The Social Gospel semester introduces teens to the demands Christians face in the social and public arenas.
Units included in the semester:
a. Imitating Christ
Youth Group Meeting: This meeting will give a preview of the issues that will be dealt with this semester by showing how we are called to treat all people with goodness because every person is created in God’s image and likeness. We will see that the fundamental principle of all Catholic morality is the imitation of Jesus Christ. We will discuss how the Gospel affects our actions towards other people, even our enemies.
Going Deeper Meeting: In this first ‘Going Deeper’ meeting, our goal will be to give the teens the reason why God sent Jesus to be a model for us to imitate in our daily lives. We will be looking at Scripture and the Catechism to get a look into the life of Jesus and how that should impact our daily lives.
b. Conflict With Friends
Youth Group Meeting: This meeting will help teens begin to understand the impact our relationship with Christ has on our friendships. It will help the teens understand a Christian model for healthy friendships, especially by putting our relationship with Christ over pleasing other people. In this session, teens will learn important skills for conflict resolution, especially among friends, family, work and church relationships. We will see the importance of reconciling with those we have hurt and those who have hurt us.
Going Deeper Meeting: The skill to resolve conflict directly and in a timely fashion is one of the most important life skills an adult will need. This ‘Going Deeper’ session will build upon the first meeting by showing the importance of having strong friendships centered on Christ. We will help the teens reevaluate their current friendships. We will assist the teens in learning how to pick battles and practice confrontations.
c. Studies and Work
Youth Group Meeting: This meeting will examine the basic Christian understanding of work, and will relate it to teens by discussing the role of studies in the life of teens. We will look at ways that a work ethic can develop virtue. We will give the teens practical ways to balance work/study and prayer.
Going Deeper Meeting: Now that the teens have a basic understanding of Christ’s intention for work and studies, this meeting will help the teens see their work and studies and a step towards their vocation in life. It will attempt to impart to them some important skills to make the bridge between school as a ‘subject’ and school as a time of self-discovery.
d. Rich and Poor
Youth Group Meeting: This meeting will discuss the Church’s teaching on material possessions by showing that money is neither good nor bad, but is an instrument to be used for good or bad purposes. We will teach that the love of Christ means that we must be willing to sacrifice all else for Him, including our love for money. This session will explain that the key to life is in service, not materialism. We will invite the teens to give thanks to God for all He has given them, both materially and spiritually. We will have the teens look at how they spend their money, and challenging them to let Christ be the Lord of their money.
Going Deeper Meeting: This meeting will help teens get very practical in how they are going to serve the poor. Both the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy will be outlined. Following Matthew 25, this meeting will outline the fundamental reason for serving the poor because of Christ’s presence in them.
e. War and Peace
Youth Group Meeting: This meeting will attempt to explain the Christian understanding of war by defining war and the causes of war. We will distinguish between morally acceptable and non-acceptable wars. We will define peace not just as the absence of war, but as being in right relationship with God. This session will give the teens concrete ways they can be at peace with God during their daily lives.
Going Deeper Meeting: The ‘Going Deeper’ meeting on war will build upon the ‘Youth Group’ meeting, in which peace was described as coming only from Jesus, and war was seen as beginning in the heart of the individual. Now, with this as a basis, we will look at how war gets brought into the social/political arenas. We will help the teens understand why it is permissible to go to war in circumstances of self defense. We will discuss the Church’s rules of warfare. Finally, we will look at what social factors contribute to the pressure to go to war.
f. Abortion and Life Issues
Youth Group Meeting: Few issues define Catholic morality and social teaching as do the Church’s stand on life issues, especially abortion. This meeting will look at the different life issues of abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment and reproduction, clearly defining the Church’s consistent life ethic that weaves throughout each of them. We will challenge the teens to commit to being consistent people of pro-life values through committing to pro-life values. We will show them how to stand up to be pro-life, especially among family, friends, and society. This session will provide opportunities for healing and reconciliation for those who have made wrong decisions, especially in suffering an abortion.
Going Deeper Meeting: This meeting will look at the deeper issues behind the existence and spread of the culture of death. It will give teens and opportunity to come up with a plan of action to promote the Gospel of Life at home, school, work, in legislation, etc.
In the YMCentral Store, you can purchase each semester individually or you can purchase the Complete Package that includes all 12 semesters.