Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Highs and Lows

Wednesday nights during the academic year tend to find me in the congregation's library/conference room/makeshift office for our worship coordinator/director of music. With a group of very hilarious and wonderful middle school students. For ABC (= Affirmation of Baptism Class, aka Confirmation).
Middle schools house three grades here, 6th-8th, and so our ABC ministry follows the school district's lead and we use a three year curriculum: a year of Hebrew Scriptures, a year of Christian Scriptures, and a year of Discipleship in Daily Life (that would be Luther's Small Catechism). We're on the third year of the rotation this year, and the kids are getting in to the catechism pretty well.
Tonight we discussed the 8th commandment, with a couple of rousing games of "Telephone" - very funny. Whereas basic understanding (never mind real-life application) of the 6th commandment required some definition of terms (at least a third of the class members weren't sure what "adultery" even means when we started), they have no problem understanding how bearing false witness against one's neighbor makes a difference in life. They "get it" from their own bus stops and school hallways to American presidential campaigns.
As great as the weekly content of our conversations is, one of my favorite elements of our time together each week is a little life review of "highs and lows." Or "wahoos! and that sucks!" Or "roses and thorns." It's amazing to watch the level of disclosure and reflection deepen as the year goes on. And it is a privilege to be allowed into the minds and hearts of such a great crew of students.

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