During this season of Lent, Canon for Family and Children’s Ministry the Rev. Sue Oliver, issued a challenge to youth in Edmonton diocese to take on one bible reading every day for 40 days. The youth met the challenge and exceeded expectations.
The 40-Day Adventure was a daily bible reading challenge for young people in grades four and up, initiated and led by Rev. Sue. During Lent, a dozen young people received a daily email with an assigned passage of scripture and two questions to answer about the passage. The program caught the attention of young people from across denominations and churches. The group also met weekly via zoom to explore the Bible and build community. Themes of creation, love, perseverance, trust, hope and forgiveness were explored during the 40 days. The group spent an entire week reading the seven ‘I Am’ Statements of Jesus found in John’s gospel and many young people pointed to this as their favourite part of the learning.
One of Rev. Sue’s hopes for this challenge was that young people would feel more comfortable finding their way around the bible, that it wouldn’t feel like a foreign and confusing object. She also hoped that they would come to realize that the bible is still relevant to their daily lives despite being written over 2000 years ago.
When asked what they enjoyed and learned during the 40-Day Adventure the student’s responses were candid and honest:
“During the 40-Day Adventure Challenge, it has got me to read my bible more, become a more active Christian, and unlock new ways to become closer to God. I also enjoyed that we can get together with other people and talk about the connection we have with the verses.”
“It gives me something new to do when new things are hard to find in covid.”
“I like how the stories are ancient but still have a lesson for today.”
And Rev. Sue has been overjoyed by the participation of the students.
“I was sure that when a dozen students started on Ash Wednesday, only a few would stick it out to the end!” she says. “But, to my surprise and delight, they all kept at it and are asking for more. I’m not sure what exactly the group will do next but when students are asking for more bible learning and community, one is compelled to deliver the goods!”
Stay tuned for the next adventure.