Sweet 16 – Day 1

Over the next four days we will have the sweet 16. Make sure you vote!

The Professors

1 – Walter Brueggemann – A Way Other Than Our Own
Speaking on Psalm 23:6 “God’s friendliness and kindness will run after me and chase me down, grab me and hold me. The verb ‘follow’ is a powerful active verb. We are being chased by God’s powerful love. We run from it. We try to escape it. We fear that goodness, because then we are no longer in control. We do not trust such a generosity, and we think our own best efforts are better than God’s mercy. Lent is a time to quit running, to let ourselves be caught and embraced in love, like a sheep with safe pasture, like a traveler offered rich and unexpected food. Our life is not willed by God to be an endless anxiety. It is, rather, meant to be an an embrace, but that entails being caught by God.


5 – James Cone – God of the Oppressed
“The Christian community, therefore, is that community that freely becomes oppressed, because they know that Jesus himself has defined humanity’s liberation in the context of what happens to the little ones. Christians join the cause of the oppressed in the fight for justice not because of some philosophical principle of “the Good” or because of a religious feeling of sympathy for people in prison. Sympathy does not change the structures of injustice. The authentic identity of Christians with the poor is found in the claim which the Jesus-encounter lays upon their own life-style, a claim that connects the word “Christian” with the liberation of the poor. Christians fight not for humanity in general but for themselves and out of their love for concrete human beings.”

Youth Ministry Leaders

3 – Andrew Root – Taking Theology to Youth Ministry
“I content that at its core youth ministry is about participating in God’s own action. The purpose of youth ministry is to invite both young and old to participate in God’s action. Youth ministry, like all ministry, seeks in humility to be swept up into God’s own action, and therefore to participate in God’s activity in our world. Youth ministry is no different from any other ministry in finding its very center in God’s own act…In the end, youth ministry is every bit as theological as every other form of ministry, because its core isn’t games and skits but the action of God. What makes it distinct from other ministries is its particular focus on the actions of God with and for young people.”


2 – Mark Yaconelli – Contemplative Youth Ministry
“What would it mean if the goal of our ministries was simply to be prayerfully present to young people – to allow them to be fully themselves? Could we trust that our presence is enough? How would we treat youth if we weren’t trying to convince them of the importance of the faith, the worthiness of Jesus, the necessity of the church? What would happen if we sought to minister to young people through our ears, through our presence, through silent prayer and an open heart? What would such radical acceptance evoke in young people? Contemplative youth ministry is about deepening our presence to both God and young people. And though this time is grounded in prayer and openness to God, the fruit of this time is our increasing ability to be present – open and available – in all our relationships.”


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