Wanted to make everyone aware of what looks like a GREAT documentary, airing on PBS December 20th – 21st. The Calling follows seven young adults who are pursuing ordination in four different faith traditions. The web site accompanying the documentary gives an even deeper understanding of “calling”, which we are always a big fan of here at TEY, by asking visitors to explore what their own sense of calling is. Below is a trailer for the documentary:
Jeremy Zach writes over at his blog REyouthpastor about reflections on Luther and youth ministry. I’ve always thought of Luther as a cantankerous kinda guy (in a lovable sorta way), so two of Jeremy’s insights made me laugh because they actually had me visualizing Luther showing up at a youth group meeting and reacting:
Just got back from spending a day in Rochester, NY at the Upstate NY Synod’s Youth Convo @ the Upstate NY Synod Assembly. An incredible group of youthful disciples, a lot of whom I had met the summer before at Lake Chautauqua Lutheran Camp. For those throughout the ELCA looking for great examples of how to invite in and involve youth and young adults with your assemblies, you wouldn’t have to look any further than Upstate NY. From their Youth Convo to their Y’All group of young adults, this is a synod taking steps to create space for young leadership of the Church. Below is a picture of this group addressing the entire assembly, sharing stories of their experiences over the past four days and a song written for the assembly. It was incredible gift just getting to spend a little bit of time with this awesome community.
The picture above is the beginning of a tag “see the church” that share pictures of the Church in work in traditional and unexpected ways. If you see a moment that makes you think “Wow, this is the Church”, please feel free to email me that picture and I will share it here on the TEY blog.
There’s a really great series of posts going on over at Tony Jones’ blog reflecting on apophatic statements about God…Jones writes…
I’ve been thinking about God lately, and I cannot help but be continually pulled toward an apophatic relationship with God. That is, the more I’m drawn to thinking about God, the more I am convinced of the unknowability of God. And so I wonder if I took on the challenge of Maimonides and spoke about God only in the negative, only stating what God is not.
From there Jones wrestles with statements like “God is not just” and “God is not static”. It’s tough stuff, because we are so used to talking about what we know about God, but it’s a really cool theological exploration. Check it out here.
New study from the Barna Group about the aspirations of teenagers makes a connection between two widely held aspirations, relationship with God and engaging the world outside their own country:
Having a connection with God and international travel emerged as second-level priorities. Nearly three-quarters of teenagers felt they would have a close, personal relationship with God (72%) in the next decade or so. About seven out of 10 youths (71%) said they will definitely or probably have traveled to other countries by their mid-twenties.
You can read the rest of the results of the study here.
So, do these two things have a connection? Recent scholarship (like this one) have show that for young adults a vibrant faith is one that engages internationally. How do you see this playing out in your life, in your congregation?
I have been watching a lot of NBA playoffs basketball over the past week, which means I have seen tons of commercials for KFC’s Double Down sandwich. Not familiar with the Double Down? It’s the new sandwich made of bacon, cheese, and two pieces of chicken…no bread. (An idea that was prophesied on the show 30 Rock, “Meat, it’s the new bread”). I think the calorie intake from the Double Down is about half of the recommended yearly intake for any human being.
For the past few days I had been trying in vain to think of a way to mention the Double Down on the TEY blog, so I was happy to see this morning that the folks over at RETHINKING YOUTH MINISTRY solved this riddle. Here’s an excerpt from the post, which is funny and true all leading to a great line that delivers a really good punch to the gut:
How often is this the same approach we are encouraged to take in ministry with youth? Double up on the entertainment value, double up on the marketing hype, double up on the “cool” factor and the
customersyouth will surely come. Of course, the truth of it is: KFC knows exactly what it’s doing. And youth ministries which pile on the cheese, bacon and special sauce games, entertainment, trips to exotic locations likely do attract a great number of young people. The trouble is, the consumers of our double-down youth ministries will eventually want more. Then we’re forced to do the ministry equivalent of a “Luther Double Down” which consists of KFC’s new item sandwiched in between two Krispy Kreme donuts (No Kidding. See it for yourself here). Where does it stop?
Perhaps more importantly, we have to wonder if we are setting our youth up for their eventual departure from the Church itself.
Read the rest of the post here, and check back with them for the follow-up post. On a side note, the “Luther Double Down” mentioned above has nothing to do with either Dr. Martin, but to the third most famous Luther, Luther “One Shining Moment” Vandross.
Nominations and applications still being accepted for TEY’s summer programs. To find out more, go here.