Digital/Social Media Coordinator
It was a quiet night in Roeland Park. But the two dozen or so young men and women gathered in the basement of old St. Agnes convent were anything but silent.
“Whether this is the first time or the thousandth time for you, just open your heart and speak to the Lord,” said the man who had just given his faith testimony, speaking over the strumming of a guitar.
Two dozen voices lifted their voices in praise and worship of God, through song and spontaneous prayer.
That event, known as CityWide, is just one aspect of St. Paul’s Outreach (SPO) mission to awaken the faith of students and young adults in Kansas City. And while SPO has been on the Kansas side for a while at Johnson County Community College, it’s the first time missionaries have been invited to serve in Missouri.
“Since we’re building the outreach there from scratch, we have to build up a catholic community—hanging out on campus, having events… a main way of meeting students is doing something outstanding, like slack-lining,” said Josiah Klas, chapter director at JCCC and the new outreach at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Slack-lining is a slack form of rope-walking and is used as one way to get attention on college campuses.
Klas said that right now they are doing a variety of off campus events every Thursday night, such as a men’s night, games or a dinner. On the weekends they occasionally do a larger event, such as a Lord’s Day dinner, block party or a special Mass.
SPO is also reaching out to young adults in Kansas City.
John Stevenson, director of the Kansas City young adult outreach, said that along with him there are three other missionaries dedicated to recent college grads and young adults. He said they attend local events such as Royals games or Catholic Beer Club, but also host men’s and women’s small groups, dinners, CityWide and recently, a Fan into Flame retreat.
“We had seventy young adults go to Fan into Flame, and from that, people said they had deeper faith in God, deeper personal prayer, and were reading the Bible,” Stevenson said. “The two sides of what we do are prayer and relationships, and we take those pretty seriously.”
For more information on Saint Paul’s Outreach, visit spo.org, or the new Kansas City young adult site spokansascity.org. Or contact them online at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com, or via SPO Facebook pages—SPO JCCC or Saint Paul’s Outreach: Young Adults-KC. o