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Monday, January 17, 2011

Youth Quake and healing.

I had a four day trip with nineteen kids and three adults from our church. We picked up seven folks from Jackson TN to travel with us. We went to Ridgecrest in North Carolina. Youth Quake is an amazing youth outreach of Alan Hansen and Acts 29 Ministries. It is very evangelical in its approach. I am more Catholic. However, I have learned that the benefits of young people encountering a broader range of church styles is helpful. The speakers were focused on setting down the basic story of Christianity. They were generally young adults. They were insightful and honest.

Our kids benefit from several days of prayer and reflection on issues of faith. The music is not my style, but the kids love it. The lyrics point to God and call those present to worship. Several days of that repetition is helpful in creating memories. My own two children love going. I love being there with them. I am sure I will write about some of the insights I garnered. For now I want to reflect on the healing prayer.

On Saturday night everyone there is invited to come forward for prayer with various prayer teams. I was on one of the prayer teams (with a parishioner who had joined us). We were blessed to pray with several people. I cannot share what they came for, but I can say that it was powerful healing. Too often we we fail to see the connections between physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual manifestations. We also neglect the chance to discuss, listen and pray together. For me, Youth Quake's best moments occur in those times of sharing and prayer. I wish we were doing a better job in the local parish of providing a safe place to gather to do the same thing. I wish broken people were healed in the parish. I am hopeful that our young people will have a different world view and be open to the ministry of healing.


  1. Jeff, I would like to hear more of your thoughts on how we could (maybe) incorporate more healing prayer-type activities into parish life. I'm reading this post while taking a short break from prep for a retreat I am running in the end of March where healing is one of the key themes. But, it seems a shame that we have to go on a retreat or to a youth rally or some other "extraordinary" venue to experience a true, healing shared prayer.

    Can you imagine the strength of our faith communities if we could access the same Spirit in our home parishes?

  2. Jeff,

    When I initially read this post, I was reminded of the times I participated in SEARCH ack in the (dare I say it) '80s. For me, one of the most powerful things about the SEARCH weekend was what happened on the Saturday night. The group prayer and confession that followed was one of the most powerful experiences I have ever had - still to this day. I'm on a personal journey exploring the effectiveness of rituals and I use SEARCH as a personal reference point, but that's another post all together. Upon reflection I realize that whole experience was about healing - healing the perceived 'rift' between teens and parents, teens and God, and teens and each other.

    This is a great thread and hopefully I'll have some thoughts on the rest of the posts. Keep up the good work!