Sep 022009

Members of the Diocesan Youth Ministry Committee pose during a meeting at Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace Church in Clinton last month.

By Robert Menner

The Diocesan Youth Ministry Committee (DYMC) held its first meeting of the new academic year Aug. 14-16 in Clinton.

Eighteen youth from around the Diocese of Davenport are selected to serve on the DYMC every year in order to promote youth ministry.

The meeting began with several youth going over leadership skills that they learned at the Christian Leadership Institute (CLI). After that, we had to put those leadership skills to use as we discussed two amendments to the DYMC constitution, both of which involved serving on the DYMC. The amendments passed unanimously.

On Saturday morning, we worked on our creativity and teamwork by playing a variety of games in small groups. The games proved to be important because next we had to break out into subcommittees. The subcommittees each focus on a specific part of youth ministry. This year, there are five subcommittees: high school, junior high, publicity, challenge and stewardship.

The high school committee works on the high school rally, which this year will be held Oct. 4 in Coralville. The committee members will then focus on raising money for scholarships for retreats and CLI. In addition, they will work on deciding the theme for the coming year’s high school rally.

The junior high committee focuses mainly on the junior high rally which will be held March 21. Much of the rally is put together by the DYMC. The junior high committee will also work on other ideas to get junior high students excited about the church and about what high school will bring to them in a few short years.

The publicity committee is in charge of articles that we write for The Catholic Messenger. The committee also promotes the DYMC award, an annual award given at the high school rally to a youth and an adult who promote comprehensive youth ministry. Also, the committee will focus on the Diocese of Davenport youth Web site.

The challenge committee will work on catechesis in the diocese. The committee will try to help youth around the diocese to be able to challenge their faith, partly by becoming more knowledgeable about their beliefs. The committee will work on other ways to achieve these goals as well.

The stewardship committee is looking to encourage service projects at a diocesan level as well as a parish level. The committee hopes to help encourage vocations around the diocese as well, whether to the priesthood or to youth ministry or to whatever a person is called to do.

At the end of the meeting, members were selected to serve on the DYMC’s executive committee. Chair is Quinn Montgomery of the Iowa City deanery. Vice Chair is Alex Schalla of the Keokuk deanery. Secretary is Ellen Vander Bleek of the Clinton deanery. Treasurer/historian is Jacqueline Vonderhaar of the Ottumwa deanery. Adult chair is Michelle Montgomery of the Iowa City deanery.

With both new and old members, the coming year promises to be a good one for the DYMC. We next meet for the high school rally in October.

(Robert Menner, a senior at Grinnell High School, attends St. Mary’s Parish in Grinnell and is chair of the publicity committee for DYMC.)

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