Bishop Wolfe spoke with both the junior high and senior high Miqra groups today. I could only be at one of those, so here’s what happened at Senior High. He opened talking about how he wished people were more “real” in church. That instead of the ritual of “How are you?” and responses of “Fine.” It would be great if we could have honest conversations about how we really are. What a welcoming and wondrous place would that church be?
When reading scripture, the Bishop said he’d heard a great way to study and learn from scripture. To ask:
- What did it mean to the person who wrote it?
- What did it mean to the people who received it at the time?
- What does it mean for people in our time?
- What is it saying to me, personally?
He said we need to have a “working Bible.” Something we can write in, underline, or star favorite passages. Not something pretty that we leave on a shelf for fear of messing it up. (Although those are great, too.) He demonstrated to us how much of the Bible was Old Testament and New Testament (by looking at the mass number of pages) and comparing that to one Gospel: Mark. It’s the oldest gospel, the shortest gospel, and has a sense of urgency that makes it a page-turner. The word “immediately” is used 36 times! So…to make the Bible more manageable, start by reading Mark. You can do it in just a couple of hours.
Bishop Wolfe encouraged us to use whatever method we needed to make our entry and access to the Bible easier. If we like The Message, then read that; if we need the Bible as a book on tape, then do that. But spending time with scripture is vital to honoring our history and it’s importance to our faith. He even suggested taking a look at books about the Bible every now and then to enhance our understanding.
The Bishop asked the youth what if they had a favorite part of the Bible, and several people shared!
- Cory Martin said 1 Corinthians
- Ian Boyd said Acts
- David Shields said the Prophecy
- Millie Womble said Job
- Laurie Bush listed the Gospels
- Peter Lundrigan said the Songs of Solomon
Then the youth turned it around and asked the Bishop what his favorite part of the Bible was, and he responded with the story of the Prodigal Son. He especially likes it because Jesus tells the story in response to the question, “What is God like?”
The the youth asked the Bishop what his favorite part of being a Bishop was. It was a tough question, but he said that being able to work with incredible, committed volunteers and great lay and ordained people were high on his list. He also enjoys his work with the House of Bishops.
So, then the Bishop turned it around and asked the youth what their favorite part of being in high school was. They responded with things like sports, clubs, and the fact that they were almost done! The Bishop validated that and said he knows the youth are under a lot of pressure and are very busy. He pointed out that coming to youth events and participating in church are one of the only things youth can do in which they are not evaluated.
The Bishop himself said he wouldn’t have gotten through high school so well without his youth group. His experience in his youth group gave him is faith, vocation, and his wife! (They met in that youth group.)
The Bishop then said he knows that it’s not easy to be a Christian in our world and it’s not easy to be an Episcopalian in our world and that he appreciates all of us for continuing to do it.
Then Kayleigh asked the Bishop to sing for us! He sang the responses from the start of the Eucharistic prayer (and we followed suit) and then he sang Amazing Grace to the tune of Gilligan’s Island and then to the tune of The Lion Sleeps Tonight. So fun! He talked about a Bishop’s traditional purple garb, so Lachlan Munro gave him a purple bracelet off his wrist.
After our time with the Bishop, a handful of girls all took “selfies” with him and he joined us for snacks.