APeX Ministries at Youth Jam 2006!

What a day it was. Last Saturday, I participated in Youth Jam 2006 along with 10 kids from the Youth Ministry program at Our Lady of Lourdes, and two other chaperones. It was a fantastic day.

Youth Jam is a 6 hour conference for all 6th to 8th graders in the Green Bay Diocese, designed to lead our youth to a closer relationship with Jesus Christ. Following this year’s theme, Youth Jam helps our kids to answer the question, “Who do you say I am?”

APeX MinistriesThe day started out with a very cool session with Gene and Brad from APeX Ministries. What a couple of very talented down to earth guys. First of all, they are world class jugglers. They did some very cool stuff that had the kids on the edges of their seats (well OK, me too). But then they also talked about our relationship with God, and how simple it can be for us to live our lives like Jesus Christ. “Whatever you do to the least of these, you do to me” (Matthew 25:40). I think every kid has heard that verse before, but Brad explained it in a way that was very simple and allowed our kids to easily apply it to their every day lives. The example of Brad’s younger sister, her death, and how that moment affected Brad as he prayed the rosary were all so real.

We had a breakout session to allow the kids to discuss their faith and lives a bit deeper. Bishop Zubik was also there, and he hosted a private discussion with two kids from each group in attendance. This was so important, as it showed that these children matter to him. We also had Mass with the bishop and managed to get a few photos with him as well.

We then had dinner (pizza of course) with lots of music and dancing. Then we wrapped up with another fine display from Gene and Brad. And when I say “display”, I’m not just talking about their juggling. I’m also referring to their faith. They were so good at capturing the attention of our middle school kids, and keeping it, allowing them to inject personal stories and examples of sharing their faith with everyone they meet.

If you ever have a chance to see APeX, don’t miss it.