Wednesday, August 23, 2006

In power and the Holy Spirit ...

I went to the first meeting of the semester at the campus ministry last night. For the past year or so they've been slowly implementing ideas from the Evangelical Catholic model of ministry (of which I'm an enthusiastic supporter). One aspect of this is encouraging students (though it could well be parishioners ... the folks up at St. Mary's in G'vlle have had some success in using EC in a traditional parish setting) to share testimonies of their faith journey.

Several students spoke last night, very powerfully. One shared how his friendship with a terminally ill homeless man ended up deeping his own faith. Another about her struggle with peer pressure over pre-marital sex, and how a conversation with a friend reaffirmed her commitment to chastity. Another about suffering abuse from a relative. The students (and others) present listened to an hour of such testimony, with rapt attention.

Some of the students told me later that they had not intended to share the things they did; however, something prompted them to when it was their turn to speak. I was reminded of St. Paul's words to the church at Thessolonica, "For our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and the Holy Spirit and with full conviction." (1 Thess 1:5, RSV).

Gosh, I'm going to miss this place! But I'm so grateful for the privilege of having been a part of something so beautiful.

1 comment:

angelmeg said...

I am a firm believer in the power of the story of faith. Our gospel is equally as compelling and helpful as any catechism when shared freely in spirit and truth.

I have always said, I can tell someone what the catechism says about dying and rising, but if someone comes in and shares a personal experience of it happening in their own life it is all the more powerful.