**Please see the important notice below regarding the Fusion schedule change for the 2017-18 school year.
Due to constraints on facilities, the fusion schedule had changed for the 2017-18 school year. Youth entering 6th and 7th grade in 2017-18 will attend the first session of Fusion (Wednesdays 5:30-7:00PM). All Youth entering 8th grade will attend the second session of Fusion (Wednesdays 7:30-9:00PM).
fuSiON is a faith formation program designed specifically for youth in grades 6-8. The youth and dedicated adult core team meet on Wednesday evenings during the school year to dive deeper into our faith and encounter the person of Christ. fuSiON will have two options: Wednesday nights at 5:30 to 7:00pm or 7:30 to 9:00pm.
At fusion, we seek to present the faith in a way that is fun, exciting and relevant to the youth. We hope to facilitate an encounter with God and ultimately inspire them to not just know about God, but to know God. The nights include dynamic presentations, games, small group discussions, praise and worship and a variety of prayer experiences. Fusion nights are designed to facilitate an authentic experience of worship, prayer and community for the youth. We know that these authentic experiences are not only vital to their faith growth, but also their cognitive, social and emotional growth.
Q: What does a fusion night look like?
A: Fusion is not your "normal" faith formation program. We do not meet in classrooms. Fusion nights consist of large and small group experiences including games, skits, small group discussions, teachings, prayer, praise and worship and anything else we can think of to engage the youth. We use the Life Teen curriculum and it does not include a textbook or workbook. Instead we focus on engaging the youth in a variety of activities that they find exciting in order to teach them the faith, and build a community where they experience Christ. We use popular elements from teen culture as a vehicle to talk about the gospel message and inspire them to not just know about God and our Catholic faith, but to know God- father, son and holy spirit on a personal level and to use the practices of our Catholic faith to engage in their personal relationship with God.
Q: How are youth put in small groups? Are the groups consistent week to week?
A: We divide youth into small groups based on gender and grade. We find that this is the best way to build community at the middle school level. In order to provide the best possible community building experience, we take small group requests at the beginning of the year so the youth have an opportunity to be in a small group with people they already know. The small groups remain consistent week to week and they are facilitated by a consistent adult and/or high school teen leader. It is our desire that the youth make close friendships in their small group and seek out these friends as they encounter struggles and hardships in their daily lives.
Q: Why are there two different sessions for fusion? Are they the same? Do the youth have to go to the same session every week?
A: Fusion is a popular faith formation program at St. Gabriel. Three years ago, we decided that it was more beneficial to the youth to split our growing group and offer the same program at two different times. Because community building is a vital part of the fusion experience, we require the youth to commit to a particular session. This allows them to build friendships with their peers in their small group. Both the 5:30 and 7:30 sessions are the same. Choose the session that best fits your family schedule. (Sometimes it is good to find out which session your child's friends are attending.)
Q: As a parent, how can I be involved?
A: The single most influential individual(s) in the faith growth of a young person is their parent(s). For that reason, we highly encourage your involvement in fusion. We have several opportunities for parent involvement. All parent volunteers must be safe environment cleared.
Q: My child will also be in 8th grade confirmation. How does the confirmation program work with fusion?
A: The confirmation candidates and adult catechists will break out of fusion and have their own confirmation session every other Wednesday. So, for families, the Wednesday schedule remains consistent. There are a few confirmation gatherings that include rites and special presentations that will be held at different times during the year. For more information about confirmation, please contact our Sacramental Coordinator Dawn Purcell (firstname.lastname@example.org).