This past week Bon Secours Young Adults was well-represented at the National Leadership Forum on Ministry with Young Adults in Tampa, Florida. Sr. Pat Dowling, CBS, program coordinator Lauren DeSmit, board member Sarah Jarzembowski, Rudy Dehaney, Katie Erskine, and more were all in attendance and soaking up the networking and learning opportunities on behalf of our community. I was helping to organize the Forum and was asked to be a part of a couple of panels in my role with the National Advisory Team. It was a tremendous honor, of course, to be able to help advance this field of ministry in broad ways, but I want to reflect for a moment on how this applies to you, specifically, as a Bon Secours Young Adult or as someone who supports this ministry.
As part of the Forum a number of “White Papers” were collected and published and presented to the participants as best practices, or thought pieces. One paper in particular made a tremendous impact in reinforcing a thought that had been brewing in various ways for me for a while now. “Moving from Event-Centered Ministry to People-Centered Ministry” was presented by Sean Allen, of the Diocese of Ft. Wayne-South Bend. If you have the time, I would encourage you to read it — and to let me know your thoughts about it.
But this is what I think it means for us as Bon Secours. Over the past 4 years we have built up this incredible community of young-adult people who are committed to being good help in the world. You are those people. And we have offered incredible events — retreats, service projects, small faith-sharing groups, happy hours, etc. But too often I know I have been guilty of thinking up the fun event first and then thinking about the person second. That needs to change — you, the person, needs to come first, the event, if there is an event at all, needs to come second (or third, or later). You can expect to hear much more about this in the weeks to come, but for now, please be on the lookout for another invitation to coffee (or your preferred beverage) from Lauren and I in the near future as we look to make sure Bon Secours Young Adults is a people-centered ministry and community, first and always.
Happy Advent everyone,