Why the title “Educating for the Lived Gospel”? It is “educating” because it attempts to lead the good out of our young people. Our ministry of education is one that is ongoing, thus the present participle. There are those who think that the gospels are 2000 year old historical documents. People, young and old, are drawn to a faith that is lived.
Beginning the school year with the season of Lent affords us the opportunity to provide times of reflection for our young people. “Smoke” by Ben Folds Five contains lyrics that may resonate with young people, such as putting past hurts behind them. The title also connects with ash and fire, powerful and timely symbols in both a Church and secular sense. Here is a link to a You Tube clip. Do not feel that you have to use all of the song – just the portion(s) that you think will have maximum impact.
The Office for Social Justice in the US diocese of St Paul and Minneapolis has some excellent resources on what has been referred to as “the Church’s best kept secret”, Catholic social teaching. It is searchable by document or theme, with many associated resources.
The Melbourne archdiocese’s RESource website has a range of excellent resources. In the Worship section you will find Music that Points to Justice which contains an overview for the use of music with a social justice theme in the RE classroom, with links to Scripture and Church documents.
Prayer and spirituality
Two websites that are worth checking out are Sacred Space, which is run by the Irish Jesuits. It guides the reader through the process and can be quite contemplative.
The other is Praying Each Day, which is run by the British De La Salle Brothers. It links daily events with Scripture, simply and prayerfully.
Many schools have programs to enable young people to live their faith, some of which are overseas. One person who is currently volunteering in South Sudan as part of Solidarity with South Sudan is Melbourne teacher, Liz O’Connell. She writes in a recent email:
“I am struggling trying to find things in the market that I can use for my lessons, but I am adapting! I am teaching all physics (groan!!!) for my 4 weeks here. I started with Astronomy – challenge in a place that only has a blackboard, so thank God for my computer from which I could download images at night onto power point and then just pass the computer around the class the next day. I am now onto other physics – forces, machines, magnetism, electricity and light. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am not a fan of this stuff at the best of times, so trying to do practical with nothing but what I can find in the market is a challenge….but I am getting there. I do have a torch with batteries – amazing what you can do with that! I also teach how to teach science/other subjects. What normally happens here (Denis and I went to a school on Saturday so that I could get a look at how things are being taught) is that students sit and write copious notes – no practical and no discussion and most definitely no interactive learning. That is a fault of the system, not the teachers, as there are sometimes up to 70 in a class, not resources (not even textas, paper or posters) and often the teachers teaching primary have only got through secondary school – not even a basic teaching course. So that is why we are here.
Some other useful links
RESource http://resource.fraynework.com.au all sorts of useful material
Bible – NRSV http://www.devotions.net/bible/00bible.htm
Matrix revolutions http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXKx1sX8ESs
This clip is about the triumph of the light over the dark – could be used as an “Easter focus”