So, I'm about a third of my way through Grad School, and so far it's good, although for the life of me I can't justify even the fraction of it that we're funding. But anyhoo. This semester I'm taking the 1-credit class that is required for all the people in my major (do they call it that in grad school?) called Holistic Formation.
I'm not exactly sure what it is. Last week was our first session, and our leader told us a lot of things that it isn't, but never really got around to telling us what it is. All I know is, there are about 8 of us, and we sit in a circle, and last week (seriously) they had us draw a "faith map" on big paper with... crayons.
I have a bad attitude about this.
Part of the requirements for this class is to come up with a spiritual something plan, which includes finding a spiritual director and going on a retreat. I have a wonderful SD whom I've been seeing for over two years now, and have been on more retreats than you can shake a stick at. I'm feeling kind of in pretty good shape spiritually (as in, I'm addressing my spiritual needs currently- not that I'm spiritually perfect). The crayon drawing I dutifully drew last week was one I've done lots of times, with my middle school students. I saw my advisor in the hall after class and complained about it, and she told me to be a "good role model" for the others in the group. Sigh.
It reminded me of the battle I had with a former pastor over requiring the Catholic school students in our parish to attend high school faith formation classes with the "publics." In my opinion, youth ministries MUST have something- something for the kids who attend Catholic school, who take religion class every day. But, at least in that program, sitting through classes for the public school students was no the something. The pastor thought that the CS kids should be in those classes because they would build community, but I suspected that they'd be so resentful about having to be there after studying theology in school each day that they wouldn't be very open to building community. The pastor suggested that maybe the CS kids could be great role models in the classes, serving as mini-teachers. I doubted that they would be happy with this conscripted service, especially after paying a registration fee.
I thought that the Catholic School kids deserved programming that was designed to suit their particular needs and stage, and I would have gotten around to that if I'd been able to stay at that parish longer than I was. But in the meantime, I thought it was better not to force them through a program that would only build resentment of the Church.
Now I'm feeling like one of those Catholic school kids. But I guess I have no choice, I will muddle through and earn my one measly credit and wear down every crayon they give me. But I'm not gonna like it!