May the Peace of Christ and the sacrificial love of Saint Valentine be with you.
Here we go with another set of weekly news items to assist your ministry with pertinent information and formation.
- Kara Powell of Fuller Institute offers three faith building tips that any youth leader might offer to parents.
- Tis’ the season. As we near spring, we begin to engage in the season of hiring. US Catholic magazine asks a related question and wonders if our hiring practices, especially when it comes to a rejection letter, have become a social justice issue?
- Last week, I posted about “small v” vocation assessments. I found this article from the New York Times about how colleges are becoming more intentional about vocational discernment. We should be looking to answer similar questions.
Thinking about vocation often requires parts of a college that do not usually work together to think cohesively. Professors might spend time in discussion with the careers office, or the office of community service, in order to plan projects that extend beyond the classroom. At Grand View University in Iowa, such thinking has meant a class in which students use digital tools to create maps of common refugee routes, while they also undertake a service project with refugees in their community who have traveled these routes in order to arrive in Des Moines. At Wake Forest University, it has involved the creation of an Office of Personal and Career Development that is so thoroughly entwined with the curriculum that you can even take courses for credit in career exploration.
Are we using all the parts of our community to help young people understand their own personal vocational call?
- In two weeks’ time, the Holy Father will gather Bishops from around the world to address the abuse crisis in the Church, For a wider perspective, read the Houston Chronical report on how this has also plagued the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest religious denomination in the US.
Wade Burleson, a former president of Oklahoma's Southern Baptist convention, says it has long been clear that Southern Baptist churches face a crisis. In 2007 and 2018, he asked SBC leaders to study sexual abuse in churches and bring prevention measures to a vote at the SBC's annual meeting.
Leaders pushed back both times, he said. Some cited local church autonomy; others feared lawsuits if the reforms didn't prevent abuse.
Burleson couldn't help but wonder if there have been "ulterior motives" at play.
"There's a known problem, but it's too messy to deal with," he said in a recent interview. "It's not that we can't do it as much as we don't want to do it. ... To me, that's a problem. You must want to do it, to do it."
- Still got space in your life for a New Year’s Resolution? Want to be a better leader? Mark Cole has 11 Statements for you to consider in the remaining 11 months of 2019.
On this week of Valentines' Day, know that you are loved... as a child of God but also as someone who accompanies young people in faith.