ST. JOAN KIDS, TEENS, PARENTS & FAMILIES: TIME TO REGISTER FOR FAITH FORMATION AND YOUTH MINISTRY!

So I think it is probably no surprise that we are a little behind in getting out our registration materials!  School, work, and even Church are radically different than they were just a few months ago, and all of us here at St. Joan have been working hard to imagine a new way of “doing faith” in the midst of the pandemic.

But as St. Paul’s letter to the Romans says, “I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)  So a virus will not stop us from growing together in faith, either!

Here’s what you need to know about faith formation and youth ministry this year:

1. FOR AT LEAST THE FALL SEMESTER, FAITH FORMATION AND YOUTH MINISTRY WILL BE VIRTUAL.  While our top priority is Jesus Christ, right up there is keeping everybody safe!  And right now, the best way to do that is to do faith formation online.  We will gather again in person when the state, the county, and our Bishop say it is safe to do so, and even then we might wait a while to be sure cases do not start to spike in our area before we gather in person.  We are currently able to celebrate Mass outside, and that is a blessing, but all indoor Church gatherings are banned, for everyone’s health and safety.

2. YOUTH MINISTRY FOR OUR MIDDLE SCHOOL AND HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS will be at the same day and time they typically have been, though we will meet for a shorter amount of time, as we recognize that our kids will be on computers a LOT this year!

     EDGE (for grades 6-8) will meet on Wednesdays from 7-8 p.m.

     LIGHT (for grades 9-12) will meet on Mondays from 7-8 p.m.

     Confirmation (for grades 11-12 who have completed pre-requisites) will meet on Sunday evenings (see Confirmation calendar for details)

Our youth ministry team is working hard to make this year’s EDGE, LIGHT and Confirmation programs as engaging and interactive as they can be in a virtual environment, and the backbone of all our youth ministry programs is the small groups, where teens can meet and share and discuss and pray together – and yes, we can and will do small groups virtually!

3. A NEW PROGRAM FOR OUR ELEMENTARY STUDENTS AND THEIR PARENTS: SJAKIDS!  We wanted to bring all our elementary grade kids and their parents together this year, so it’s not Family Faith and it’s not ROCK, but is a blend of the two, and we are calling it SJAKIDS!  Kids and their parents participate together, and it will look a LOT like VBS did this summer – we had an incredibly successful 5 weeks of Vacation Bible School, and we learned that we can do games and crafts and music and prayer and small groups, make it fun and interactive, and also learn a lot!  Our weekly sessions will be only 45 minutes long, as again – we realize that our kids will be online a lot this year.  But we promise that SJAKIDS will not look anything like school!  Our focus this year will be Scripture – we are going to learn so much about the Bible this year, and have fun doing it!

There are two day/time options for SJAKIDS:

  • Sunday mornings, 11-11:45 a.m.
  • or Wednesday evenings, 6-6:45 p.m.

(and special thanks to all the families who participated in our survey – these two days and times were the hands-down winners!)

4. PREPARATION FOR FIRST COMMUNION: If your family attended Family Faith last year, so that this is at least your second year of Faith Formation, and your child wishes to receive First Communion, here is what you do:

  • As a family you register for and participate in SJAKIDS
  • But we will have additional sessions to prepare you and your children for First Reconciliation and First Communion – calendar for that coming soon!

And if this is your first year of Faith Formation, and your child has not yet made their First Communion, know that it is a two year process – participate in SJAKIDS this year, and then next year you child will receive the sacraments of First Reconciliation and First Communion.

And if you have an older child, 5th-12th grade, who is not baptized or has not made their First Communion, please contact us (Mary Machi: mmachi@sjasr.org) because we also have a program for you: CIC – Christian Initiation for Children!

4. WE HAVE LOWERED OUR REGISTRATION FEES: Registration for faith formation or youth ministry used to be $200 (though there was a $25 discount for early registration), and we have lowered our fees this year to $125/student.  If this is the year your child is receiving First Communion or Confirmation, there is an additional fee of $100.  But please know that if finances are an issue in any way, please contact us!  We are happy to work out a reduced fee or payment plan for you; contact Gina Camp at gcamp@sjasr.org.

SO WHAT DO WE DO NOW?  REGISTER!

  • Print the registration form attached below, fill it out and either drop it in our mail slot or mail it to:
                   St. Joan of Arc Faith Formation
                    2601 San Ramon Valley Blvd.
                    San Ramon, CA     94583
  • You can also fill out the registration form, scan it, and email it to us!  Please email to our admin Marie Pena at mpena@sjasr.org
  • You can pay by check, and either mail it or drop it through our mail slot
  • Or you can pay online – go to our website sjasr.org, and click “Giving” and the “Online Giving” under the “Quick Links” heading.  Be sure to note that this is your registration fee for Faith Formation/Youth Ministry!

Please let us know if you have any questions, and we look forward to growing together in faith with all of you this year!

Blessings,

Mary Machi, Gina Camp, and Marie Pena – your Faith Formation and Youth Ministry Team.

Faith Formation & Youth Ministry Registration Form