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ST. HENRY YOUTH MINISTRYHANDBOOK“Don’t let anyone look down on you because youare young, but set an example for the believers inspeech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity.”1 Timothy 4:12St. vHenry Catholic Church6696 Springboro PikeDayton,0Ohio 45449937-434-9231Modified August 1, 2012

Table of ContentsWelcome Letter . 2Catholic Youth Ministry is Comprehensive Youth Ministry . 3What Youth Ministry is Not . 3The Goals, Components and Themes of Comprehensive Youth Ministry . 3SHYM Mission Statement . 4General Policies. 4Participation . 4Communication to Youth, Parents, and Parish . 4Youth Ministry Programming . 4Event Policies . 5Activity Permission/Release Forms . 5Dress Code. 5Cell Phones . 5Transportation & Youth Drivers . 6Fees . 6Medications . 6Alcohol, Tobacco, Drugs, & Weapons . 6Search and Seizure . 7Additional Policies . 7Discipline . 7Social Media Policy (Facebook, website, etc) . 7Adult Volunteers . 8Appendix A: Code of Conduct St. Henry Youth Ministry . 9Modified August 1, 20121

Welcome LetterThe St. Henry Parish community highly values the total development of the youth of our parishand the wider community. Youth are not just the “faithful leaders of tomorrow,” but are theliving Church of Christ here and now. In response to Christ’s call to “go and make disciples of allnations,” St. Henry’s strives to minister to young people and foster a life-long commitment tothe faith.This handbook contains the policies that will guide the parish Youth Ministry Team in providinga comprehensive program of youth ministry, grounded in the US Bishops’ document Renewingthe Vision: A Framework for Catholic Youth Ministry. We recognize the old proverb that “ittakes a village to raise a child,” and that it takes an entire parish community to raise faith-filledyouth. We ask that all members of the community follow these policies when inviting youngpeople into your ministry.We encourage all members of the parish to prayerfully consider how you might share your giftsand talents with our young people. Likewise, we invite all the youth of the parish to prayerfullyconsider how you will get involved in the life of the Church and share you valuable gifts with theparish and the world!We welcome your feedback, questions, comments, or concerns regarding any of our youthprogramming. Please contact Mike Sievers, our Director of Youth Ministry, at 937-434-9231 orby email at Prayer,Fr. Tom ShearerPastorMichael SieversDirector of Youth MinistryModified August 1, 20122

Catholic Youth Ministry is Comprehensive Youth MinistryThe 1997 U.S. bishops’ document Renewing the Vision – A Framework for Catholic YouthMinistry is the master blueprint for youth ministry here at St. Henry Parish and in theArchdiocese of Cincinnati.What Youth Ministry is NotAlthough some use the terms interchangeably, youth ministry is not equivalent to youthgroup. A youth group is just one kind of youth ministry program, so to reduce youthministry to youth group narrows and limits our vision for ministry with adolescents.The Goals, Components and Themes of Comprehensive Youth MinistryRenewing the Vision identifies three primary goals for our ministry with young people:1. Discipleship: To empower young people to live as disciples of Jesus Christ in ourworld today.2. Participation in Church: To draw young people to responsible participation inthe life, mission and work of the faith community.3. Growth: To foster the total personal and spiritual growth of each young person.Renewing the Vision also identifies eight components of youth ministry, as follows:1. Advocacy2. Catechesis3. Community Life4. Evangelization5. Justice & Service6. Leadership Development7. Pastoral Care8. Prayer & WorshipIn addition to the goals and components, Renewing the Vision describes “themes” that underlieand guide youth ministry efforts, as follows: Developmentally appropriateFamily de CollaborationLeadershipFlexible and Adaptable ProgrammingModified August 1, 20123

SHYM Mission StatementThe mission of St. Henry Youth Ministry is to create a respectful and accepting environment, whereteens of the parish deepen their faith and build Christian communities. We strive to be activelyChrist-like through service, prayer, and life’s opportunities.General PoliciesParticipationSt. Henry Youth Ministry (SHYM) currently provides programming for all high school students in grades9 through 12.Graduating seniors may continue to participate for the summer immediately following graduation.Eighth grade students are invited to participate after receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation in thespring.Communication to Youth, Parents, and ParishThe Youth Ministry Team will communicate announcements, events, etc through:-Youth Ministry page on the parish website www.sthenryparish.comYouth Ministry Email List – email Mike to be added to the list at msievers@sthenryparish.comFacebook Page: “SHYM: St. Henry Youth Ministry”Youth Ministry column of the parish bulletinEnd of mass announcementsOccasional mailingsYouth Ministry Programming--SHYM Meetings: SHYM meets roughly every two weeks on Sunday evenings. At the meetingswe build community, grow in our faith, pray together, and have fun! Food is always provided.Meetings are led by a team of teen and adult leaders.Service Opportunities: Various group and service opportunities are done throughout the year.A running list of service opportunities are posted on the website and the bulletin board.Teen Bible Study: teens gather in small community to explore how Scripture relates to oureveryday lives.Social Activities: various social activities and outings are scheduled throughout the yearRetreats: SHYM offers day-long, overnight, and weekend-long retreats. There will frequentlybe youth leadership opportunities in the planning of retreats throughout the year.**see the parish bulletin and website for up-to-date listings of all SHYM programmingwith dates, times, and locations**Modified August 1, 20124

Event PoliciesActivity Permission/Release FormsIn accordance with Archdiocesan guidelines, all parents/guardians are REQUIRED to complete aPermission/Medical Release form for their child in order to participate in ANY youth ministryprogram. These one-time release forms must be completed every year (August-July).All off-site or one-time events require an additional Permission/Release form signed by aparent/guardian in order to participate in the event.All Permission/Release Forms are available on the Youth Ministry page of the parish websiteand will also be available at events prior to the off-site or one-time event.Dress CodeParticipants are expected to dress modestly and reflect the values of the program. Participantsviolating the dress code will be asked to change or leave the event.Specific expectations include: Shorts & skirts should be an appropriate length (past fingertips while standing upright)No midriff length tops that expose the stomachNo low cut tops without an undershirtPants should be worn around the waist; no sagging or visible underwearGirls: No tube tops, halter tops, or tank tops with spaghetti straps or visible bra strapsFull ParticipationParticipants are expected to arrive to events on-time and remain at the site of the event untilthe scheduled ending time, except due to illness or an emergency.Any participant required to leave an event early MUST have written parental permission inorder to leave and must communicate the need to leave early with an adult in charge.Participants will be expected to follow the St. Henry Youth Ministry Code of Conduct (Appendix).Cell PhonesThe Youth Ministry Team recognizes that cell phones have become an intricate part of the lifeof the average teenager; however they are often a disruption to ministry programming,especially during extended events. Youth are asked to be fully present during all programmingsessions, and refrain from cell phone use. Appropriate times to use cell phones will becommunicated to all participants by event leaders.Parents are asked to fully support the policy on cell phone use. Emergency contact numbersare provided to parents should they need to reach their child during a program. Exceptions willbe made on a case-by-case basis, such as medical needs.Modified August 1, 20125

Transportation & Youth DriversParticipants must arrange for their own transportation to and from the meeting location for allSHYM events ahead of time. Youth must not wait until the end of an event to find a ride.Youth drivers are reminded that driving to SHYM events is a privilege and can be revoked byparents at any time.When traveling as a group to an off-site activity, adult volunteers (21 and older) MUST drive,following Archdiocesan recommendations. All adult drivers must have a valid US driver’slicense and have auto insurance coverage.Any exception must receive prior approval from the Director of Youth Ministry and will behandled on a case-by-case basis.FeesFees for all youth ministry programs are based on each individual event, and will be advertisedwith the event details. All payments are due the day of the event. All checks must be made outto “St. Henry Parish,” unless otherwise indicated.No youth should be denied participation due to inability to pay for an event. Scholarships areavailable for those with financial needs. Contact the Director of Youth Ministry to discuss yoursituation. All conversations will be kept confidential.MedicationsParticipants requiring any prescription OR over-the-counter medication must complete the“SHYM Medication Form” with parent’s signature for any SHYM event. All medications will bestored and distributed by the adult in charge of the event, unless an exception has been madein advance with the Director of Youth Ministry. All medications must be in their originalcontainer with the participant’s name clearly identified.Alcohol, Tobacco, Drugs, & WeaponsNo participant or volunteer shall be in possession of or use tobacco products including chewingtobacco and cigarettes at any SHYM event, regardless of age.No participant or volunteer shall be in possession or under the influence of any alcohol or drugsat any SHYM event.No participant or volunteer is permitted to bring any weapon or other materials that mightendanger others. Participants must tell an adult if they are aware of someone else who is inpossession of any dangerous item.Modified August 1, 20126

Search and SeizureIf a participant is suspected of having weapons, drugs, drug paraphernalia, alcoholic beveragesor illegal articles in his/her possession, including but not limited to bags, purses, wallets, cellphones, and vehicles on St. Henry property or at a St. Henry sponsored event off-site, theDirector of Youth Ministry or the program director reserves the right to search and/or contactthe appropriate legal authorities. When the Director of Youth Ministry or program directorbelieves the participant is concealing evidence of a crime, the police may be asked to conductthe search. An adult volunteer or staff member will witness the search in the presence of theyouth. The decision to search will involve reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing on theparticipant’s part. Refusal to be searched or impeding a search may result in calling the parentand/or police to assist in the search.Additional PoliciesDisciplineDisruptive behaviors, including foul language, disrespect of others or property, excessive talkingor other disruptive actions, will first result in a verbal warning. Continued disruptive behaviormay result in the removal of the youth from the activity, regardless of the time or place of theactivity/incident, at the parents’ expense. A private meeting will be requested with theDirector of Youth Ministry, the youth involved, and his/her parents. Suspension from one or allSHYM events is at the discretion of the Director of Youth Ministry, with input from the parentsand pastor.Any Illegal activity, including but not limited to alcohol, drug, or weapon procession, or violencetowards another, will result in a phone call to appropriate legal authorities, a phone call toparents, and removal of the youth from the activity no matter the time or place of theactivity/incident, at the parents’ expense. The Youth Ministry Team and Director of YouthMinistry, along with parents, will decide on any further disciplinary action and suspension fromSHYM programming.Social Media Policy (Facebook, website, etc)SHYM utilizes today’s technology to reach out to the youth of the parish, including Facebook and awebsite. All postings on any SHYM sponsored site or page are subject to the discretion of the Director ofYouth Ministry and the pastor. All communications with any youth through social media programs byanyone representing the parish are considered public information and will be made available to anyparent upon request (see Adult Communication Policy).Any participant or volunteer is to remember that they are representing the parish when posting aboutSHYM related events, and therefore must be appropriate. Any form of cyber-bullying or harassment ofany kind will NOT be tolerated and will be addressed immediately. SHYM will not tolerate postingobscene, harassing, offensive, derogatory, or defamatory, comments links and/or images.Modified August 1, 20127

Adult VolunteersAll adults of the parish (21 and older) are encouraged to prayerfully consider assisting withyouth programming. According to Archdiocesan policy, all regular volunteers (as defined by theDecree on Child Protection (revision effective July 1, 2008)) who work with youth are requiredto complete the VIRTUS Awareness Session and complete a criminal background check throughfingerprinting. An adult will not be permitted to be a regular volunteer with the youth untilboth steps have been completed and processed.Any adult interested in being involved in SHYM programming should contact the Director ofYouth Ministry to set up an informal interview to explore how the volunteer’s gifts and talentscan best be utilized by SHYM. The Director of Youth Ministry reserves the right to determinethe areas that each volunteer participates in. The Director of Youth Ministry also reserves theright to refuse the help of any adult volunteer based on concerns for youth safety andwellbeing (See the B.3 Policy of the Decree on Child Protection.)Modified August 1, 20128

Appendix A: Code of ConductSt. Henry Youth MinistrySt. Henry Youth Ministry (SHYM) strives to create a welcoming community of faith for all involved.Participants, volunteers, and staff members are expected to promote our welcoming communityatmosphere, especially though the following policies:Participants are to arrive at events on time, stay for the entire event, and make arrangements to be picked-upat the scheduled ending time of an event. Leaving early requires parental permission. to wear appropriate clothing to all events. Specific expectations include: Shorts & skirts should be an appropriate length (past fingertips while standing upright) No midriff length tops that expose the stomach No low cut tops without an undershirt Pants should be worn around the waist; no sagging or visible underwear Girls: No tube tops, halter tops, or tank tops with spaghetti straps or visible bra straps to turn off cell phones when arriving at an event unless instructed otherwise by leaders. to avoid the use of profanity, offensive language, & sexually suggestive references or innuendo to have an open mind to those with different backgrounds or ideas than you.Bullying will NOT be tolerated. to respect the property of all participants, volunteers, staff members, and that of the parish. to avoid public displays of affection or inappropriate contact with others. not to be in possession of or under the influence of any alcohol, tobacco, or drugs or anyweapon or other materials that might endanger others.Failure to follow the Code of Conduct may result in a range of consequences from a warning, parentalnotification, or suspension from youth ministry events without refund,at the discretion of the Director of Youth Ministry.I, , have read the St. Henry Youth Ministry Code of Conduct, agree to follow itspolicies while a participant at any SHYM event, and recognize that I may be asked to leave if I choosenot to follow the directions of the adult leaders.Signature: Date:Modified August 1, 20129

Modified August 1, 2012 3 Catholic Youth Ministry is Comprehensive Youth Ministry The 1997 U.S. bishops' document Renewing the Vision - A Framework for Catholic Youth Ministry is the master blueprint for youth ministry here at St. Henry Parish and in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

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