D-Group Ministry During the Coronavirus: As humans, we are social creations. We are made to know and be known, to love and be loved. We are made for relationship with one another and our Lord. For teenagers, their world have changed dramatically but not their need for relationships with one another and our Lord. Therefore, our role as D-Group leaders has not changed either: to lead our group of teens closer to Christ and mentor them in Christian living. Especially in this time of crisis, teens need real connection and relationships. Therefore, the Church of Saint Henry is asking all D-Group Mentors to stay connected with their D-Groups during the days and weeks ahead. Since it is not yet possible for groups to meet in person, we will have to be creative in the ways we connect. We can do so both spiritually and electronically...
We have three new resources to help keep you and your D-Group connected: Remind, Zoom, and YDisciple online (See instructions below)
Walking with Teens in Suffering & Uncertainty (Recorded Webinar): In light of the Coronavirus, Net Ministries recently organized a digital seminar for youth ministers titled, "Walking with Teens in Suffering and Uncertainty". The seminar included guest panelists Bishop Cozzens (our very own Bishop!), Jim Beckman (Youth minister of the Catholic parish closest to the Columbine shooting), and Laura Sobiech (mother of Zach Sobiech, a 17-year old boy who lost his battle against cancer, but not before changing the world with his story and song "Clouds"). If you need a little inspiration during this time of uncertainty--either for your own heart or in your vocation as a parent of teenagers--I encourage you to listen to the recorded webinar.
What is Remind? Remind is service that allows students, teachers, and parents to get messages (both announcements and group messages) directly to their phone (push notification, text, and/or e-mail) without having to share personal contact information. This service may already be familiar to you and your teen as it is the one used by the area schools.
Instructions for how to get your D-Group parents/teens connected to Remind:
A. Remind parents that they will need to to fill out the Electronic Communication Form for their teen and return, mail, or e-mail the completed form to Jenna Montedonico at the Church of Saint Henry.
B. Share your "class code" with your D-Group parents/teens (Contact Jenna if you do not know your "class code"). They can sign up for text, push notifications, and/or e-mail...
i. They sign up with text: Text the class code to 81010.
ii. They can download the app: Download "Remind: School Communication" from your App Store. Open the app, sign in, click "join a class", and enter the class code.
iii. They can sign up for e-mails: This can be done either through the app on your smartphone (open your app, sign in, and in account settings: add your e-mail address and click the bell icon next to it so it is marked blue) OR this can be done online from your computer (go to remind.com, sign in, and in account settings: add your e-mail address and click the bell icon next to it so it marked blue)
Instructions for how to send a Remind announcement (one way communication, unlimited people):
A. To begin, click blue pen icon on the remind.com or the remind app (on the remind app there is one extra step: select "announcement" before moving on to the next step...)
B. A window will pop up. Find your class name under the "classes" section (Under under your class, there is a drop down menu where you can select "everyone" or just "parents", "students", etc.). Click the check box to the next to your class name to include your class (or section of your class) on the announcement. Once it is selected, you should see the number of people selected come up in the right column of the window.
C. Click the blue "continue" button on the bottom right of the window. Type message and click "send" or "schedule" depending on when you want to send it (i.e. now or later, respectively)
Instructions for how to start a Remind group conversation (two way communication, limit of 9 people per group):
A. To begin, click blue pen icon on the remind.com or the remind app (on the remind app there is one extra step: select "conversation" before moving on to the next step...)
B. A window will pop up. You will have to individually search for and select your students by name. Note: Do not forget to add your co-leader (or Jenna if you do not have a co-leader) to ensure there is always a second safe-environment-certified adult in the group conversation with you. As you select people, you should see the number of people selected come up in the right column of the window. Note: If your D-Group has more than 7 teens, you will have to start two group conversations since you will not all fit into one group conversation (since the limit is 7 teens + 2 leaders = 9).
C. Click the blue "continue" button on the bottom right corner of the window. Type message and click "send" (there is no "schedule" option for group conversation)
What is Zoom? Zoom is a free service for group video calls.
Virtual D-Group Zoom Instructions:
A. Make sure you have a computer/Chromebook with a camera or smartphone and good internet connection
B. Create an account: https://zoom.us/freesignup/
C. Download the application on to your computer/Chromebook or phone
D. Contact your D-Group leader for the link to the Zoom Meeting!
Note on Safe Environment: We have translated our safe environment policy to our new virtual reality. Here are some of the rules that we have set in place: There must always be two safe-environment-certified adults (namely your D-Group leaders and/or a parent volunteer) present in a virtual meetings. Virtual meetings must always include 3 or more teens (i.e. the meeting is always a "group meeting" never an "individual meeting"). D-Group leaders must also send a copy of the Zoom link to parents and parents are always welcome to participate in the virtual meeting.
How to Schedule a Zoom Meeting:
A. Open the Zoom application on your computer or smartphone.
B. Select "schedule"
C. Edit the meeting details: Name the meeting (i.e. D-Group). Select the start time and date. Note: For the free version of Zoom, you will have to keep the duration to "30 minutes". Select "host video" on. Select "participant video" on. Select "telephone and device audio" on.
D. Click the blue "schedule" button on the bottom right corner of the window (on the Zoom App: click the "done" button at the top right corner)
E. Save Zoom meeting to your calendar, if desired.
How to Invite your D-Group to a Zoom Meeting:
A. Go to "Meetings" on the top menu of the Zoom Application (on the app: bottom menu)
B. Select "D-Group" meeting from the left column.
C. Click "copy invitation" (the text will be saved to your clip board). Paste the message on to an e-mail or Remind message. The message will contain the meeting details (date, time, etc.) and the link/meeting D. Participants can join the meeting at the scheduled time by clicking the link or typing the Meeting ID into in the app through the "join meeting" button.
What is YDisciple Online? YDisciple online is a video library of faith-based videos that make up the primary curriculum for D-Groups. Each Faith formation family has access to an account on the online Y-Disciple platform (Instructions for YDisciple Online Platform below). From your family account, you can stream the faith-based videos (before or during) you D-Group meetings. These videos will be the launching point for your D-Group/s discussion each week.
Instructions for YDisciple Online Platform:
Each D-Group leader (and registered Faith Formation family of a high-school D-Group teen), was sent an e-mail titled "Welcome to YDisciple". This e-mail will include your username and password for www.ydisciple.com. Log on to access all of the YDisciple videos! Note: You may also receive a "confirmation of purchase" e-mail for joining Y-Disciple. As you can read in the e-mail, there is no additional personal cost for the subscription (the purchase was made by the parish).