Camping, canoeing, and catechism

September 10, 2008

This past weekend I had the privilege of being one of the adult leaders who spent 24 hours with our CMF youth at Morgan’s Riverside Campground on the Little Miami River northeast of Cincinnati about 30 miles.  We had supper together over a fire, camped out in tents that mostly kept the overnight rain out, and went canoeing on the Little Miami.  There was also some impromptu swimming that happened in the river when we came on a swimming hole with a swinging rope hanging down from a tree that leaned over the river.  The youth might have a story or two about how that went. 

Along with the play, we also had time to reflect on the beginning of a journey we are taking together this fall.  From September through December seven of our youth will be in catechism class, exploring the Bible, Mennonite Christian faith, and how their lives intersect with the big story of God’s work in the world.  One of our reflection times was a Bible Study on Luke chapter two when the adolescent Jesus goes to the temple and stays there with the teachers rather than going home with his parents.  It’s a story that shows Jesus beginning to expand his world beyond the small circle of his immediate family, and reach out to other adults for guidance and wisdom.  And what is he doing with those other adults?  He’s asking them questions!

I’m impressed with the thoughtfulness of each youth and am encouraging them to ask lots of questions, small and big, during this fall season and in the seasons to come.  They have each been raised in the church and now, like Jesus when he was their age, they are moving outward and wondering how they will claim this faith as their own.  It’s an exciting time for me and all adults to be walking with them.  I invite you to pray for our youth, ask them questions about what they are learning, and encourage them in their growth. 

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4 Responses to “Camping, canoeing, and catechism”

  1. cousin twice removed Says:

    wow some bad typos in my previous post… too bad there isnt a way to correct that post… anyways for now where i was saying about gen y being team spiritte but those INCLUDED… should have been EXCLUDED…where the team spiritedness can result in a kind of intense sense of being an outcaste within that gen y types and might play into the increase of mass revenge type murders in schools…
    what tho maybe still holds as an influence in this type is the sense of self sacrifice but in this situation , the self sacrifice is not for the in group team but the out group..outsiders and outcastes…

  2. joelmiller Says:

    Brian – Yeah, this was a great start to our class…built camaraderie and set the tone for this experience as one of inquiry and exploration. Blessings in your teaching and learning. Joel

  3. just an apprentice Says:

    Joel,
    I really like the idea of going away in a camping setting to begin this catechism process.

    I am beginning a catechism class at SMC in October with 5 persons (mostly youth) in our congregation.

    Blessings,
    Brian

  4. cousin twice removed Says:

    in working with the younger generation:) , the approach mentioned by the dean of men as the college of wooster [i know i know not a mennonite pacifist college:)]at a class reunion deal there…when i queired if he was aware of what he was saying about the current patch of students fit gen y … which according to an interesting study of 2 ph.d. sociologist[who tho seem to be lacking an appreciation of aspects of the divine supernatural workings of grace]
    point being besides recognizing individual gifts and callings in order to help souls find their spiritual calling…in part by understanding their personality type structures… understanding the generation aspects can be useful at times… gen y or as they call them i think ..the millenial generation with birth years about 1982 oh i forget the cut off year but tne next gen is called homelanders in their system…
    gen y tend to be team and civic spirited and self sacrificial where gen x is said to be more nomadic survivalist and power oriented and manipulative …thus slacker term for that generation…
    i know it looks bad for gen x but not according to tje 2 sociologist that i mentioned earlier…their names being william strauss and neil howe….

    a problem with the team spirited gen y seems to me those who do not get included in the team or group can be treated in a kind of disparaging way perhaps as not civic minded as the group sees civic or group minded..and that kind of outcasting might be part of where there are the mass killings by students in schools…

    their books talk about how there are 4 gen types that recycle thru history…
    the g.i. generaion is a parallel to gen y…
    gen x is the gen type of hitler..who i think was able to manipulate the civic minded group that came after his gen type …he conned them into what a twisted version of being civic minded should be


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