MADISON -- Teens in the Diocese of Madison will soon be leading Bible studies in their parishes, thanks to a recent youth congress they attended at the Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center here.
Sixty-two people from 15 parishes took part in the YES! (Youth Engaging Scripture) Youth Congress, which trains parish teams how to lead a Bible study among their peers. YES! is a project of St. Mary's Press, Winona, Minn.
A parish team consists of two to five high school juniors and seniors and one adult mentor.
At the congress, they learned about the lectio-divina method, a process of reading the Scriptures reflectively, said Dennis Kurtz, coordinator of the teen Bible study project at St. Mary's Press.
Kurtz also trained the teens in looking at commentaries and lectionaries, understanding resources available to them, and getting a sense of what a weekly peer-led 45-minute- to one-hour Bible study looks like.
One of the benefits of training youth in peer-led Bible studies is the empowerment of young people, said Kurtz.
"The adult mentor continues to help teens organize and meet the requirements put forth by the parish," said Kurtz. "At St. Mary's Press, we provide a leader's guide and weekly e-news on how to share the Gospel." Full story ...
Rural Life Gathering: Focuses on 'Being a Neighbor'
SINSINAWA -- In crisis or calm, need or stability, the word "neighbor" has meant "friend" throughout U.S. history.
Yet many Americans today don't even know the neighbor next door, and the constant specter of terrorism in the wake of Sept. 11 stirs fear for neighbors internationally.
People of faith from seven denominations will take up the call, challenge, and celebration of "Being a Neighbor" in a tri-state conference here on Friday, Oct. 24.
Churches' Center for Land and People will host the daylong exchange at its 15th Rural Life Gathering in the Sinsinawa Mound Center. Lay people and clergy from Methodist, Catholic, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Unitarian, Episcopal, and Quaker affiliations, as well as other organizations in Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin will attend.
Being a neighbor
"All the best qualities of what being a neighbor has meant to our culture can be traced back to the shared work and struggle of raising barns, gathering in harvests, and caring for the land together," said Tony Ends, new executive director of Churches' Center for Land and People.