We are on a faith journey and each step invites you to deeper into discovery, relationship, and understanding. This capstone offers a holistic balance between community, personal, and spiritual development. We do hope that you will delve deeper into one area of your faith and explore a question of faith. We invite you to grab a habit or two throughout this year, all self-guided. There will be time to reflect on your experiences together and a closing time to explore God’s call and purpose for your life. As you move through these steps, reach out. Ask for help. Do not hesitate to call on your faith family. The goal of this senior capstone is for you to move in deeper relationship and understanding with the grace of God, the love of Christ, and the fire of the Holy Spirit that will embolden us on the journey of faith as the body of Christ. The peace of Christ be with you.
- November 15 10 am Celebrate all of your church mentors at a breakfast reception (Circle Drive). Check-in on Personal Development and Core Commitments
- February 27: Senior Retreat day 9-12 am, Gathering to share results of projects.
Choose one area of development to work on for one month. Work to do the practice daily or at a rate that works for you. We know that habits form after 21 days, so a month is a good measure.
Reflect daily on three things for which you are grateful. Train your mind to look for things that for which you are grateful. Find small holy moments in the ordinary things of life. Keep track and create a practice. HOW: A) Keep track in a journal with your family at dinner. B) Use the App: 5 Minutes of Gratitude to Reflect on your day
Write a letter every month to someone from your family, your friends and those that are important to you. Begin to identify members of your faith family. Connect with them through a card, letter or send a picture of the two of you. Thank them for the gift they are in your life. Be specific. Every week, find 15 minutes to give to someone in your family or a good friend and spend time with them. Invite them to be the center of attention. Listen. Buy their favorite coffee or drink and just be present.
Start with practicing deep intentional breathing daily. Move to spend 5-10 minutes in silence. Pray daily through meditation app’s or breathing practices. Apps: Insight timer, Head Space, Calm
II. Create your Core Commitments and hold yourself accountable.
Create your Core Commitments and hold yourself accountable to them. Honest. Hard-Working. Family Matters- Family Centered, Empathy, Global Action, Environmental Justice, Social Justice, responsibility, Mindfulness, Generosity, Service/Outreach, Contentment, Joy, Listen-Patience. ETC
- Keep your Core Commitments and revisit them daily.
- Who is on your Board of Directors for your Life? Who gives you guidance, support, mentors you? Do they know they play this role? Let them know.
- Identify the 5 most important people in your life.
- There is a great thought that You are the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with. Who are the 5 people you spend the most time with?
- Who gets most of your time? Where does your time go? What needs to change if anything?
SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT PROJECT
What questions do you have about faith/the CHURCH or the PC(USA) or just life?
Begin by just listing them, no question is basic or too complex! Aim for at least 15, but there is no limit. Think of things from confirmation you want to know more about, questions your friends ask you about the church, areas that you find yourself confused about when they are brought up in a church service, or a question about big things. Which question stands out or pulls on you?
What question do you want to focus on this year?
Pick a question that leads you to more questions! Maybe a question that really bugs you or one where you don’t have a lot of experience with the subject material. What do you want to dive deep into? Why do you want to delve deeper into this subject material?
What’s the history of your question for you, for the church, in the larger world?
When did the PC(USA) first enact this doctrine? Does it come from earlier traditions in the church? (pre-Presbyterian, pre-Protestantism, pre-“organized church”) ? How has it changed over time in the church?
What do other Abrahamic (Judaism, Islam) religions say about that question?
How are their views the same? How are they different? How do they justify their answer? It is similar to how the PCUSA does? Is it different? What do their books of worship say about it? How do you see this mirrored in our own tradition? Beware of answering this with quick assumptions! Lots of similarities exist between the Abrahamic religions.
Starting resources for Judaism | Islam
What do MPPC pastors say about this question?
Have they had to work through this question before? Was it something they encountered in seminary or in the “real world”? Is it a question they’re still dealing with? Do they think there is one definitive answer? What resources to they turn to when they have questions like this? Interview each of the 7 pastors or one in-depth. Invite a pastor to lunch. (all emails are on the website or contact firstname.lastname@example.org)
What does a Class Advisor, or a mentor, say about this question?
Have they had to work through this question before? Do they have questions like this they still work through, what are those questions? Is it a question they’re still dealing with? Do they think there is one definitive answer? What resources to they turn to when they have questions like this?
What do you think about the question?
After looking at all the resources, which answers do you most closely align with? Which ones do you not? Can you figure out why? What about your alignment gives you hints to what your answer is? If someone asked you this question, how would you answer now?
You may not have an answer but you might have some more insight. Write a reflection about how you got here.
If you were presenting this to a confirmation class and had 10 or less minutes how would you communicate your thoughts? Would it be a PowerPoint, would you make a video, make an infographic, write a short paper? Once you’ve got an idea, create that resource!