Our Church is constantly called to renewal. The Eparchy of Edmonton’s response to this call is the 25 Year Pastoral Plan.
This plan is made up of three pillars:
- Word (to know God)
- Eucharist (to love God)
- Service (to serve God).
One theme within the Pastoral Plan is Youth Evangelizing Youth. “Youth often respond best when given the opportunity to let their gifts and talents shine through, including faith formation. Youth Evangelizing Youth intends to develop further the skills of youth and involve young people in the ministry of evangelization among their peers.” iWitness is an interactive program intended to lead youth to further encounter Christ and engage them in the missionary activity of the Church through our Eastern Christian heritage and spiritual patrimony.
iWitness resembles Canada’s Got Talent. Children and youth will showcase the way they bear witness to the Lord working in their lives through: drawings, pictures, written works (including poetry, short stories, narratives, etc.), videos, or combinations of these. Within each of the grade links on the home page, you can view a variety of examples of different submissions.
The second contest: iRespect
Stewardship is the responsibility that Christians have towards the gifts that God gives us. Men and women were created for relationship with God, each other, and all of creation. We are called to be good stewards of creation and all the relationships for which we were created. Being good stewards does not simply mean maintaining these relationships, but cultivating, nurturing, developing, and bringing about growth in each of these relationships by uniting all of them to Christ. We are also called to be good stewards of the Good News and of the Church—the Kingdom of God here on earth. This means that stewardship is both personal and communal. Stewardship is practised on one’s own, within families, the community, the school, the parish, the city, the province and the country.
Part of being a good steward is looking after our own bodies. Human beings are made in the image and likeness of God (Gen.1:26). We should approach our bodies and those of others as bearing the image of God. St. Paul says our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor.6:19). Therefore we should treat our own bodies and those of others with respect and reverence, and, as St. Paul says, “glorify God in your body” (1Cor. 6:20). We should exercise regularly, eat enough but not in excess, eat healthily, and practice healthy and chaste sexuality.
Your children are encouraged to showcase how they and/or others respect their bodies.
Here are a few ideas of what your child (ren) can do:
- draw/colour an icon of Christ or of the Annunciation (when God took on a human body and nature in the womb of the Theotokos (Mary))
- take a picture of the meals that they eat
- make a collage or video about the physical activities in which they are involved (soccer team, karate, swimming, camping, etc)
- find a saint and create a presentation of how that saint had respect for his/her body and the bodies of others
- make a collage of biblical passages which show the beauty of the human person
- make a presentation on saints whose bodies remain intact after death (incorruptible saints)
- make a presentation on how human beings are restored to their full dignity in the person of Jesus Christ
- make a presentation about the Eucharist being the Body of Christ and of the Church being the Body of Christ
- make a presentation on John Paul II’s Theology of the Body
- Talk about the importance of waiting for marriage to have sex
- Talk about the importance of being sexually chaste outside of and inside of marriage
- make a presentation on why sex is meant to happen without contraceptives (condoms, etc.)
- make a presentation on human trafficking in Canada and what can be done to prevent it
- make a presentation on prostitution in Canada and what can be done to prevent it
- make a presentation on drug and alcohol abuse and addictions and what can be done to prevent it
- write a poem about God taking on our human nature for our salvation