Finding Refuge in God in the Midst of Isolation
Our twelve session Catalyst series for the 2022-23 year, entitled, “Connect with God” will begin on September 16, 2022 and end June 2, 2023. The focus of this series is to teach nine pathways for connecting with God. It is based upon the book, Sacred Pathways: Nine Ways to Connect With God by Gary Thomas. In the words of Thomas,
“Many Christians have found the traditional quiet time to be somewhat helpful in starting up a life of devotion but rather restrictive and inadequate to build an ongoing, life-giving relationship with God.”
Therefore, this Catalyst series will explore each of the nine “spiritual temperaments” and help youth understand how they can best relate to God and draw near to Him. Our hope is that by the end of the series, we will all have the tools to continue to build an ongoing, life-giving relationship with God; leaning into the spiritual temperament that we connect with most while continuing to explore others.
Each Catalyst will also have an “Outlet Connection.” Outlet, which occurs on alternating Friday nights to Catalyst, is focused on building Christ-like community through games, activities, service projects, and outings. Our hope is that each of these “Outlet Connections” to the Catalyst teaching from the week prior will serve as a reminder that we can connect with God through our everyday life.
Movement I – September 16 – Pathways (Introduction)
Text: Luke 22:39 and John 18:1-2
How do we relate to God? How do we connect with our Creator? Each one of us has a natural inclination of how we connect with, talk to, and grow in our relationship with God – through nature, our senses, through church services, or serving others. Throughout our Catalyst series we will discuss the nine spiritual temperaments that Gary Thomas outlines in his book, Sacred Pathways: Nine Ways to Connect With God to help us understand how we can connect with God more and more each day. In this Catalyst, we will briefly outline each of the nine spiritual temperaments or “sacred pathways.”
Movement II – October 7 – Intellectual (Part I)
Text: Proverbs 1:5-7
Jesus urged us to “Love the Lord [our] God with all [our] heart and with all [our] soul and with all [our] mind and with all [our] strength” (Mark 12:30, italics added). Some of us connect to God most through the use of our mind. When we learn something new about God or his Word, we can be drawn closer to God.
We will welcoming Pastor Bill Nieuwenhuis to teach the Bible Tools Workshop – a workshop designed to aid in the ability to study the Bible.
Outlet Connection: Catalyst – Intellectual (Part II) – Bible Tools Workshop
Movement III – October 21 – Intellectual (Part II) (Bible Tools Workshop)
We will be welcoming back Pastor Bill Nieuwenhuis to complete his teaching of the Bible Tools Workshop. The workshop is designed to aid fellow believers in their ability to study the Bible on their own and get more out of God’s Word.
Movement IV – November 18 – Caregiver
Text: Matthew 14: 13-21
“Love your neighbour as yourself” (Luke 10:27). We have likely heard this phrase (or a similar phrase) many times throughout our lifetime. During this Catalyst we will discuss the biblical encouragement to love one another and have compassion on those around you and how we can use these acts to connect with God.
Outlet Connection: Serve Night (December 2)
Movement V – December 9 – Sensate
Text: Ezekiel 1:4-14, 24-27; 3:1-15.
Our senses – sight, smell, hearing, touch, and taste – can all draw us into relationship with God. They can create a sense of awe and majesty as we look at a painting or smell incense. In this Catalyst we will experience various ways we can use our senses to connect with God and experience His character.
Outlet Connection: Bob Ross Christmas Party (December 16) and Cookoff (January 13)
Movement VI – February 3 – Activist
Text: Exodus 10:24-26
“I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy” (Psalm 140:12). To be an activist is to live to see justice and righteousness be active in our world. In this Catalyst, we will discuss how we can connect with God through confronting the injustices around us.
Outlet Connection: Serve Night (February 10)
Movement VII – February 17 – Traditionalist
Text: Deuteronomy 6:6-9
Tradition, history, ritual, and symbols can all be things that draw us into connection with and worship of God. In this Catalyst we will learn more about scriptural rituals and symbols and how these can represent a hidden reality through which we can connect with God.
Outlet Connection: Ash Wednesday (February 22)
Movement VIII – March 3 – Naturalist
Text: Romans 1:20
The “universe is before our eyes like a beautiful book… to make us ponder the invisible things of God” (Article 2, Belgic Confession). We can be reminded of God’s beauty as we spend time outdoors in His creation. We will need to dress warm for this Catalyst, as we will spend some time outside (the amount of time will be dependent on the outdoor temperature). Together we will ponder how the sights, sounds, and smells of the outdoors can draw us into connection with God and bring life to God’s Word.
Outlet Connection: Snow Tubing (March 10)
Movement IX – March 17- Ascetic
Text: Luke 5:16; Mark 6:30-32
A ascetic person may be described as one who practices strict self-denial as a spiritual practice – think monastic life. I know. I know. It doesn’t sound super appealing. The word “strict” is not one we often gravitate too when we consider how we want to be in relationship with God. During this Catalyst, however, we will discuss how solitude, austerity, and yes, even strictness, can be a way of expressing love for God.
Outlet Connection: N/A (Youth are encouraged to spend time in silence and solitude during Spring Break)
Movement X – April 28 – Enthusiast
Text: Revelation 19:1-6
While the traditionalist is delighting in the rituals, the enthusiast is praying and waiting for God to show up in new, unique, and unexpected ways. Is this you? Let us lean into the mystery and celebration of our Lord through this Catalyst. We will have an extended time of worship and various expressions of celebration.
Outlet Connection: CAN Youth Worship Night (Sunday, May 7)
Movement XI – May 19 – Contemplative
Text: Luke 10:38-42
To contemplate, to think about, to look thoughtfully for a long time at something, to meditate. The contemplative acts to adore God and sit at his feet. During this Catalyst, we will practice various ways of centering our adoration on God and discuss what it means to seek God’s face.
Outlet Connection: Prayer Night (May 26)
Movement XII – June 2 – Wrap Up
Text: 1 Corinthians 12:12-27
Now that we have had a chance to explore all nine of the spiritual temperaments, let us discuss what few practices each of us want to continue to learn and grow in. Was there something that surprised you about these practices? Was there one that you learned about for the first time? Let us take what we learned with us and continue to connect with God in new and old ways alike.