Collector (Luke 19:1-10).  Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus, but he had to climb the tree to see Him.  And when he saw Jesus, he was no longer lost but found.  He was seen!  Jesus so desperately wants to be in relationship with all of us.  He wants us to call out His name.  Consider what this story means to our youth, young adults, and their families?  How are we creating environments and pathways for them to know that their parish community (including you the Ministry Leader) sees and loves them, and that you want them to “see” and know the love of Jesus Christ?

You likely had “high hopes” for this year.  Hope grounded in ensuring youth, young adults, and their families would come to know the transformative love of Jesus.  I encourage you to not let that hope dwindle as you look to the landscape and terrain in front of you with new eyes.  As you navigate this current season, how are your ministry offerings seeking to give youth, young adults and their families what they need?  How are we seizing this moment of change to transform normal delivery systems to help them see Jesus in a new way?  The individual in the picture embarked down a new path.  Zacchaeus climbed a tree.  What do you need to do? Dream with me…


“I dream of…transforming everything, so that the Church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channeled for evangelization rather than for self-preservation.” 

– Evangelii Gaudium, 27

This moment can truly be a time to take a risk and innovate!  It can and should be a time to dream. It should seek to be transformative.  And to start the creative juices flowing, below you will find a listing of curated service, social/experiential, and relational ministry ideas from your own peers in ministry.  These ideas represent ones they are seeking to use, ones they have been using, and new ones they want to try.  The following resources highlight the fruit of those efforts.     

Context Parameters Things to Keep in Mind When Using These Resources

Ideas For Relational (Incarnational) Ministry

Ideas For Service and Outreach

Ideas For Social, Experiential, and Community Focused Offerings

Blog Content Brought to You by Anne E. Keough