Monday, February 22, 2010

My Call Came Through youTheology

I certainly remember youTheology quite fondly, especially the pilgrimage to England. It was the inaugural year for the program 2003-2004 – a year full of good fellowship and serious reflection.

youTheology was my first real experience with the idea of becoming a minister of God's Word. Now that I am embracing that call, I look back on my youTheology time as a beginning of what was to come.

Presently, I am studying hard at Duke Divinity School, working toward my Master of Divinity. I look forward to being let loose on the world of Kansas Methodism in a few years! Eventually, I will complete all the requirements to become an Elder in the Kansas East Conference of the United Methodist Church. youTheology was the springboard for my deeper involvement in the church – to the point of seeking ordination!

My interests right now are dominated by general seminary life: preaching, theology, scripture, and liturgy. I try to write poetry (when I have the time!) of a theological and devotional nature. I am making a concerted effort to add to my collection of dead languages (currently Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and Anglo-Saxon; while working on Syriac).

I have discovered over the last few years that God has been cultivating in me a pious awe and holy reverence for the sacrament of our Lord's body and blood. I have developed a sacred desire for this most blessed communion.

To all my fellow young Christians who have been raised to look for God mostly in the words of prayer and preaching, or in the beauty of music, I would commend the contemplation of this mystery. There is no song so inspiring, nor sermon so convicting, nor prayer so consoling, as this sacrament. It is one thing to hear, and another to taste, that the Lord is good.

Austin Rivera
youTheology Alumnus
Loving God, Loving Neighbor

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