This is a bit of a follow-up. I talked about the young adult meeting we went to in Baton Rouge in We Are One Body, and my suspicions have been confirmed. That night we had 10-ish people gathered from the whole diocese for what the textbook says young adults want to do: mostly fellowship, with a little prayer thrown in for kicks. This Wednesday, we had 12 or 13 (I don’t remember and don’t have time to count!) young adults from one parish – singles, married couples, college students, career folks, a great mix really – gathered to do – wait for it – service.
The first official St. Jean Vianney Parish youth night very nearly had more adult helpers than youth. They were itching for a way to share their faith with these youth! I tried to covertly bring things to the car afterwards, because our car is such a mess I didn’t really want anyone to see it, and four of them followed me unasked with things they knew needed to come to our car. They stood up with Craig at Mass last Sunday to invite youth to this event. They moved chairs. I have a volunteer to make Rice Krispie treats next week. They sang and did hand motions. Ok, I guess it was a very social event, with games and pizza and all. But that’s not why these young adults showed up. They showed up, yes, because they want the community, and they knew, somehow, that the community was to be found in service to the youth of our parish.
Needless to say, Craig is pretty excited about the team he has to help with this youth ministry thing. Mostly because the team is pretty darn excited about it all themselves. (They sat through an almost two hour meeting to start planning all this. With no texting, yawning, or hurriedly exiting at the end.)
Point being, I’m not convinced that “socialization” is going to be the best draw to get “young adults” together. Maybe it will bring the ones who don’t feel called to work with youth, but my other suspicion is that even we very busy “young adults” do feel called to some form of service. Maybe we just need to get busy and help connect them with the people who could really benefit from their talents. Meanwhile, we’re having some pretty awesome young adult community-building on the way to planning movie nights and youth retreats.