Westminster-St.Paul's Presbyterian Church

Home Sermons Contact Us Site Map

What's On at WSP
Thinking of Marriage?
Christian Basics Course
Christian Education
Christian Odyssey
Letters to the Congregation
Calendar of Events
Our 50th Anniversary
Special Services
Searching Questions
Touchy Topics
Community Outreach
Our History
Meet Our Staff
Vacation Bible Camp 2015
WSP the Building
WSP Governance

 

Christian Odyssey

Christian Odyssey is the name for our very cool communicantsí class running at WSP this winter. 

The Concept: 

The class meets over 4 months (7 bi-weekly meetings) with a view to teaching the participants the skills and habits they need to take their place in the adult Christian community.  During the course of the Odyssey there are a number of challenges.  There is also support, aimed at fully integrating the youth into the church community in a relational way. 

The Meetings: 

Meetings are at the ministerís home from 6-9pm every second Saturday.  They include a shared meal, a time of praise and worship, and a time of discussion based on a video, the readings or preparation for a challenge.  The themes for the 7 weeks are these:  Worshipping God, Knowing Jesus, Knowing Ourselves, Choosing Jesus, Serving Jesus, Serving Others in Jesusí Name, and Joining the Church.  The final meeting is a double session on the eve of confirmation.  It will include a viewing of the Gospel of John movie, and parents and sponsors are invited to join us for the meal and the time of prayer and dedication to follow. 

The Challenges: 

Seven challenges are set for the youth during the course of the Odyssey.  They are to:

  1. Attend church weekly and engage with the sermon using a worksheet prepared by the minister.  The sermons during this period are on 1 Corinthians.
  2. Read the Gospel of Mark (from the Message) according to a daily reading schedule.  Participants have been given a notebook in addition to their Bible and catechism to record thoughts as they occur about the readings.
  3. Read A Catechism for Today (the 2006 study catechism of the Presbyterian Church in Canada Ė this document explicates the Apostlesí Creed, Lordís Prayer and 10 commandments) according to a daily reading schedule.
  4. Prepare prayers, scripture readings and worship songs to lead in the worship on Jan. 31.
  5. Conduct an interview with their sponsors as examples of those who have chosen Jesus.
  6. Take part in serving others in Jesusí name at a local soup kitchen (March 15).
  7. Create a banner to hang in the church as a permanent artifact of the confirmation class of í10.

Sponsorship and Encouragement:  

Each Odyssey participant is matched with a sponsoring couple from the congregation.  The idea is for them to build a relationship with that couple and receive prayer support and ongoing encouragement in the Christian life from those sponsors.  Opportunities to get to know their sponsors will arise during the Odyssey at the interview, during the outing to the soup kitchen (to which sponsors are also invited) and at the final dedication evening.  At the eventual service of baptism/confirmation, the sponsors will stand with the candidates.  Additional cards and letters of encouragement will be sent through the mail to each Odyssey participant from church members. 

The Website:

Christian Odyssey has its own Google Groups website.  There are discussion topics posted there on issues of Christian interest that arise in the news during the course of the Odyssey.  Other postings include reflections on the daily bible and catechism readings and links to the weekly sermons, together with the worksheets based on them.  Odyssey participants are invited to contribute to the reflections and comment on the sermons.  To access the website you need to have a Google Account.  Once you have signed in, anyone should be able to view the siteís content at http://groups.google.ca/group/christian-odyssey?hl=en, however, you need to be a Christian Odyssey participant in order to participate in discussions.

Christian Odyssey 2010 includes 4 participants aged 13-16.  They will be offered the opportunity to be taken into the membership of the church at Easter.