General Information Letter
Dear Friend in Christ,
Thank you for your interest in serving as a volunteer team member in the ministry of the REAP (Retreat Evangelization And Prayer) Team. The REAP Team is a Catholic youth retreat ministry of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, under the pastoral authority of the Catholic Youth Apostolate. The ministry of the REAP Team is funded by program fees, private donations, and the support of the ACA (Annual Catholic Appeal).
This ministry began informally in 1986 when I (Paul Masek) was hired to serve as youth ministry coordinator for the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. In September of 1986 I was trained in the dynamics of retreat ministry with the National Evangelization Teams, so as to be prepared to minister more effectively with teenagers. Over time, as I began to realize the great need for excellent retreats here in our Archdiocese, the REAP Team was formed, so that even more young people might personally experience the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Eventually, the REAP Team moved to be under the pastoral authority of the Religious Education Department of the Catholic Education Office, and now have our home with the Archdiocesan Catholic Youth Apostolate.
Over the past twenty-four years, the REAP Team has presented over 3300 ministry events that have reached over 234,000 teens and adults with the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are looking forward to this upcoming 25th year of service.
REAP retreats vary greatly, both in length and in content; they can be as short as one hour or as long as two days. The content of each retreat is based primarily upon the needs of the students we minister to, which is communicated to us through discussion with leaders who work closely with those students. We also base the content of each retreat upon the gifts and abilities of each member of our team who helps with a particular retreat, our team's discernment as we pray for the retreatants prior to each retreat, and our perceptions as we interact with a group of students during a retreat. All of this demands that flexibility be a common virtue among team members.
Although retreats can differ greatly in their structure and content, the fundamental message delivered is the same: Jesus Christ is Lord; He desires to free us from sin; and He provides abundant life for us. Team members use a variety of techniques to present this truth. Large group talks, small discussion groups, music, dramas, mingling, personal testimonies and the sacraments are employed to bring retreatants to the realization that true freedom is a choice; we freely choose to enter into an on going relationship with Jesus Christ.
A Special Calling
As you may have already guessed, it takes special people to work on the REAP Team. The most important characteristics necessary to being accepted to this ministry are a personal commitment to Jesus Christ and a love for teenagers. Other important considerations include: love for the Catholic Church, regular participation in Sunday worship, a personal prayer life, freedom from serious sin, regular reading of Scripture, and an openness to using the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Along with this information letter you will find a detailed application form. Please read this form carefully and complete it thoroughly. This form is intended to help the staff members know you better, and to help you and the staff members reflect upon whether you are called to this ministry. It will also be used as a tool to help staff members determine your personal gifts and in what ways you might be able to most effectively minister to teens in the retreat setting. Applications are due July 15, 2013.
Protecting God's Children on REAP (for those 18 and older during this school year)
FAMILY CARE SAFETY REGISTRY
If you are 18 years old or older (and a high school graduate), The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services requires that you fill out the "Worker Registration" form. This form allows our office to run a background check on you. A completed form with a copy of your social security card is required. We will pay for the record check, so the completed form and copy of your social securtiy card should be returned directly to us. If you have filled out this form for another Agency or Parish for the Archdiocese, we will only need your social secuity number to do the background check. All adults who work with children and teens for the Archdiocese of St. Louis, either as paid or volunteer workers, must complete this form as part of the overall policy of our Archdiocese. This form is available here and can be filled out online (Those still in high school, even if 18 years of age, are not required to fulfill this requirement until after graduation).
PROTECTING GOD'S CHILDREN WORKSHOP
In addition, all volunteers 18 years or older (and a high school graduate) must attend a Protecting God's Children Workshop given by the Archdiocese of St. Louis before working with students. A schedule of upcoming workshops is here. Volunteers can attend any of these; just make sure to register for The REAP Team/Catholic Youth Apostolate. If you have already attended a workshop, you are not required to go twice - just be sure to note at which parish it is currently on file when you fill out your "Volunteer Guidelines and Policies Agreement" (Those still in high school, even if 18 years of age, are not required to fulfill this requirement until after graduation).
*If you will turn 18 years old during the school year, it is advisable that you attend a workshop over the summer prior to your year of service, since when you turn 18 this workshop is a requirement.
CODE OF ETHICAL CONDUCT (For Adults)
Each person 18 and older (and a high school graduate) must read and sign the "Code of Ethical Conduct" for the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Please read this document thoroughly; however, only the last page needs to be printed off, signed, and mailed to us.
CODE OF ETHICAL CONDUCT (For Youth)
Each person under the age of 18 (or still enrolled in high school) must read and sign the "Code of Ethical Conduct for Youth" for the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Please read this document thoroughly; however, only the last page needs to be printed off, signed by you and your parent or guardian, and mailed to us.
As part of the application process, please select two people (other than family members) who know you well to complete the referral form on your behalf. The most important things are that these people know you well and have a mature, active faith (such as teachers, priests, youth ministers, etc.). I highly encourage you to provide each of your references with a stamped, addressed envelope when you give them the referral form, so that they can mail these completed forms directly to The REAP Team, 27 Grand Circle Dr., Maryland Heights, MO 63043. You can also email the the referral form to the two individuals and let them know they can email their completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org. Referrals are due to the REAP office by July 15, 2013.
After the application form is received in full (application and both referrals) at our office, applicants will be notified by telephone to set up interviews. Members of the ministry staff will interview prospective team members. These interviews will be held at various convenient locations throughout the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Please be sure to note on your application form what times would be most convenient for you to be interviewed.
Information Letter for Parents and Legal Guardians
Applicants under 18 need to print out a special information letter to share with a parent or legal guardian, which is designed to make them aware of what this ministry is and the commitment it entails. After they read this letter, please have them sign the line at the bottom of the letter. This letter should be mailed to The REAP office - the address is at the bottom of the page - by July 15, 2013.
A commitment to minister as a member of REAP begins with a training program. In these sessions team members are prepared to work as modern-day youth evangelists. Training includes instruction in the content of evangelization, the power of the Holy Spirit, and basic evangelization skills. Team members learn to: speak well of one another, pray with one another and with the retreatants, lead small groups, give talks and personal testimonies, act in dramas and skits, and other important youth ministry skills. It is mandatory that any applicant to the REAP Team be able to attend each of these two training sessions, which will be held at Cardinal Rigali Pastoral Center, 20 Archbishop May Dr, St. Louis, MO 63119.
Our 2013 training dates are -
Saturday, August 24, 2013 from 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Thursday, August 29, 2013 from 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
I hope this letter has helped you to better understand the ministry of the REAP Team. If this ministry excites you, then I encourage you to continue to pray as you fill out and return the enclosed application form. Know that all of us here are praying for you.
Sincerely in Christ,
Paul Masek - email@example.com
Coordinator of The REAP Team
|Referral Form web.doc||32.5 KB|
|REAP Application MS WORD (your name).pdf||84.8 KB|