Young people asking honest questions about sexuality are being given honest answers by some of this year’s students from the Acts 2 Come College of Mission of Evangelisation.
By Robert Hiini
For the past 10 weeks, two students in the college’s leadership stream, Giselle Williams and Sarah Laundy, have run the Theology of the Body for Teens 12 week DVD series in conjunction with 24:7 Youth Ministry in Osborne Park.
The series covers the issues of dating, sexual experimentation, gender and marriage with 12 core “lessons” and four separate “guys only” and “girls only” sessions.
24:7 volunteer Simone Cummins says that the DVD series, presented by US educators Brain Butler and Jason and Crystalina Evert, provides a positive and practical message about the beauty and glory of sex and relationships as God intended them.
“A lot of these students have never even heard of Theology of the Body and this is presented in a fun and really simple, understandable way.” Mike Sandrini, 24:7’s Youth Director, says that their young people have enjoyed the series.
“Most of us will be called to be married. They’re just wanting to know answers, how to become a husband and a father or a wife and a mother: Becoming the best human beings they can be.”
“You mention sex in a room of young people and you have their attention because its something that’s just thrown at you,” Ms Cummins adds.
“On TV, in state and Catholic schools, on posters and magazines or on the back of buses – it’s everywhere.”
“Kids want to know, and I think most of them believe that deep down there’s something more and this program addresses that.”
For one of their Friday sessions last month, they asked a young married couple to come and talk about their experience in addition to the DVD series.
Seated on a couch in front of the gathered youth, Acts 2 Come student Sarah Laundy interviewed her brother Patrick and his wife, also named Sarah, describing them as a “success story” of the Catholic way to date and fall in love. The couple described how they met at the 2006 Embrace the Grace Youth Conference in New Norcia when they were both 19 years old.
Patrick described the intense pressure he felt to have a girlfriend when he was growing up and Sarah spoke about loneliness and looking for a boyfriend for the wrong reasons.
“It wasn’t until I embraced being single that I thought, this is cool, I can actually use this time to my advantage. God was just waiting for me to be comfortable with myself before finding that someone,” Ms Laundy said.
Ms Laundy said prior to finding her husband Patrick, it was difficult to meet guys who didn’t want pre-marital sex.
“You’ve got to be really strong and have standards so you don’t get sucked into crappy relationships,” she told the crowd.
While cautioning young people about having a naïve view of some of marriage’s difficulties, Patrick said that the “first day I met Sarah I knew I was going to marry her,” giving details of the way he proposed at the crowd’s request.
Giselle Williams, who will graduate from the college in April next year, says that while they advertised the Theology of the Body for Teens series in 30 surrounding parishes, they hope to invite many more when they run it again this year.
Simone Cummins says that the DVD series could be run at any parish in Perth.
“So many young people are worried about youth but we need to start informing and equipping young people, otherwise they’re going to make many mistakes and still not know.”
“As a Church we have the responsibility to pass on what we’ve learnt and this is one way doing that.”
For more information about Theology of the Body for Teens visit www.tobforteens.com. For information about Acts 2 Come College of Mission and Evangelisation or 24:7 Youth Ministry follow the links at www.disciplesofjesus.org