catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 5, Num 12 :: 2006.06.16 — 2006.06.30


Resurrection happens

The other day, a friend of ours who works as a campus minister was articulating one of the biggest challenges he faces with his students: apathy.  Though most of his students are rooted in the Christian tradition, they lack vision for how faith can provoke a radical transformation that unifies all of life as an intentional act of worship.  They think the church is doing a fine job and their core responsibility is to finish their degrees, get good jobs and live decent, comfortable lives.  Where does one begin with such students in a discussion about the fullness of the Kingdom of God?

Another conversation with campus staff at a different college revealed frustrations along the same theme.  Students who have had "cultural discernment" crammed down their throats can't stand the thought of discussing yet another film.  They just want to enjoy a good movie.

For me, several realizations come out of this discussion.  One is that, for students who desire a weekend movie to be just a movie, film discussions just don't sufficiently engage their deepest dreams and nightmares.  The problem is not that these students don't care.  Their choices to be involved in campus ministry or to attend a Christian college result from a seed of care.  The problem is how to nurture that seed so that it will sprout and grow.

Another realization is that the community of the faithful—the Church with a capital "C"—is not, on a whole, offering a compelling vision for the unity of life in God.  We can invite students into rehearsing a faithful response by scheduling their favorite bands on campus or inviting them to watch the latest controversial film.  Ultimately, however, obedient cultural formation shouldn't be something "extra", another line item to enter into our schedule.  While such exercises as film discussions are incredibly important for learning and modeling discernment, a fully developed faith response goes beyond pop culture to the mundane.  It lives and breathes in the dorm room, the dining hall, the parking lot, and the classroom, as well as the auditorium and the theatre.

Fortunately, there are individuals and institutions who are successfully encouraging students to this kind of holistic view of life in the context of faith.  But what about those of us who have moved beyond the charmed intensity of campus life?  One can make a case for the fact that each day is a living classroom in which we develop our sense of who God is and what God desires for us.  However, stepping out of the routine and into a space of intentional community is something that many of us are simply hard-wired to do.

This need—for a virtual classroom attentive to holistic faith response—is one of the core reasons *cino exists and it's also at the core of the conference we're planning for this summer.  Practicing Resurrection will be a living week-long exploration of how we live into the Kingdom here and now, as we garden, design, dress ourselves, create homes, prepare meals, can vegetables, care for land, make art, participate in commerce and go on vacation.  God is present in all of these things and we have only to knock prayerfully at the door of our imagination for a glimpse of that Reality.

Whether the seed of your care is waiting patiently for the right conditions or bursting with life in the sun of the Spirit, please consider joining us at Practicing Resurrection.  Come for all or part of the week, to tell your unique story of discovery, ask the questions that burn hottest and most often in your heart, and experience the fellowship of a community that hungers for justice and thirsts for righteousness in all things.

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