Youth Ministry
Charlotte Sederstrand

Charlotte Sederstrand

Youth Minister

Hello! I’m Charlotte! Let me introduce myself! I have served two years as a Catholic missionary with NET Ministries, traveling all over the country and leading retreats for Catholic youth at over 300 different parishes and schools. My passion is sharing the Gospel and helping young people grow in their faith through a relationship with Jesus. Music is at the heart of my own faith, and I sing, play guitar, and write songs. I have lived in four different states and am the oldest of five children. My family currently lives in Huntsville, where I have served in various ministry roles, through campus ministry, a local parish, and non-profit organizations.

It is my joy and honor to be the youth minister here at St. Mark! Teens, know that you are ALWAYS welcome here. I can’t wait to meet you if I haven’t already! Parents, you are such a gift! You are always welcome, too, and never hesitate to reach out to me with any questions.

What is youth ministry?

  • Who: Youth ministry is led by the youth minister, IN cooperation with the pastor and parish, WITH the vital help of the core team, FOR the youth of today, grades 6-12.
  • What: “Youth ministry is the response of the Christian community to the needs of young people, and the sharing of the unique gifts of the youth with the larger community.” (Renewing the Vision: A Framework for Catholic youth Ministry. USCCB, 1997)
  • When: Once a week. Middle school on Sunday nights from 5:00-7:00 pm. High school on Sunday nights from 6:30-8:30 pm. High School Bible Study on Wednesday from 6:30-8:00pm.
  • Where: St. Mark the Evangelist’s youth center.
  • Why: I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that the world is getting crazier by the minute, and that young people today are facing difficulties and struggles like never before. Now, more than ever, there is a desperate need for the Gospel, the Faith, and personal relationship with Jesus. Jesus conquered sin, death, and evil. He has the power to save, but the hearts of youth need to turn towards Him and receive the love He is trying to give to them. Why youth ministry? To be quite blunt… the devil is trying his hardest to captivate the hearts of many young people and keep them far away from the light. Now is the time for the people of God respond to the call given to us in Confirmation to become soldiers for Christ and help Him to win back and keep souls out of the kingdom of darkness so that we may all live as children of God in the Kingdom of Light. Let’s not forget that there is a WAR going on that we cannot see, a spiritual war. It’s being fought for souls. It is time, now more than ever, to take up the armor of God and participate in the kingdom work of spreading the Gospel and making disciples of all nations. The need for God is present, youth ministry is a response to that need.
  • How: Hearts aren’t changed through programs or rules, but through people and relationships which provide meaning to why we do what we do. Youth ministry is all about relationship! In our youth ministry program, we seek to combine fun, faith, and fellowship to create a meaningful space for teenagers to be themselves and encounter Jesus through both the Core Team and their peers
Our Goals and Foundation

We have three goals in youth ministry. According to the book “Renewing the Vision, A Framework for Catholic Youth Ministry”. The three goals are, “1. To empower young people to live as disciples of Jesus Christ in our world today. 2. To draw young people to responsible participation in the life, mission, and work of the Catholic faith community. 3. To foster the total personal and spiritual growth of each young person”.

We have these goals, and they find their foundation in Jesus. He is Alpha and Omega, Beginning and the End. In ministry, He is the beginning and end as well. Our source of strength, and our eternal goal. He is where we start, how we move forward and where we are going.

Faith, Fun, and Fellowship

Faith:

There are two kinds of faith. There is “faith”, which is believing, and there is “The Faith”, which refers to the Catholic Faith. Both kinds of faith are present in this ministry. Faith is so important because it is an integral part of who we are. We are made for a relationship with God, and “Our hearts are restless until they rest in God” (St. Augustine). We are beloved sons and daughters of God. That is who we are!! That is our never changing identity. Therefore, everything in ministry should flow from our faith… Faith is not something we do on Sundays, it is who we are. “We cannot compartmentalize the Gospel and expect it to become an integral part of anyone’s life”. Faith is the key. We must have faith in God, and live the Faith He has given us. Walking with young people in the faith journey is what we are about in youth ministry. We aren’t teaching them; we are discipling them in the Christian life.

Fun:

Jesus said, “I have come that you may have life, and have it abundantly” (Jn. 10:10), and “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be full” (Jn. 15:11). Jesus wants you to have joy! He wants your joy to be FULL and your life ABUNDANT!!!! So, cheer up! Smile!!! This is supposed to be FUN! It is heresy to say that we are not supposed to enjoy anything… No. God delights to delight us! Look at the beauty of creation! Look at the good gifts He gives us! St. John Bosco said, “Run, jump, have all the fun you want at the right time, but, for heaven’s sake, do not commit sin!”. Did you hear that!? Have all the fun you want, just don’t sin! So. Youth group. It should be fun. It should NOT be boring. Also, your life as a Christian… it should not be boring either. “Life with Christ is a wonderful adventure”, said St. Pope John Paul II in a homily to young people. If your life is not an adventure… start living with Christ. Jesus want union with you. He wants you to live WITH Him, not just FOR Him. So, which is it? “The thief comes to steal kill and destroy. I came that you may have life and have it abundantly” (Jn 10:10). Let’s live the abundantly joyful adventure with Christ and let that joy influence everything we do in youth group. Let’s have fun!!!

Fellowship:

Fellowship. Similar words are communion, friendship, companionship, family… all of which are directly influenced by personal relationship. Personal relationship is a relationship between people. Young people are people. They are not aliens from another planet. They need relationship with you and with each other… and another word we use for that is fellowship. We NEED fellowship. The need for fellowship existed before sin entered into the world. It is NOT GOOD for man to be alone. We are all created to love and be loved. We need this. So, let’s cultivate these relationships and an atmosphere of fellowship. Everyone should come to youth group and feel welcomed, accepted, and valued… and they should leave youth group feeling seen, known, and loved. This is what effective fellowship can bring about. And it is precisely this that changes lives.

When we faithfully live and model the Faith, we point others to Jesus. When we live the Faith, we are living the greatest adventure, and that’s fun! When we truly live the Faith, we enter into relationship with God and fellowship with one another. These three things, Faith, Fun, and Fellowship, go hand in hand and should not be separated. They are better together, just like chocolate and peanut butter.

EDGE Core Team

What is a Core Team?

Who: Who is the EDGE Core Team? A group of adults who value Faith, relationship, and middle schoolers.

What: A Core Team is an essential part of youth ministry. They provide support to the youth minister, lead small groups, give talks, implement the curriculum, and enter into relational ministry with the teens.

When: The EDGE Core Team is expected to commit to being present on EDGE nights (Sundays from 5:30-7:30 pm), as well as attend Core Team trainings and meetings.

Where: St Mark the Evangelist youth center!

Why: Middle schoolers need the presence of caring, faith-filled adults in their lives. As they are growing and emerging into their adult self, it is so vital for them to see what the faith looks like in all stages of life. They need that example, leadership, care, and relationship that lets them know that they are seen, known, and loved… not only by the Core Team members, but also by Jesus. The Core Team is there to show the Heart of Jesus to the teens and lead them to deeper encounter with the Father.

How: “What is needed today is a church, which knows how to respond to the expectations of young people. Jesus wants to enter into a dialogue with them, and through his body, which is the church, to propose the possibility of a choice, which will require a commitment of their lives. As Jesus with the disciples of Emmaus, so the church must become the traveling companion of young people…” (JPII, WYD 1995). The Core Team enters into youth ministry the same way Jesus did. They become traveling companions to the youth in this faith journey through life when they encounter, encourage, listen, and engage in meaningful conversation with the youth. Jesus, though He was God, never condescended to the people He met… He just loved them. How do I serve on a Core Team? The answer is simple… LOVE.

Requirements:

– Commit to the youth for one school year.

– Attend annual Core Team retreat day and necessary Core Team meetings during the year.

– Participate in the Core Team training.

– Attend EDGE nights consistently. Relationships are built by spending time together. Your consistent attendance models a commitment to your faith.

– Commit to your parish’s weekly youth night agenda and arrive 30 minutes before the night begins to review material and pray as a Core Team.

– Lead small groups during EDGE nights, which may include small group discussions, simple projects, and other small group activities.

– Come to EDGE prepared by reading through the material in advance so you can successfully lead your group through the night’s activities.

– Follow the parish’s discipline policy, and work with the youth minister if discipline issues arise.

– Be open to new experiences and try things you have never tried before. Be willing to lead prayer, present to the large group, and perform in skits.

– Be fun for the Gospel, but at the same time, remain the adult in the group

PLEASE KNOW THAT YOU WILL RECEIVE TRAINING FOR EVERY ASPECT OF YOUTH MINISTRY IN WHICH YOU ARE EXPECTED TO PARTICIPATE, AND WILL NOT BE LEFT TO FEND FOR YOUSELF IN ANY AREA OF YOUTH MINSITRY

What are you worried about?

Are you worried that you don’t have enough experience or expertise? That will come! You will be trained in how to lead a small group and be given plenty of resources to be able to effectively minister to youth.

Are you worried about the time commitment? Pray about it. Anything valuable is worth a sacrifice. Heaven could look different if you decide to make that sacrifice. If a teen enters a relationship with Jesus and embraces the life of the Church… eternity will be changed. Your yes is valuable because the souls of young people are valuable. I would invite you to consider if Jesus is asking you to say yes to serving on the core team! It is His will we are trying to follow, no one else’s.

Are you worried about being “too old”? Well… Don’t. Teens don’t only need people in youth ministry who are young. They need ALL kinds of people in ALL stages of life to demonstrate to them what the Christian life looks like at any age! They first of all need relationship, and we all need to love and be loved! So, if you are a seasoned Christian, good. You are wanted and needed and valuable and you can have a great impact on the lives of teenagers if you desire to share the love of Jesus with them and walk with them on this journey of faith.

Are you worried that you shouldn’t join the Core Team because you are a parent with a child in the youth program? Just because you have a child in the youth program, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be on the Core Team. In this circumstance, I would invite you to consider your relationship with your teen. Do you think it would be a good fit? If the answer is yes, then great! If you aren’t sure, talk to me! I would love to help you figure it out. Parents can be very valuable members of a Core Team and should by no means rule it out just because their teen is in the youth program.

High School Core Team
What is a Core Team?

Who: Who is the High School Core Team? A group of adults who value Faith, relationship, and high schoolers.

What: A Core Team is an essential part of youth ministry. They provide support to the youth minister, lead small groups, give talks, implement the curriculum, and enter into relational ministry with the teens.

When: The Core Team is expected to commit to being present on youth group nights (Sundays 6:30-8:30 pm), as well as attend Core Team trainings and meetings.

Where: St Mark the Evangelist youth center!

Why: High schoolers need the presence of caring, faith-filled adults in their lives. As they are growing and emerging into their adult self, it is so vital for them to see what the faith looks like in all stages of life. They need that example, leadership, care, and relationship that lets them know that they are seen, known, and loved… not only by the Core Team members, but also by Jesus. The Core Team is there to show the Heart of Jesus to the teens and lead them to deeper encounter with the Father.

How: “What is needed today is a church, which knows how to respond to the expectations of young people. Jesus wants to enter into a dialogue with them, and through his body, which is the church, to propose the possibility of a choice, which will require a commitment of their lives. As Jesus with the disciples of Emmaus, so the church must become the traveling companion of young people…” (JPII, WYD 1995). The Core Team enters into youth ministry the same way Jesus did. They become traveling companions to the youth in this faith journey through life when they encounter, encourage, listen, and engage in meaningful conversation with the youth. Jesus, though He was God, never condescended to the people He met… He just loved them. How do I serve on a Core Team? The answer is simple… LOVE.

Requirements:

– Commit to Core Team for one school year.

– Attend annual Core Team retreat day and necessary Core Team meetings during the year.

– Participate in the Core Team training.

– Attend youth group nights consistently. Relationships are built by spending time together. Your consistent attendance models a commitment to your faith.

– Commit to your parish’s weekly youth night agenda and arrive 30 minutes before the night begins to review material and pray as a Core Team.

– Lead small groups, which may include small group discussions, simple projects, and other small group activities.

– Come to youth group prepared by reading through the material in advance so you can successfully lead your group through the night’s activities.

– Follow the parish’s discipline policy, and work with the youth minister if discipline issues arise.

– Be open to new experiences and try things you have never tried before. Be willing to lead prayer, present to the large group, and perform in skits.

– Be fun for the Gospel, but at the same time, remain the adult in the group

PLEASE KNOW THAT YOU WILL RECEIVE TRAINING FOR EVERY ASPECT OF YOUTH MINISTRY IN WHICH YOU ARE EXPECTED TO PARTICIPATE, AND WILL NOT BE LEFT TO FEND FOR YOUSELF IN ANY AREA OF YOUTH MINSITRY

What are you worried about?

Are you worried that you don’t have enough experience or expertise? That will come! You will be trained in how to lead a small group and be given plenty of resources to be able to effectively minister to youth.

Are you worried about the time commitment? Pray about it. Anything valuable is worth a sacrifice. Heaven could look different if you decide to make that sacrifice. If a teen enters a relationship with Jesus and embraces the life of the Church… eternity will be changed. Your yes is valuable because the souls of young people are valuable. I would invite you to consider if Jesus is asking you to say yes to serving on the core team! It is His will we are trying to follow, no one else’s.

Are you worried about being “too old”? Well… Don’t. Teens don’t only need people in youth ministry who are young. They need ALL kinds of people in ALL stages of life to demonstrate to them what the Christian life looks like at any age! They first of all need relationship, and we all need to love and be loved! So, if you are a seasoned Christian, good. You are wanted and needed and valuable and you can have a great impact on the lives of teenagers if you desire to share the love of Jesus with them and walk with them on this journey of faith.

Are you worried that you shouldn’t join the Core Team because you are a parent with a child in the youth program? Just because you have a child in the youth program, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be on the Core Team. In this circumstance, I would invite you to consider your relationship with your teen. Do you think it would be a good fit? If the answer is yes, then great! If you aren’t sure, talk to me! I would love to help you figure it out. Parents can be very valuable members of a Core Team and should by no means rule it out just because their teen is in the youth program.

Meal Team

There are so many reasons why sharing meals together is important! First of all, people love food. Second of all, there is a relational element to sharing a meal that brings people together. Jesus gives us a good example in this. He didn’t go out to the world simply to preach to people… He ate with them, He fed them (literally and spiritually), and then He gave us Himself in the Eucharist to eat! Crazy, right!?

While you would not be expected to approach food the same way as Jesus did…. no need for loaves and fishes here! Being a part of the meal team could look like helping to coordinate meals for youth group nights or events, helping to serve food, or volunteering to bring food or snacks to youth group events. Take your pick!

Know that this is a very important aspect of the youth programs here at St. Mark, and all you efforts are greatly appreciated!

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Cor 10:31)

Chaperone
Chaperones are necessary for so many things! From helping drive teens to an outing at the bowling alley, to going on overnight trips and retreats, to even just being present at youth nights, there are SO MANY ways in which you can serve as a chaperone.

If you are one who has a busy schedule, but would still like to help out, this is a great opportunity since it is more of an “as needed” role with flexibility and adaptability to the level of commitment and investment you are up for!

Event Planning
A lot goes into planning for youth events, and if you have the talent for event planning, this is a great place for you to use your gifts for the glory of God and the upbuilding of the Body of Christ! Areas that you could help with are shopping for supplies, decorating for themed events, brainstorming on future events, etc..
Prayer Team
Any ministry cannot be successful without prayer. Prayer is VITAL if we are going to embark on this mission of evangelization and discipleship of youth. We need faith filled “prayer warriors” to intercede for us! As a part of the prayer team, you will receive the names of youth and volunteers in order to pray for them. You will also receive updates and special prayer requests regularly from the youth minister. Please consider becoming a part of the prayer team, but even if you don’t officially join, please pray for us anyways!!!

“With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints” – Ephesians 6:18

High School Youth Group

St. Mark’s High School Youth Group, ages 9th-12th grade, meets every Sunday night from 6:30-8:30 pm! This isn’t just a program, but a community where all are welcome and can grow together in faith and friendship! Through games, lively discussions, activities, and time in prayer, we are all growing closer to Christ and finding a home in this faith community that is His Church!

There is also a High School Bible Study that meets on Wednesdays from 6:30-8:00 pm. Snacks are provided, and so are Bibles if you need one!

We also have upcoming summer activities, such as Camp Covecrest and a trip to Steubenville Atlanta!

Stay connected through Instagram and GroupMe!
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stmark.youthgroups/
GroupMe: https://groupme.com/join_group/69717247/ZS5IRawa

Middle School Youth Group (EDGE)

Saint Mark the Evangelist EDGE provides a safe fun place for youth to find solid Catholic community, to get answers to their questions about faith, and, most importantly, to experience Jesus in a profound and personal way – Catholic faith presented in a way that makes sense. All 6th – 8th graders are invited to join us. St. Mark the Evangelist’s EDGE program is a fun place for youth to grow in faith and friendships! The most important friendship being friendship with Christ! We meet Sunday nights from 5:00-7:00 pm, and dinner is provided!

Stay connected through Instagram and GroupMe!
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stmark.youthgroups/
GroupMe: https://groupme.com/join_group/68352538/UQg6qCVS