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Scott BlogThe Catholic YM Blog has been referred to as "the 411 of Catholic Youth Ministry." Your blogger is D. Scott Miller, former director of the Division of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Archdiocese of Baltimore... Read more...

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7Nov, 2013

Ministry at the Museum

Yes, we are back and blogging again.  ProjectYM.com is now up and operational.  This post originally appeared there.

As a culture, we are quickly growing past the concept that information is power. If we hoard information from others, the theory used to be, we would gain some sort of inside track into the future.In the end, however, we learn that it is impossible attempting to serve as some sort of Larry Daley character from the Night at the Museum movies attempting to contain information rather than play with it or even assemble it and lead with it.

If security guard is not a desirable role anymore, let’s consider two others.

John Roberto has been discussing the role of curator a lot recently. On the internet, a “content” curator serves as a type of editor who finds, collects, filters, and shares relevant, interesting links on the internet relating to a specific interest or group of interests. That’s what I’ve always viewed my own roles as a blogger even before I hadthe language for it. It is, furthermore, what you do as well with your social networking feeds on facebook and twitter.

Yet, there is yet another museum related function to be explored here… that of the docent. This is a title used for those who serve as guides of the collection, communicating and interpreting. Much training and mentoring/ “shadowing” is expected before one assumes the role as an official docent.

More and more, I have come to understand my own role as both curator as well as one who equips and empowers docents… parents, other adults, and youth ministers who accompany young people through faith experiences. Working with docents demands that we understand ourselves as one who is not in the middle of everything. Rather, we become aware that our reach is expanded. The Jesuits understand this as Striving for the Magis. In seeking the Magis (the more, the greater), one is working towards excellence as well as the “further still,” the deeper towards which we can go in our service to God and with others.

In the end, this is the work of evangelization and catechesis – not to hoard the Good News as something to be protected as much as to gather up the masterpieces of the Spirit’s activity and then to help others to help still even more others consider and commit throughout all the nations.

This is why I do what I do. More importantly, allow me to quote the great Robin Williams who, in his character of reanimated Teddy Roosevelt, challenged guard Larry Daley, I’m made of wax, Larry. What are you made of?

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31May, 2013

May Top Posts

lastwordle

Forty posts in just 23 days, just under 6,000 words… this is how you close up a blog…  Yes, we already indicated that the blog was closed and that we had set our last post… but a monthly recap is set for those (including me) who might ever use the achieves to troll for previously written blog posts.

And, according to our monthly wordle review (double click on the image to enlarge) “blog” and “post” seem to be very relevant words along with catholic youth ministry… which seems appropriate considering the close-out Best of Blog review.

Anyway, here are the top ten posts of this abbreviated month, and, as suggested by the scriptures, our last post is first on our list of the top posts.

1. Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen 6.  Sarcasm = Sadness
2. Ain’t Got No Words 7.  BOB1: So Over Pizza
3. Surrender Dorothy 8.  Why Blog
4. Passing the Baton 9.  Employ New Languages
5 .Maturity 10. Stake Your Lives
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23May, 2013

Goodbye, Farewell, AMEN

Blog or not blogThis is my last post on www.catholicymblog.com (as well as on its twin: www.dscottmiller.com –what marketing committee came up with that name?)

Just for the record, the decision was made during the third week of April… And the whole Best of the Blog series as well as the posts from the past ten days or so were all directed towards my taking leave of this blog.

For the last few months I have been aiming for some significant life changes. I am in the midst of a two week vacation (and, sadly, still have considerable vacation time to burn.) Beyond some time away, I am moving to a new apartment as well… And, I figure, what the heck, let’s add a third to the mix… walking away from daily (or near daily) blogging.

This August, we would have commemorated a full nine years of service (This site has been around a few months longer than YouTube and started a few months after Facebook – where’s my Aaron Sorkin written movie??) We have contributed nearly 4,750 posts (just short of 5,000 which we would have likely hit early in 2014) filled with comment, insight, humor, prayer, podcasts, and videos.

Yet, as job responsibilities have evolved over the years, I have found I have less energy for an isolated hobby like proYMlogoblogging. I do want to continue to write, but probably in a more longer form that the constraints that I have given myself in this venue. I imagine that you’ll still find stuff from me on-line in the future, just not here. I am committed already to contribute, on a regular basis (just not daily) to Project YM.

Thank you to all who have so generously supported, commented, stalked, encouraged and cajoled me in this service and ministry as a youth ministry blogger. Thanks for your patience over typos, badly-working hyperlinks, and times when site was under attack by malware.

Goodbye, Farewell, and God bless us all. Amen.

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22May, 2013

Powerful and Respected

powerfulI’m been sorting and packing and I came across this old (slightly edited) cartoon that I thought might make a reflective comment before we wrap up.

For those not of the Doonesbury generation, this (at least) nine year old scene features two characters-  Zonker is the perennial hippie / slacker who never seemed to grow beyond the 60’s / 70’s.  He is presently crashing with some old college chums, BD and Boopsie, who married and are dealing with their own evolving circumstances, which includes their daughter, Sam. Zonker is earning his keep by being a child care provider for the kid – the job title punch line in the fourth panel that was slightly edited.

Far too often, as youth ministers, we have dreams of becoming a powerful, respected leader in our field…  Taking the stage at a Franciscan or NCYC conference, writing the game-changer book, getting the recognition award that you are deserving, being surrounded by adoring young people who laugh at all our puns.

Powerful is when you share the stage with another bringing them to the fullness of their ministry. Power is listening to others and building off their ideas and visions. Respect is setting the table for others to shine. Respect is offering praise and encouragement.

These are the dreams of disciples and I need a dream like that.

Take care not to perform righteous deeds
in order that people may see them;

otherwise, you will have no recompense
from your heavenly Father.

Matthew 6:1

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22May, 2013

BOB1: So Over Pizza

1In wrapping up our ninth year of blogging, we offered a retrospective of the best 20 things that I have most treasured about the blog. Here is #1.

The Pizza Party is SO Over

This post, which ranked #3 overall according to the site meter, seems to be the first post on the blog to engage many eyeballs and certainly lots of discussions via the comments. It started out with:

    A little under a year ago, I suggested that our field might be quickly approaching a 
    state of hysteresis. This is where we might be finding Catholic youth ministry
    bending to such a point where it snaps and we will never be able to put it back 
    together as it was before. . . and that this might not necessarily be a bad thing.

    Yesterday,  an USA Today article entitled ‘Forget Pizza Parties,’ Teens Tell
    Church which starts with this attention grabbing opening line: “’Bye-bye church.
    We’re busy.’ That’s the message teens are giving churches today.”

Despite it all being so last three years ago… are we still in Pizza Party-land in Catholic Youth Ministry, or is The Pizza Party is SO Over?

Meanwhile, please return tomorrow to learn why we have offered this review of the things we liked about the blog at this time of year…

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21May, 2013

Employ New Languages

iglesia-catolica-redes-sociales-internet-catholic-church-social-mediaThe challenge is should we be using the internet as a resource for our ministry, not only to serve us in our needs but to utilize it as well as a venue by which we are to communicate as church with young people.

The ability to employ the new languages is required, not just to keep up with the times, but precisely in order to enable the infinite richness of the Gospel to find forms of expression capable of reaching the minds and hearts of all. In the digital environment the written word is often accompanied by images and sounds. Effective communication, as in the parables of Jesus, must involve the imagination and the affectivity of those we wish to invite to an encounter with the mystery of God’s love. Besides, we know that Christian tradition has always been rich in signs and symbols: I think for example of the Cross, icons, images of the Virgin Mary, Christmas cribs, stained-glass windows and pictures in our churches. A significant part of mankind’s artistic heritage has been created by artists and musicians who sought to express the truths of the faith.

Message for the 47th World Communications Day [celebrated May 12, 2013]
Pope Emeritus Benedict

Seems as if the answer might be definitively YES

Meanwhile, it should be noted that blogs, while often accused of dying, are transforming…

(more…)

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21May, 2013

BOB2: Pastoral Care

2As we wrap up our ninth year of blogging, we are offering a retrospective of the best 20 things that I have most treasured about the blog. Here is #2.

There is no joy in CNN offering breaking news of a tragic event.  As a blogger. it has previously served as a call to action to prepare resources for the field and these resources have proved to be popular as well. Newtown Shooting Resources was ranked #4 all time by the site meter and materials following the Haiti were ranked #7.  Even in the past month, the Patriots’ Day posted attempted to offer perspective and prayer related to the Boston Marathon bombings.

When we are able to respond to the real life situations that are young people are facing. it helps to make the Gospels more relevant to young people as well as allows them to understand how Jesus connects in with these moments.

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20May, 2013

Sarcasm = Sadness

winnersdemotivatorI have come to an understanding regarding sarcasm.

Lots of folks get by on sarcasm.  Often, they may seem as if they are the quickest wit in the room, using a snappy bit of sarcasm to make everyone chuckle about an obnoxious colleague or a silly policy. Their sharp sense of humor is often used in to lighten the mood and diffuse tense moments. And yet…

Sarcasm does not really serve as a witness to the Master who commanded that  we love our neighbor.  As evangelists, we should be giving evidence toward the faith-filled joy in our lives.

Sarcasm hints towards anger, aggression, or sadness. It is the weapon of a bully, not the lifestyle of a believer.

Choose your humor wisely.

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20May, 2013

BOB3: No More

3As we wrap up our ninth year of blogging, we are offering a retrospective of the best 20 things that I have most treasured about the blog. Here is #3.

The Catholic YM Blog is No More was the king of our Funsies, was ranked #5 all time according to the site meter.  Joyously, a collaborative effort that was a blindfolded (no one knew what anyone else was doing) spontaneous (there was only two sentences of instruct_ react to the blog closing and mock my new choice of hobby) act of technological improv by many generous friends.

We recently retold the story in The April Fool. But, truth, be told. this post reflects the spirit, humor, collaboration, and joy of catholic youth ministry.  I’m still amazed how it all worked out.

Check out either of the blog post entries and watch the ten minute video all over again and enjoy

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18May, 2013

Pentecost

From our Sunday Readings. Please feel free to share this image via social networking…

pentecost

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