How I would handle Charlottesville if I was still a youth minister.

 

So I was struggling with the events in Charlottesville Virginia last weekend.  My first reaction was to destroy all the monuments (still somewhat there) and raze all the meeting places.  Slowly though I began to think about how I would want my kids (not biological, just the young men and women I worked for). 

Anyone over 25 is guilty of not addressing this topic healthily, so the first thing I would do is tell my assistants that this isn't their conversation.  There can be an adult MC who can ask for clarification, but that is it.  No points to ponder from the adults, this is very important.

I would gather my youth group, and if it were largely Caucasian, I would request an African-American parish to get together.  We would begin with a prayer from the parish priest, and then I would ask the young people how they feel.  Adults have screwed this thing up six ways to Sunday it's time to talk to the kids.  

I'd let them discuss their feelings about the whole thing.  I'd ask them how we should deal with this and finally I'd ask what they believe Jesus would do.  I'd trust them and give them a safe space.  Just let them do their thing, turns out they usually aren't dumb.  Then afterward, we would offer the Sacrament of Reconciliation available and go to mass together as one community from two parishes.

Anyway, that's what I would do.