Put On Your Oxygen Mask First!

April 30th, 2017 by Chris Williams

How many of us actually pay attention to the flight attendant going through the safety procedures prior to take off? Ok, maybe the first and second time you flew, but still? Did you notice that you are instructed, in the event of a cabin pressure issue, to put on your oxygen mask first before helping anyone else? Seems selfish at first, at least I thought so. However, taking care of yourself so you can be more present for someone or something else is exactly what we all need.
At times Jesus went off to pray by himself when large crowds started gathering. He needed alone time with his Father. We need time as well, for renewal. Maybe it cannot involve boarding an airplane (although it would be nice!), but small blocks of time to recharge in order to fully give when and to whom is necessary. We’ve all felt it, the stress and anxiety of checking off the “to do” list, taking care of one more thing before going to bed. Yes, I’m guilty of midnight laundry, myself.
We live in a society that equates being overscheduled with success. Overscheduled, at times unavoidable, equates with eventual burnout. We will always have “one more thing to do.” Stop, spend time with the Father and those you love, or things you love to do. Recharge and renew, being mindful that you cannot pour from an empty cup.

~Mrs. Chris Williams
Director of JAL Youth & Young Adult Ministry

High School Hidden Valley Lenten Retreat

April 14th, 2017 by Chris Williams

This marks the third year our high school students participated in a Lenten weekend long retreat.  During this time, they are asked to forfeit their phones so as to welcome a deeper encounter with each other and Jesus Christ.  A heartfelt thank you to Jayni Kaufman, Mike Kaufman and seminarian Kristian Sherman for giving of their time and sharing their personal relationship with Jesus with the young church.

None of this could be possible without the generosity of Mary Anne and Richard Pribis.  Thank you!

Our discussions and journaling revolved around:

Life questions: some with explanation and some that cannot be explained.  However, there is “One” very important question that we all must answer.  “Who Do You Say That I AM”? (Matthew 16:13-20).  The answer to this question is our own personal response but our answer to this question reveals the condition of our heart.  Jesus was not concerned of what others thought of him, he challenges us with the question in order for us to contemplate the condition of our soul.

Recognizing Jesus in all people, based on Matthew 25:31-46.  Remembering that whatever we do for the least of these we do for him.  Also on trying to be Jesus to all, helping all that we see in need.  The journal questions posed to the students were “When was the last time someone confused you for Jesus?” , “When was the last time someone was Jesus to you?”, and “What have you done for my people?” We are the hands and feet of Jesus.

Friendship. Paul told believers to be compassionate, kind, humble, meek, patient, forgiving, at peace with one another, loving, and thankful. Friends also teach one another and worship God together. Scripture tells us that friends love at all times, only wound us in ways that are trustworthy, are more loyal than family at times, provide mutual edification (improvement morally or intellectually), can impart wisdom, and they may even sacrifice themselves for us. Do you have those friends?  Are you that friend?

At the conclusion of our retreat, we attend mass at St. Raymond Of The  Mountains Parish in Donegal.  We are always welcomed, as the pastor and parishioners love to see pews filled with teens.  Our teens are invited to be the gift bearers.

This annual retreat could not be possible without the adult core team support from Jayni & Mike Kaufman and Seminarian Kristian Sherman.

Thank you to all who kept us in your prayers during this faith filled retreat!

~Mrs.Chris Williams, Director of JAL Youth Ministry

Rearview Mirror

January 27th, 2017 by Chris Williams

rearview-mirrorWith many teens of JAL reaching the beloved age of 16 when they can get a drivers learners permit, let’s reflect on the size of our cars rear view mirrors compared to the size of the car windshield.  Pretty small in comparison, yes? With a new year upon us, perhaps this is how we should view a new day, month, or year.  We have all experienced things in the past we are not proud of, missed opportunities, regrettable arguments or behavior, disappointing grades, the list can go on.  Of course there were amazing things as well!  God is Good!  Unfortunately, our humanness tends to focus on the shortcomings.  Our rear view mirrors state that “objects in mirror are closer than they appear”.  If we keep focusing on negative experiences they stay close to us, become larger, and we become more enveloped in the feelings of despair and regret.  However the front windshield is large and expansive!  Looking ahead is far easier, wide open, and filled with endless opportunities.  Yes, all roads traveled have a lesson to be learned, so looking back…or reflecting is necessary for personal, academic, and spiritual growth.  Hence the saying “that’s in the rearview mirror”.  However, becoming “stuck” in the past gets you…STUCK.  Look ahead with the wisdom of past experiences and choose the wide open road our Lord has laid out for you.  We are all traveling through this life, are you looking back, or ahead? 

~Mrs. Chris Williams

Director of JAL Youth & Young Adult Ministry

Youth Mass Schedule | Mission Trip | Events

JAL Jesus Alive & Living Butler District Youth Group Copyright © | Site Design by Thinkdolphin Web Design