Frequently Asked Questions
Email your questions to Kelley Tansey at email@example.com
For the foreseeable future, we will be having a non-gathered program. When possible we will provide offline resources, but there will also be a need for online resources and Zoom meetings (youth ministry will have Zoom meetings). If you do not have adequate internet access at home, you may need to go to a public place where you can access it. You may be able to find free open wifi by parking outside of places like schools, libraries, and some businesses. We will be looking to expand the wifi at church so that parishioners can park outside the building to use the church wifi and attend Zoom meetings in their cars if they are unable to do so at home.
What does non-gathered mean for your family?
Children’s Liturgy of the Word/Pre-K: We are not able to have CLOW at Mass until it is safer to gather together. Until then, there will be resources available on the faith formation website, under the CLOW tab (click the Faith Formation tab on the parish website). These resources will be updated regularly.
Family Faith Formation: This program will be for families with youth in Kindergarten through 8th grade. Resources will be made available each month (both online and offline) that will inform and encourage families to explore a faith formation theme of the month. The resources will be geared more for elementary and middle school children, however, if there are older children in the family, they should participate as well. This is an opportunity for the entire family to connect with each other and to be involved in learning and sharing their faith together.
Youth Ministry: This program will be for grades 9-12. Youth preparing for Confirmation will be expected to participate in Youth Ministry as part of their preparation. We will have a new structure and format for Youth Ministry this year. Youth will be broken up into small groups that will rotate through “Clubs” throughout the year. Each rotation will last two months. Youth will stay with the same small group cohort throughout the year. This will involve online Zoom meetings and possibly limited in-person meetings as needed. If there are any in-person gatherings then all proper mitigation strategies will be used (i.e. physical distancing and wearing masks). When registering, youth will be asked to rank the Clubs in order of preference. We will try to get everyone in their top choice for the first rotation. There will be a group size limit and preference will go to early registrants. Everyone will experience each of the clubs, this ranking will just help determine which club will be first in the youth’s rotation. These Clubs will be:
Sacramental Preparation is separate from the regular faith formation process. We will work with families to meet their specific needs as far as sacramental prep and faith formation for the whole family.
I considered all the possible schedules I could think of and this was the only solution I could find. I had to find time in the calendar for K-5 families, Middle School, High School, Sacramental preparation (Reconciliation, First Communion, and Confirmation)- in addition to leaving space in my calendar for RCIA, college outreach, and adult programs.
Because the Family Faith Formation includes a meal for fellowship and a couple hours of programming, I cannot do it after 8am Mass as that would mean scheduling something in conflict with the 11am Mass. Whenever possible, I will not schedule anything in conflict with a Mass. Each of the programs (Family, Middle School, and High School) all require the use of Manning Hall. This is why the Middle and High School programs will be every other week. To be most effective I want to have those programs meet as frequently as possible to build up relationships and every other week is the best I can do for them. These two programs also need to meet on Wednesdays as that is the community-wide agreed upon "Church night" so all other activities for Middle and High School students should not be taking place on Wednesday nights.
I have to offer Family Faith Formation twice a month for two reasons: (1) It would be difficult to fit all the families into Manning and have a single manageable session (2) by offering the same lesson twice a month I am hoping to make it possible for families to have a choice based on their schedule that month.
If I try to throw in two sessions of Family Faith Formation, or even just one, into the Wednesday night rotation it will take away from the Youth Ministry program for Middle and High School students.
I know that asking families to switch to a Sunday afternoon from a Sunday morning or Wednesday evening disrupts established family patterns for some people. I am asking for one afternoon per month while in exchange, families will have more freedom with their schedules every other week of the month.
If I saw a range of options possible I would try to survey families to find out preference. But in my efforts to find ways to fit all the pieces of faith formation together on a calendar I could only find one way to do it.