fuSiON is a faith formation program designed specifically for youth in grades 6-8. The youth and dedicated adult core team meet on Wednesday evenings during the school year to dive deeper into our faith and encounter the person of Christ. At fusion, we seek to present the faith in a way that is fun, exciting and relevant to the youth. We hope to facilitate an encounter with God and ultimately inspire them to not just know about God, but to know God. The nights include dynamic presentations, games, small group discussions, praise and worship and a variety of prayer experiences.
Fusion nights are designed to facilitate an authentic experience of worship, prayer and community for the youth. We know that these authentic experiences are not only vital to their faith growth, but also their cognitive, social and emotional growth.
Q: What does a fusion night look like?
A: Fusion is not your "normal" faith formation program. We do not meet in classrooms. Fusion nights consist of large and small group experiences including games, skits, small group discussions, teachings, prayer, praise and worship and anything else we can think of to engage the youth. We use the Life Teen curriculum and it does not include a textbook or workbook. Instead we focus on engaging the youth in a variety of activities that they find exciting in order to teach them the faith, and build a community where they experience Christ. We use popular elements from teen culture as a vehicle to talk about the gospel message and inspire them to not just know about God and our Catholic faith, but to know God- father, son and holy spirit on a personal level and to use the practices of our Catholic faith to engage in their personal relationship with God.
Q: How are youth put in small groups? Are the groups consistent week to week?
A: We divide youth into small groups based on gender and grade. We find that this is the best way to build community at the middle school level. In order to provide the best possible community building experience, we take small group requests at the beginning of the year so the youth have an opportunity to be in a small group with people they already know. The small groups remain consistent week to week and they are facilitated by a consistent adult and/or high school teen leader. It is our desire that the youth make close friendships in their small group and seek out these friends as they encounter struggles and hardships in their daily lives.
Q: As a parent, how can I be involved?
A: The single most influential individual(s) in the faith growth of a young person is their parent(s). For that reason, we highly encourage your involvement in fusion. We have several opportunities for parent involvement. All parent volunteers must be safe environment cleared.
Background roles: preparing snacks, decorations, prepping activities or maintaining a safe environment in the parking lot and gym during youth nights. These roles do not require a weekly commitment, but they are vital to the health of the program. We ask all parents who are not serving in other areas of fusion to sign up for these roles a few times during the year.
Small Group Leaders: facilitate discussion and activities in a fusion small group. This role requires a weekly commitment to the youth. Leaders are given the session 3-4 days in advance of the youth night so that they may become familiar with the content and small group activities. These leaders focus on providing a safe place for youth to share their lives with one another and pray together along with helping the youth go deeper into the lesson so that they not only learn more about God, but they come to know who God is on a personal level.
Youth Night Presentation Team: work with a team to plan, organize and present a youth night. These team members keep our content and presentation fresh and exciting. If you can not commit to every week, but you would like to be directly involved with the kids, this is a great place to serve. If you can make a weekly commitment, you can easily serve in this role and serve as a small group leader.
Q: My child will also be in 8th grade confirmation. How does the confirmation program work with fusion?
A: The confirmation curriculum is built into the fusion year. So, 8th graders will come to Wednesday nights to receive both faith formation and confirmation preparation. There are a few confirmation gatherings that include rites and special presentations that will be held at different times during the year. For more information about confirmation, please contact our Sacramental Coordinator Dawn Purcell (firstname.lastname@example.org).