Thursday, November 12, 2009

8th Graders, Retreat!

Tomorrow afternoon, I will be stuffing 13 eighth graders into a 15-passenger van, and along with two of their parents, driving down to Cape Cod for a Confirmation Retreat. This is a retreat done by our denominational conference, so will include other confirmation classes from our state (and required no planning from me other than how to get our kids there).

I'm starting to get excited for it. I'm expecting some definite community building, and hoping for at least a few "lightbulb moments" for the kids. We've had some good moments so far, but the bond isn't quite there yet, and without that, they can't start really discussing the tough, confusing, difficult stuff that makes up faith and is the whole point of confirmation class.

I know they have the questions. We did an activity at the end of our last class where I handed out index cards for them to write any questions about God, religion, death, etc on them. I got everything from "What is salvation?" to "Who is God?"

I can't give them the answers. These are the things we need to wrestle with, and that, by May, they need to at least start figuring out for themselves. It's not an easy task by any means, especially in a progressive tradition where we don't just hand out simple answers. I am perhaps even more aware of their task as I write my own statement of theology for ordination.

I can't wait to see what the retreat has in store for all of us.

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