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Summit reflection video for Palm Sunday with Joel Stepanek
Covecrest is more than a retreat center and summer camp. Covecrest is a community of Catholics committed to transforming teens, transforming parishes, and transforming culture. Will you join us?
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Edge helps middle schoolers unleash who they were created to be, in Christ.
Life Teen strengthens our teens' Catholic identity, while rooting them firmly in Christ and in His Church.
Life Teen Missions is answering the call from Christ’s final command in Matthew 28:19, “Go and make disciples of all nations,” through our specific ministry to teens. We invest in the lives of the youth around us by going out to them, inviting them into relationship and teaching them what it means to follow Christ. In order to best disciple teens, all Life Teen missionaries spend a year in formation to assist them in developing and growing in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
During this year of formation, missionaries grow in an understanding of why discipleship is necessary, how to be a disciple of Christ, and how to make disciples with teens
1. Complete the Life Teen Missions application online or on paper. If using a paper application, mail the application and three letters of recommendation to Covecrest. [Life Teen Missions, 25 Falls Drive, Tiger, GA 30576.]
2. You will receive a call confirming the receipt of your application. At that time, we will set up a brief phone interview with you.
3. All applicants must come to an official “Come and See” weekend. You will experience first hand the Life Teen missionary life. You will also have the opportunity to talk with current missionaries in formation as well as the rest of the Covecrest & Hidden Lake community.
4. The first Thursday after your visit, the Life Teen Missions leadership team will pray through your application during the Life Teen Holy Hour. We will share with you everything we received in prayer during that time. Within three weeks time we will let you know if you have been invited to Life Teen Missions. After your invitation, you will have two weeks to accept or decline this invitation.
Orientation: One weekend in July at Covecrest in Tiger, GA
Year Begins: September at Covecrest in Tiger, GA or Hidden Lake in Dahlonega, GA
Year Ends: Mid-August
Missionaries have roughly a two-week break for Christmas and a one-week break for Easter each year.
Applicants must be one full year out of high school by the beginning of their Mission Year in September.
September through April is the Formation Phase of the year. May through August is the Outreach Phase where the missionaries support all Life Teen Events including Summer Camp, Convention, and Life Teen Leadership Conference with missionary zeal and passion. Over the course of the year, missionaries are trained and formed to serve the missionary movement of Life Teen. The typical day from September to April is as follows:
7:00 AM: Personal Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament
8:00 AM: Community Morning Prayer – Liturgy of the Hours
9:00 AM: Mass on Wednesdays and Fridays, Breakfast
9:30 AM: Formation Class (Tuesday-Thursday)
12:00 PM: Lunch and Free time
1:30 PM: Leadership Development, Mission Partnering, Discipling, or Ministry Planning Time
6:00 PM: Dinner – Men/Women; Family Dinner; or on your own
9:00 PM: Night Prayer in homes
Additionally, missionaries are committed to: discipling teens through parish ministry or school mentoring, Life Teen Staff Calls every other week, Life Teen Holy Hour on Thursday at 2 PM, weekend hospitality of the retreat groups that come to Covecrest/Hidden Lake, and retreats that we lead occasionally during the week. All missionaries in formation will make an eight-day Ignatian silent retreat at Covecrest and a ten-day foreign mission trip to Haiti. The Summer Camp schedule is also very different from the typical schedule throughout the year. Missionaries serve as leaders during Life Teen Summer Camp for over 4000 teens at our camps throughout the country.
All Life Teen Missionaries depend completely on God’s providence. Missionaries are required to raise $1000 a month for their mission year. This money will cover housing, transportation, eight day silent retreat, formation material, outreach expenses, food on weekends and during the summer, foreign mission expenses (not including project money and alms) and a monthly stipend. This money can be used for travel at holidays and breaks as well as personal car expenses if necessary. at least $5000 must be raised or pledged before your arrival on September 6, 2016. You will continually invite mission partners to join you on God’s mission.
We are confident that God will provide for what He has called you to do. You will invite friends, family, co-workers, and parishioners to be “Mission Partners.” Mission Partners commit to prayer and financial support throughout your mission year. You, in turn, commit to praying for them and their intentions, as well as sending them monthly updates on how God is moving through you and, thus, through their investment in you as mission partners. Your Mission Partners are your personal prayer team, your army of prayer coverage as you go out to be witnesses to the ends of the earth. The preferred method is to invite people to give monthly. This forms an ongoing relationship and reflects the reality that your mission partners are truly on mission with you. Each missionary is expected to reach the monthly fundraising goal and create a spreadsheet to organize contacts, invitations and donations. Life Teen Missions will provide specific fundraising training at orientation, as well as sample letters, response cards and fundraising ideas that will help you in this most important ministry to mission partners. If you believe in your missionary call, share your story and invite others into this mission, God provides.
Prayer is the foundation of all Christian life. As missionaries, we are called to be “contemplatives in action”. All our activity flows out of our prayer life, which includes both personal and communal prayer. The typical day of prayer for a missionary:
7:00 AM: Holy Hour
8:30 AM: Morning Prayer – Liturgy of the Hours
9:00 AM: Mass on Wednesdays and Fridays
9:00 PM: Night Prayer – in your homes
In addition, we explore the riches of the Catholic treasury of prayers including the rosary, scripture study, journaling, novenas, Consecration to Jesus through Mary and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. In developing a more personal relationship with Christ, missionaries will learn the listening skills that ultimately lead to contemplation. Missionaries will also go on a personal, guided eight day silent retreat at Covecrest in January.
Our prayer life is lived out in community. Our missionary communities consist of Catholic Christians committed to a full life in Christ. Life Teen mission communities share a common vision, pray and discern together, and do all things for the Glory of God. Each member lives this out by embracing their unique role and by building trust through vulnerability, affirmation, and encouragement. Community life offers a safe but challenging place to live out our faith. Many people who live in Life Teen mission communities say, “The best part of Life Teen mission life is community. The most difficult part of mission life is community.” We cannot escape one another so we have many opportunities to deal with difficult issues in a healthy way.
Practically, all missionaries share bedrooms and living spaces. All male missionaries live together and all female missionaries live together. Men are encouraged to build their strongest relationships with other men and women with women. The relationship between male and female missionaries is one of honor. Year One Missionaries commit to not dating or engaging in romantic relationships of any kind. The purpose of this is to protect and honor this committed year between God and each missionary. Also, we have weekly community recreation where we have fun together – from kickball to board games to Rock Band. Every other week we have family dinner where small groups of missionaries join one of the community families on Thursday nights at their table. Family Dinners have been one of the favorite aspects of community life for missionaries.
While every aspect of the year is designed to “form” the missionaries, formation refers to committed time to study and explore Catholic Missionary Spirituality. The spirit is formed through prayer and exercising the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The mind is formed through studying Holy Scripture, teachings of the Church and spiritual reading. The will is formed through humility and obedience to Life Teen Missions’ Rule of Life. Formation primarily takes place in a small group setting facilitated by Life Teen Missions leadership and guest speakers. Main themes include: Identity, Scripture and Prayer, Missionary Heart, Missionary Action, Evangelization, Missionary Spirituality, Mary and Life Teen Core Values, and Theology of the Body.
Additionally, Life Teen Missions formation is a hands-on mission experience developing youth ministry skills, public speaking, teaching, organization, logistics coordination, and leadership to serve the missionary movement of Life Teen. We form young adults to be missionary in the every day! Life Teen missionaries are the hands, feet and heart of Christ in their communities. Missionaries learn to turn all aspects of their daily life into mission. The very identity of the Church, which is us, is missionary. By our baptism, we are missionary. It is not just what we do; it is who we are. St. John Paul the Great encouraged us to “become who you are.” As we do that, we find that we are missionary. Specific opportunities include local outreach, leading retreats, foreign mission trip, and serving as the evangelization team for Life Teen Summer Camps. In addition, missionaries will work alongside Life Teen staff in various fields. This could include camp work projects and office work.
Another aspect of formation for missionaries is discipleship. As they share the faith and disciples teens and young adults, it is important that each missionary continue to mature as a follower of Christ. Each missionary is encouraged to seek someone to disciple them, or a spiritual director, to meet with them regularly. The goal of this is to ensure that each missionary is supported and encouraged to “become who they are.” This is not just to be holy but also to be whole – physically, spiritually, and relationally. St. Ireneaus said, “The glory of God is man fully alive.” We are committed to helping missionaries become “fully alive” prayerfully, personally, and communally.