‘Youth Jam’ in Waterloo invites middle school students to deepen faith
WATERLOO — Youth Jam was held Nov. 19 at Columbus High School in Waterloo. The event drew over 200 youth and adults and is the third time the Archdiocese of Dubuque has offered a middle school gathering at the archdiocesan level.
The featured speaker was Greg Wasinski of “Let Me Be Ministries.” Wasinski is from Chagrin Falls, Ohio. He is a Catholic radio contributor, national speaker and author.
The day involved fun games for middle school youth, two sessions with Greg Wasinski, “Let Me Be” rotations and a closing Mass with Father Aaron Junge.
The “Let Me Be” rotations had the participants in smaller groups do hands-on prayer and learning activities. One station “Let Me Be Me” had the students make a collage with words that they felt described their giftedness. “Let Me Be Loved” had the students make prayer beads that they could use for regular prayer when they got home. “Let Me Be Together” had the participants work as a team of six to build a cup pyramid with only strings and a rubber band touching the cups. “Let Me Be Forgiven” offered participants the chance to write a letter asking God for forgiveness and nail it to a cross or write a letter asking someone else for forgiveness.
Finally, “Let Me Be Prayerful” gave the participants the chance to write or draw about people who needed prayers on paper bags. These bags were later used as luminaries that lit the way down a darkened corridor to the closing Mass.
Wasinski inspired the participants to look closely at themselves as God sees them. He helped them realize that they are loved by God and needed by God. He had the kids actively declare that “Faith is COOL” and that COOL stands for Christ Owns Our Lives. And that is cool!
Father Junge’s homily focused on how we are all called and capable of being super heroes. We don’t have to pretend to be sent on a mission to save the world. In fact, in our real world, that is exactly what we are called to be a part of.
Greg Wasinski speaks to middle school students during Youth Jam Nov. 19 at Columbus Catholic High School in Waterloo. (Photo by Kevin Feyen)