Review the entire lesson plan in advance so you are prepared to lead and discuss comfortably. Adjust the suggested time allotments as necessary.

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1 BODY BUILDING Your group will unite through a service project at your church. This night will focus primarily on the Catholic Social Teaching Theme: A Call to Family, Community, and Participation. Review the entire lesson plan in advance so you are prepared to lead and discuss comfortably. Adjust the suggested time allotments as necessary. Time Section Session 10 minutes CONNECT Participants consider their areas of giftedness and create service-team posters. 65 minutes DISCUSS Gather for an evening of community service at the church. The teamwork and sense of accomplishment through seeing the finished product is an important part of this night s success. Conclude with discussion about the activity. 10 minutes COMMIT Challenge participants to continue to serve others. Close in prayer. Bible Poster Board Markers Masking Tape Supplies required to perform the service Participant Sheets Snacks Water Camera 1

2 Consider having group members RSVP to your event so you can plan your projects and supplies accordingly. Try to use the communication tools that work best for your group, such as texting or a private event page. If your large group is 25 people, one project may be sufficient. If your large group gathering consists of 100+ people, consider including multiple projects on your campus or extend service to an entire day of work in your community. Plan how you will break up work teams if you have a large group. You might choose a random method, such as having everyone choose a color-coded card, to support more diverse interaction. Take before and after pictures of your project space. Send photos to each of the members in your group with a simple note stating: Thank you! God is working through you! If you are able, have the pastor sign and send the notes with the picture for even more impact. You could also post them to your social media page or website. For this night to be successful, planning and preparation needs to take place ahead of time. Contact your priest or a staff member to determine a service need that can be accomplished during your group s meeting time. Here are some ideas: o Give the cleaning staff the night off and have your group do the cleaning. o Change out the missals during a change in the liturgical season. o Decorate the church or parish property for an event or liturgical season. o Cook and prepare breakfast burritos to sell after Mass; then give the profits to a ministry at the church or a community nonprofit organization. o Freshen the landscaping around the church. o Paint classrooms or hallways. Assign one or two adults to serve as project managers. These individuals will be available throughout the service project time to answer questions, provide guidance, and troubleshoot problems that may arise. When advertising for your large group experience night, remind people what they need to bring (gloves, shovels, hammers ) to be successful in the service, and be sure to have extras on hand for those who come at the last minute or with a friend. 2

3 ONE WEEK PRIOR: Contact the person in charge of the ministry or area in the parish that you ll be serving to confirm plans. Contact other adults as needed if certain expertise is required for the successful completion of your project. Provide adult leaders with a Work Order Sheet, signifying specific instructions on the group service project they will be overseeing. Gather necessary supplies. SEVERAL DAYS PRIOR: Text, tweet, and/or update your group s social media page to remind participants about the service night and what they need to bring. THE DAY OF THE SERVICE: Go over the supply list one last time and confirm that all supplies have been purchased. Arrive at the church early to survey the work to be done, set out and prepare supplies, greet participants as they arrive, and form work teams prior to heading out for service detail. Discipleship is about more than discussing the faith and participating in a small group. Discipleship requires learning from the example of a rabbi in this case, the participants learn from your daily example. It is healthy for your group to do regular, everyday activities together because they will learn from your example and the example of their peers. As they grow in fellowship and deeper friendship through these activities, they will grow as disciples. SAY: Thank you all for coming to serve the community of this parish today! We are going to be the hands and feet of Christ in the world. As each has received a gift, employ it for one another, as good stewards of God s varied grace. 1 Peter 4:10 3

4 SAY: Let s begin in prayer. Begin with the sign of the Cross. Then ask for a volunteer to read aloud 1 Peter 4:8-11. PRAY: Lord, we invite You to guide our service today. May we unite as a group in Your love and serve in the spirit of that love. We thank You for our parish, our group, and our time together today. May our actions bring You glory. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. OR Ask one of the participants to open the meeting with a prayer. Take some time to allow a priest, parish staff member, or large group facilitator to explain what service projects are on the agenda. This would be the time to go over any safety tips, guidelines, and goals for the gathering. Afterward, have everyone form work teams and gather for this five-minute activity: Choose one person from your team to come up and gather supplies to make a poster. Together, come up with a team name and write it on the poster board. Decorate your poster by writing words or drawing pictures that represent the talents or characteristics that each person in your team will contribute tonight. Display your poster as your team works together to serve our church and community. Allow five minutes for each team to create a poster. Suggest ideas such as team leader, supply person, runner, etc. Each of you possesses unique talents and abilities that you bring to your team. Some of you may be great at hands-on projects, while others of you may be amazing at offering words of encouragement. Whatever you bring to the table, know that each of you has been given unique abilities that can be used to serve God in your church and community. Allow time for questions that participants may have about their specific project. Have at least one adult leader serve with each service project team. 4

5 Take photos of each team making their posters and during the service project. Group the photos by team name when you post them on your parish website or social media page. After your prep time, send teams off to their service project site areas. Have water available throughout the evening, and let participants know when you ll gather to wrap-up. If it seems that the service will not be completed during the time allotted, touch base with the team and see if they want to extend the project, come back another day, or find a good stopping point so that another group can easily pick up where they left off. Make sure that part of your service time together includes cleanup. Whatever area your team is serving in, leave the area cleaner than when you arrived. This is also an act of service! DISCUSS Take some time to reflect on the service done in light of the Catholic Social Teaching Theme: Call to Family, Community, and Participation. SAY: Our Faith asks us to work together in service to God, our church, our community, and our world. When we serve others, we are showing Christ s love in a unique and hands-on way by being the hands, feet, and smile of Jesus. Today you all did a great job working together, using your gifts and talents to serve our church and community! Take a few minutes to talk about your experience by discussing the following questions with your service team: What would the world be like without families and communities? Why is community important to you? What did this experience teach you about serving with others on a team? What is at least one way you can continue to serve others in the upcoming week? 5

6 As you begin to make a commitment to serving others in your community, check out the ideas on your Participant Sheets to help you along the way: Discover Your Gifts: There are a variety of assessments you can take to discover your talents, gifts, and abilities. When you figure out what you re good at, it will help you decide in what areas you d like to serve. Here are some links to free spiritual gifts inventories: o o Make a Commitment: Research places where you can volunteer in your community on a regular basis, and then contact a volunteer coordinator and make a regular commitment of serving. Consider places such as a local elementary school, homeless shelter, hospice or nursing home, your local parish, or a crisis pregnancy center. Consider your gifts, talents, and abilities and where they can best be utilized in your community. Research the Call: Read through the Catholic Church s Call to Family, Community, and Participation (found at Meditate and reflect on the verses provided, and consider what this call means for your life. At the end of the meeting, ask one of the participants to close the evening in prayer. PRAY: Embracing Father, You grace each of us with equal measure in your love. Let us learn to love our neighbors more deeply, so that we can create peaceful and just communities. Inspire us to use our creative energies to build the structures we need to overcome the obstacles of intolerance and indifference. May Jesus provide us the example needed and send the Spirit to warm our hearts for the journey. Amen. From Being Neighbor: The Catechism and Social Justice, USCCB, April

7 BODY BUILDING PARTICIPANT SHEET As each has received a gift, employ it for one another, as good stewards of God s varied grace. 1 Peter 4:10 How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. Anne Frank, Diary of a Young Girl Our faith asks us to work together in service to God, our church, our community, and our world. When we serve others, we are showing Christ s love in a unique and handson way by being the hands, feet, and smile of Jesus. Take a few minutes to consider the following questions: What would the world be like without families and communities? Why is community important to you? 1

8 What did this experience teach you about serving with others on a team? What is at least one way you can continue to serve others in the upcoming week? As you begin to make a commitment to serving others in your community, try these ideas to help you along the way: Discover Your Gifts: There are a variety of assessments you can take to discover your talents, gifts, and abilities. When you figure out what you re good at, it will help you decide in what areas you d like to serve. Here are some links to free spiritual gifts inventories: Make a Commitment: Research places where you can volunteer in your community on a regular basis, and then contact a volunteer coordinator and make a regular commitment of serving. Consider places such as a local elementary school, homeless shelter, hospice or nursing home, your local parish, or a crisis pregnancy center. Consider your gifts, talents, and abilities and where they can best be utilized in your community. Research the Call: Read through the Catholic Church s Call to Family, Community, and Participation (found at Meditate and reflect on the verses provided, and consider what this call means for your life. 2

9 As you embrace serving others in your community this week, make this your prayer: Embracing Father, You grace each of us with equal measure in your love. Let us learn to love our neighbors more deeply, so that we can create peaceful and just communities. Inspire us to use our creative energies to build the structures we need to overcome the obstacles of intolerance and indifference. May Jesus provide us the example needed and send the Spirit to warm our hearts for the journey. Amen. from Being Neighbor: The Catechism and Social Justice, USCCB, April

10 BODY BUILDING PARENT SHEET Every YDisciple session has three parts: CONNECT, DISCUSS, and COMMIT. The CONNECT section is designed to build trust, transparency, and community in the group. The DISCUSS section introduces topics of the faith, engages critical thinking, and facilitates valuable conversation. And the COMMIT section helps students take ownership of their faith and put it into practice. Use this Parent Sheet to take a glimpse at our most recent session so you can have a follow-up conversation with your teenager about his/her experience in the small group and encourage spiritual growth. Teens got to experience hands-on service at our Formation Session. We made ourselves useful at our very own church, putting our gifts and talents to work and learning the value of Christians coming together to serve alongside each other in Christ s name. What does it mean to serve? A recent national survey found that 93 percent of young people today want to serve and volunteer in their communities. Our hearts are wired for service, and teens especially recognize the value of volunteerism. Young people today are looking for opportunities where they can work with their peers and build relationships as they do good for others in their communities. Here are some conversation starters for this week. Remember to share your perspectives as well. What opportunities do you observe for volunteering in your church or community? What gifts or talents do you recognize in yourself? How can you use these to serve others? As a family, how can you serve each other? How or where can you serve together in your church or community? And how could that effort help you unify as a family? 1

11 Teens were challenged to continue serving others in the community, with these ideas to help along the way: Discover Your Gifts: There are a variety of assessments you can take to discover your talents, gifts, and abilities. When you figure out what you re good at, it will help you decide in what areas you d like to serve. Here are some links to free spiritual gifts inventories: Make a Commitment: Research places where you can volunteer in your community on a regular basis, and then contact a volunteer coordinator and make a regular commitment of serving. Consider places such as a local elementary school, homeless shelter, hospice or nursing home, your local parish, or a crisis pregnancy center. Consider your gifts, talents, and abilities and where they can best be utilized in your community. Research the Call: Read through the Catholic Church s Call to Family, Community, and Participation (found at Meditate and reflect on the verses provided, and consider what this call means for your life. We can do no great things, only small things with great love. Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Consider having all members of your family take one of the Spiritual Gifts inventories above, and discuss the results. They can be fun and enlightening! 2

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