Adapted From: Boston Diocese Winter Camp
To discuss the meaning of discipleship and to recognize Christ’s call to each of us.
Lord Jesus, I thank You for the gift of this new day. When You came to earth for us, You grew as a child in wisdom and grace. As Lord, You received children in Your arms. You blessed them and said that Your kingdom belongs to them. Dear Jesus, receive me also on this day and hear my morning prayer. Bless my parents, teachers, and all those who love and care for me. Bless me, also, and protect me from danger and evil. Give me strength to be truthful, honest, kind, and helpful to others. Guide me to grow in grace and wisdom as a member of Your kingdom. You are my Lord and King, and to You I give praise and thanks forever. Amen. (from Morning Prayers – Child’s Prayer, Blue Prayer Book)
“Train Ride Survival” – Break up the participants in groups of three. Each group should have a blank piece of paper and a pen or marker. Give them the following directions:
You are in a train traveling in a foreign country. You cannot communicate with anyone else on the train because you do not speak the native language. But you will be on this train for five whole days! You have already paid for the train ticket, which includes meals. Therefore, you are not carrying any money on the train because there is nothing to purchase. What are the FIVE things you would need to survive this five-day train ride?
Explain to the group that each small group will have some time to quietly discuss this question. Each member of the small group must agree on the five things they need, then write them down on the paper provided. Once the time is up, collect the sheets and instruct the groups to sit in one large group for discussion.
Read “If you abide in My Word, you are My Disciples.” (John 8:31)
Discuss the following questions:
* Seems pretty simple, but what does this verse say to us?
* What does it mean to be a disciple of something or someone?
* What do you think it means to “abide”?
* What do you think “My Word” refers to?
Use the sheets that the groups worked on for the “Train Ride Survival” activity. Read through some of the answers. Now, ask the following questions.
* What are some of the things we need, as Orthodox Christians, to become “friends” and “disciples” of Jesus? (Most will offer general answers… Bible, prayer, Sacraments, fasting. Ask them to elaborate!)
* Is each and every person called to be a follower of Christ? (Yes! Compare the group to an orchestra. Each instrument can play on its own. But it is only when each person plays their part together that the masterpiece truly takes shape).
Wrap up by asking participants to think about how each of them can become a strong disciple for Christ. Offer an opportunity for responses and questions.
Thank You, Lord, for You strength and guidance in our work. You are the fulfillment of all good things. Fill also our souls with joy and gladness, that we may praise You always. Amen.