We’ve prepared our kids (if they are college bound) and ourselves for this exact moment in time. And yet, we dread the day that it comes. The college move-in day. It is such a mixed bag of emotions. We want them to graduate high school, to have goals, dreams and aspirations. We don’t want them living in our basements forever, but do we have to say goodbye? The summer before they leave the nest is a roller coaster ride for everyone. They want their independence, they are excited to go, they don’t want to leave their high school friends, they are nervous. As parents we feel it as well: excitement, sadness and doubt. Eventually, the day comes. The suitcase is packed and the car(s) are loaded. The only thing that’s left is to say good-bye. The thing is, this is just the beginning. Every weekend trip home, holiday or break, you will have to say it all over again. It doesn’t get easier. And don’t even get me started with those of you who raised a child who is brave enough to serve in the military! This podcast features two moms who have young adults. We have said “See ya later” too many times to count and have lived to tell you about it!
Many teens struggle with the creation story. Once they start learning science and history in school, things no longer add up. We are living in the information age and teenagers have that information at their fingertips. So, it is our job to help them know how to filter all that information to find truths. It is also VITAL for us, as people who live and work with young people, to give them space to explore their thoughts on faith and life. Providing a safe place for teens and young adults to see how faith, science, history and life in general collide. If we don’t clear away time for this, there is a high probability they will walk away from their faith.
So, why not start in the beginning. Below you will find some resources below to help you walk through a small group discussion. Remember to give space for questions and don’t feel you have to have ALL the answers!
Student Learning Outcomes:
- Students will understand that there are two creation stories in the Bible
- Students will learn the value of both stories
Scripture Readings: Genesis 1:1-2:3; Genesis 2:4-25
- First, acknowledge that there are two creation narratives. They are completely different and demonstrate very different attributes of God. They cannot both have literally happened.
- The first narrative is organize and poetic. On each successive day, God calls elements of the created world into order out of the existing chaos. It point us to a God who is organized, calculated, and in control. It is worth noting that this is a story about bringing order out of chaos, not a story about creating the world out of nothing. In this story, male and female are created at the same time, as the culmination of the creative process.
- The second narrative is less organized and much less poetic. It jumps from subject to subject and from creative process to creative process. In it, the male human is the very first creative act.
- There were many, many creation narratives being told at this time in history. Most of them involved a god (or gods) who created the earth or elements of the earth by slaughtering/conquering other gods. It is notable that in both of the narratives in the Bible, God is portrayed as peaceful, non-violent, and is perfectly capable of being creative without being destructive or threatened by other deities.
- What have you learned in school about creation/evolution?
- Why did the biblical authors include two creation narratives? Why be confusion? Why not just pick one?
- What is valuable and instructive about each of these creation myths?
- Are there any dangers in over-literalizing these stories?
- What might it mean for us to let go of the notion that these stories happened and start viewing these as stories that happen on an ongoing basis?
- Is there anything helpful or empowering about considering that God might be persistent, creative in overcoming obstacles, adaptable, or some of the other qualities we see in these stories?
- Exploring the Bible by Rev. Anne Robertson
- In the Beginning by Karen Armstrong
- Inspired by Rachel Held Evans
- Understanding the Bible by Adam Hamilton
Summer is here and so are our college students! What are you doing to interact with them in your faith community? We always think it needs to be a blown out program, but ministry with college age students can be simple and meaningful all at the same time. We talk about this very thing today in this podcast. I am excited to have Rev. Laura White, a lead pastor at a church in Ashland, Rev. Kyle Woodrow, the chaplain at Mount Union University, Char Messenger, Regional Coordinator and Director of Discipleship at a church in Canton all with us to talk about how they have connect with college age students in their contexts. I hope this will inspire you to find some way this summer to reconnect or begin a relationship with a young adult in your community. This is the first podcast in a series we are doing about reaching this age group, be sure to check out more to come!