Religious Education Congress is a convention with a little bit of something for everyone. There is a Youth Day for the high school students that really gets them motivated and inspired. There are many, many fantastic speakers in the lecture halls. Three lectures a day for three days. The lectures cover all subjects relating to religion. I chose the lectures about raising good Christian kids today. I already shared a little about Keri Krout's lecture. She is truly an amazing speaker. She brings in personal stories into the point she is trying to make and therefore you can see it applied in the "real world." Like Roxaboxen.
Another speaker I thoroughly enjoyed was Mike Theisen (pronounced Tyson). He had a lecture on how to teach to the Youth as a Catechist. How you can inspire high school students to think outside of the box. Capture your audience for that two hour class. He recommended the adolescent catechises web site as a good resource. He said we must "see teens as Catechetical Apprentices." He mentioned how we need to use our ABC's.
A Affective Knowledge = Heart
B Behavioral Knowledge = Hands
C Cognitive Knowledge = Head
He also presented us with this:
and asked us what did we see. . .
God is now here
Mike Theisen also mentioned a book titled "Growing an Engaged Church" by Albert Winseman. Which is about the belonging (engagement) that leads to believing (commitment). He went on to say that the Parent Connection between teens and faith is so important. Teens mirror what parents believe. In the National Study of Youth and Religion the results showed almost exact percentages for each question. Questions such as "How many times a year do you attend church?" The survey also asked teens:
"If you could change anything about your family situation what would it be?"
"To become closer to my parents." was their response.
"Why aren't you close to your parent?"
"I don't know how to do it." was their answer.
That is true for many teens. Which ties in with the next lecture I attended from Keri Krout about giving children a childhood to remember.
Another resource is the CPYU - The Center for Parent and Youth Understanding.
One more story from Keri Krout's lecture about teachers who think with their heart - so few.
This is the story of the teacher with the dangly earrings...
Parent/Teacher conferences were at the school on a Tuesday. The conferences were conducted during school hours. The teacher would meet with the parents and call the student out of the classroom for their "special time." One student, whose parents were divorced and her father lived far away dreaded this day. Her Mom could not leave work for the teacher conference. When it was "her" time, her teacher with the dangly earrings came to her desk and said to her "it is your parent conference time Amy," and lead her outside the classroom. Amy knew her Mother was not coming and was curious what she was going to do. But the teacher with the dangly earrings told Amy that she realized her Mom was not able to attend today, but she still wanted Amy to know how special she was and what an asset Amy was to her classroom. Ans so Amy and the teacher with dangly earrings had their "special" conference. Amy felt so tall that day at school.
"It's not what comes home in the hand,
as what comes home in the heart."
I could write all day about the stories that were shared. Inspiring for sure. I always love attending this Convention because you leave so fulfilled.