Youth ministers launch online community

A new online youth ministry network was launched yesterday at the first National Symposium on Youth Ministry in Sydney's Broken Bay diocese.

An initiative of Church Resources, which also produces CathNews, the new email-based forum will support the work being done by youth ministers and all those involved in Catholic youth ministry across Australia.

Karen Lunney, Sandhurst diocesan Youth Ministry co-ordinator, will be one of the first youth ministers to use the service.

"Youth ministry coordinators need to network, and the communication in Australia has been developing over the years," she said. "The need for an online forum has been recognised for some time, and any tools we can use to share what we have learnt can really increase the effectiveness of youth ministers, and support each other in ministry are a bonus."

"This network allows people to ask the 'silly' questions, and share ideas with people from brand new to veteran in all areas of ministry with young people," she added.

Ms Lunney was among 120 participants at the national symposium in Western Sydney's Pennant Hills. The symposium, entitled "Builders and Dreamers: Creating Sustainable Ministry with Young People" featured presentations from leading international and Australian thinkers and practitioners in this area.

According to a Church Resources statement, the new service is available not only to parish and diocesan youth ministers, but also to parishes which do not have a designated youth minister or are thinking of appointing one.

Peter Dobbie, Church Resources' Communications Manager, said at the launch, "We are delighted to provide an email-based forum for youth ministry, which we see as part of a suite of tools which will become available. It's a method for creating virtual communities which we have found to be easy to use and effective, and it's exciting to see it networking and supporting ministers in this key area of Church life."

Church Resources says that to register, youth ministers can send "a short 'hello'" to youth@cathministry.com.au.

Photo (right to left): Bishop Michael Putney, Anthony Neylan, Beth Nadwie, Dr Bob McCarty, Karen Lunney, Dr Gerard Goldman, Dr Maggie McCarty, Peter Dobbie.

Youth ministry gets a helping hand (Church Resources Media Release 3/7/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Broken Bay Institute

First National Youth Symposium set for July (CathNews 23/2/06)
"Builders and dreamers" to gather in Broken Bay (CathNews 28/6/06)

4 Jul 2006