St. Richard’s Youth Alpha
Youth Alpha at St Richard’s parish is a 10thgrade confirmation class. Basically 8 weeks of Youth Alpha session prior to confirmation day for our 10thgraders.
Youth Alpha sessions are about 1 hour and 15 minutes. At the beginning we greet the students coming into the class, we start out with a pray to God thanking him, asking for forgiveness, and asking for his support for the issues the kids are having with their lives, stress, burdens and help for any of their friends, family members and stress in school. A meal is setup in which we eat together for 15-20 minutes; we express GOD moments, or refection of experiences from previous classes. In the background, Christian youth music is playing, mainly songs that the kids have on their phones that they have already been listening to.
Youth Alpha then starts, with a selected video, no books no reading. The video’s for Youth Alpha range in topic, Why are We Here, Who is Jesus, Why did Jesus Die, How do we Pray, How does God speak to Us, Holy Spirt 2 separate videos, and, The Church.
These videos have questions in them, in which we would pause, and open the floor to the kids, asking them these questions, thoughts, ideas. The kids understand that this is an open forum; their answers and question are not coming from what we want them to say or what they think their parents want them to say, but what they truly feel, their own opinions, their own thoughts, their own ideas. A collaboration of different ideas, answers and questions coming from several of the kids, makes them understand this meaningful session is about them, and the understanding in developing an amazing relationship with Jesus Christ.
This past year, was the first year St Richard’s did Youth Alpha for 10thgrade confirmation class. From past experiences we have seen many 10thgrade classes come and go, and participation in the church, in fundraising, in the kid’s faith has dropped considerably.
This year Youth Alpha has inspired some of our 10thgraders. They want to continue with talking about their faith. I am seeing some of my students still in church. We have setup a monthly meeting in which we are continuing Youth Alpha for 10th, 11th, 12thand local college students to continue discussing their faith and growing their own relationship with Jesus Christ.
Amazing, truly amazing!!!!!