Resource Reviews

Cultivating a Consequential Faith in Adolescents

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By Rev. Dr. Jessicah Duckworth in Leading Ideas, a free online newsletter of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary. Shared with permission.

Duckworth reviews Almost Christian: What the Faith of Our Teenagers is Telling the American Church by Kenda Creasy Dean, discussing findings from the National Study of Youth and Religion (NSYR). She reflects on the role of significant adults and the importance of contemplative opportunities in youth faith formation. Religious summer camps and youth retreats are naturally (in Dean’s words), “places where adults can move beyond their comfort zones and talk about their faith in teenagers’ presence.” How can we maximize our potential to help young people develop deep, abiding, “consequential” faith? RAC leaders from non-Christian faith traditions will also resonate with many of the cultural challenges and opportunities expressed.

S’more Time with God

Discover author/educator Nancy Ferguson’s newest offering in her collection of faith-based resources for camp and retreat leaders. S’more Time with God will enrich any outdoor adventure by linking experiences in nature with recognition and reflection of God and the larger stories of Biblical faith. Five weeks’ worth of daily active, creative, and reflective devotions draw school-age children and their adults into prayer, discovery, and faith-based conversation around the campfire (or tent, or cabin…) S’more Time fills an important niche in “claiming the time” for family trips, Christian campgrounds, and church groups. You’ll want a copy for every family group who uses your site.

ISBN: 9780817016630

2011, Judson Press

A Spirituality of Fundraising

Kevin Witt, Camp & Retreat Ministries, United Methodist General Board of Discipleship.

Many of us must rally other persons to help with fundraising efforts who may be new to it and perhaps uncomfortable. One of the challenges that often accompanies this essential aspect of what we do is a sense that fundraising is a difficult task that must be done to support other worthy goals but is peripheral to the ministry. Henri Nouwen offers a completely different understanding on fundraising that looks at its deeper meaning as a joyful, dynamic Christian ministry at the heart of what we do. He invites us to a conversion in the way we understand seeking support and asking others to join in through generous giving. Nouwen focuses on the great potential to implement fundraising as a Christian spiritual practice that can help free our team and ourselves from the anxiety that so often inhibits us. I found this brief book to be chock full of thought-provoking insights that are very relevant to camp and retreat ministries.

As a form of ministry, fund-raising is as spiritual as giving a sermon, entering a time of prayer, visiting the sick, or feeding the hungry.
—Henri Nouwen

ISBN: 0835810445

2011, Upper Room