The Great Adventure: Exploring Christian Faith with Young People

Article excerpt

The Great Adventure: Exploring Christian Faith with Young People. By Patricia Bays. Toronto: Anglican Book Centre, 1997. 128 pp. $14.95 CDN (paper).

In The Great Adventure, Patricia Bays presents a curriculum for the faith development of youth ages ten to fifteen. Her basic premise is that "in education today . . . we place less emphasis on the transmission of content than we do on the joint exploration by teacher and students of the gospel, and what it means in our lives" (p. 7). Thus, she recommends various creative ways in which students can engage in conversation, reflection, and exploration of Christianity. For each of the themes of belonging, God, Jesus, the church, and the Christian life, Bays proposes activities that include dance, literature study, music, art, drama, discussion, worship, games, writing, and prayer. The book is designed to be used by the teacher, and contains pages which are reproducible for class use.

Although Bays states that we are less concerned today with content than we are in joint exploration, she does not neglect content. For instance, in the unit on belonging, she proposes that students examine the baptismal liturgy carefully in order to discover the meaning of the vows (pp. 33-35). She also suggests that students memorize the Apostles' Creed (p. 40). Bays is one of the growing number of Christian educators who takes seriously the fact that the Christian tradition has, indeed, content to be shared while at the same time recognizing that Christian formation is far more than memorizing the "right" answers to a series of set questions. Forming young people involves engaging their whole persons so that they may be shaped ever more and more into the life of Christ. Bays offers activities that do both at the same time.

Bays presents a theology rooted in the love of God the creator. By beginning with a unit on belonging and baptism, young people rediscover that they are part of the church through Gods loving grace which created them and "birthed" them through water. …