Retreats are a big part of Middle School Ministries. It's a chance to get away from the hectic pace of a kid's life and focus on spiritual issues, building faith, forming friendships, worshipping God and learning about issues of interest to Middle Schoolers.
Our field trips this year will focus on going to non-Christian houses of worship, with a two-fold purpose. The first purpose is to help our youth better understand these other faiths and develop a respect for people who practice them. Jesus great commandment is to love one another, and respect of others is the first step in loving others. The second reason for attending these houses of worship is to better learn about our own understanding and notions of God. Sometimes one can learn best when they can compare and contrast. One of our learning goals this year is to gain a better understanding of the God we worship, and how our notion of the Trinity serves our understanding of a God whose love reaches out to us, and calls people into salvation.
Field trips this year will take us to a Jewish Synagogue, Islamic Mosque, a Latter Day Saints (Mormon) meeting, a Hindu Temple, and hopefully to a Buddhist Temple and a Bahai' worship.
In February we will take the president's day weekend and travel to Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin, where we will discuss the relationship of faith and science and how each of these disciplines helps inform us about life. We will also have a chance to learn about college life and explore how to begin to prepare for life as a young adult.