In many ways, the youTheology year is a pilgrimage. This was brought sharply into focus as I looked at Robert J. Brancatelli's Pilgrimage as Rite of Passage: A Guidebook for Youth Ministry. He has developed a curriculum that is built on the notion of Pilgrimage and includes a pilgrimage as a rite of passage for adolescents. It took me back to what I had written in a previous blog post, " youTheology not only has a pilgrimage component, but is itself a pilgrimage."
While Brancatelli writes for a Roman Catholic context, a sentence stuck out for me as he described Pilgrimage as Rite of Passage: "It is a process whereby youth can test their limits and discover their potential as individuals and members of the church community" (1998, 1). In other words, the course he has laid out allows young people to discover what they are able to do, and in some cases not able to do, within the life of the church as well as in their own right. I couldn't help but think that in many ways this is part of what happens in youTheology as we seek to develop faithful leaders for a diverse church and world. In meeting and interacting with other young Christian Methodists and their leaders, youTheologians discover hidden and/or latent gifts and calls, develop confidence as they plan and lead worship, serve, learn to theologise, learn more about the tradition, each other, and the various ways in which God calls people.
Loving God, Loving Neighbor