The best Catholic resources for reaching young adults

50 Shades of Faith

By | Lent | Posted on January 5, 2015

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50 Shades of Faith Bishop Peter J. Jugis of Charlotte, N.C., blesses an engaged couple during the 2014 Eucharistic Congress at the Charlotte Convention Center. (CNS photo/SueAnn Howell, Catholic News Herald)

Description: 50 Shades of Faith is a discussion series aimed at gathering young adults for conversation around ethics and morals. The desired outcome is that young adults learn to engage secular issues through a lens of faith.

Get Ready

  • Prep Time: Begin preparations four months in advance:
    • Four Months in Advance: Brainstorm a list of topics around moral or ethical issues that would be interesting to your group of young adults. Some possible topics: medical ethics, faith and sexuality, faith and poverty, or politics.
    • Three Months in Advance: Book speakers appropriate to each topic. Catholic Charities, diocesan offices, and local parishes can often aid in finding speakers on ethical topics. Be sure to provide your speaker with a copy of the program goals and an outline for the evening. Reserve a location for your program.
    • One to Two Months in Advance: Recruit volunteers and check to see if your speaker will have any handouts or has any audio/visual needs for the event (i.e., projector, sound system, etc.). Begin your publicity.
    • Day of Event: Show up to the venue early to set up tables and greet your volunteers, speaker and guests.
  • Volunteers Needed: One to two volunteers as greeters.
  • Supplies: Table tent with discussion guidelines (see the Help section).
  • Reserve the Space: A pizzeria with a back room for discussion over food is a great option. A microphone and sound system is helpful for a larger group.
  • Ideal Group Size: Six to 30.
  • Who is this for? All young adults.
  • When is a good time for this? A weekday evening.
  • Publicize the Program:
    • Use fliers (see Help section), bulletin announcements, text blasts, and your Facebook page.
    • Create a Facebook Event to track RSVPs and anticipate attendance.
    • Encourage young adults to make personal invitations to their friends. 

Prayer for Program Planner: Lord, grant me wisdom as I undertake this project. Guide my heart and mind as we seek to engage in conversations around sticky topics. Help us to be respectful of each other and to seek to learn how you would love others in all situations. Amen.

Community Building: Because conversations around issues of ethics are often sensitive for each participant, setting rules for respectful dialogue is key to building community during this event. Another way to help with community building is to allow 10 to 15 minutes at the beginning of the event for guests to mingle and chat while placing orders.

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