Cultivate Young Adult
online spiritual formation course
Do you want more from your spiritual life?
Is your soul running on “empty” more than on “full”?
Do you want to connect with God more deeply, more often, and more intentionally?
Over a year ago, we started asking young adults these questions. In May of this year, the first “Cultivate Young Adult” online spiritual formation course came to a close. Now, we’re looking toward beginning Cohort 2 in September.
During Cohort 1, which began last September, we spent the final nine months studying Scripture, engaging in spiritual disciplines, and exploring individual and community perspectives. Our members represented 10 of the 11 divisions of the territory. Module facilitators consisted of employees and officers from Territorial Headquarters (THQ), divisional commanders, corps officers, and retired as well as active officers. They led us brilliantly through the book, A Holy Longing, by Ronald Rolheiser.
In March, the cohort met at Camp Ladore in Pennsylvania for a three–day retreat. It was an incredible time devoted to the topics of “Self, Service, and the Sabbath.”
On Friday, we explored best practices for individual spiritual formation such as Lectio Divina, and Visio Divina (various forms of prayer, spiritual direction, silence & solitude, and fasting). Members of the territorial Spiritual Life Development Department (Colonel Janice Howard, Major Lauren Hodgson, Chris Stoker, and Matt Hodgson) led our times of teaching and worship.
On Saturday, we went to the nearby West Pittston Corps and assisted Captain Misty Coffelt during the Greater Pittston St. Patrick’s Day Parade. On behalf of the West Pittston Corps, we helped distribute hot chocolate and snacks to hundreds of parade participants and onlookers.
Sunday was a beautiful day in the Poconos. We worshiped together and reflected on God’s presence during the course and in our lives.
We could go on about Cultivate Young Adult, but we thought you might prefer to hear a couple of the cohort members themselves describe what challenged them the most.
DAN JILLETT, CSM
corps sergeant major
Brockton, Mass., Corps
Brockton ARC employee
Adult Rehabilitation Center
“I joined Cultivate Young Adult in order to deepen my relationship with Jesus. I have a passion for learning and experiencing all that God has to offer. This course seemed like a perfect opportunity for me to get to know other believers and to be challenged on a spiritual level. I also embraced other perspectives on the nature of holiness.
“Throughout the course, I have been challenged by the various leaders to express my faith in bold terms. Because of their care and careful questioning, they have helped me grow in many ways.”
Old Orchard Beach, Maine, Corps
“Through Cultivate Young Adult, God has shown me that I am not alone in my struggles. I’ve read a lot of discussion board posts about the experiences of other members. As I read them, I thought that I could have easily written the same things. God has also been showing me how important it is to set aside time to be with Him, especially when I’m faced with challenges and with difficult questions.
“Setting aside enough time to really wrestle with the material and with the discussion questions was most challenging for me. For those of us who are churched (and perhaps Corps Cadet and Bible Bowl veterans), it is tempting to answer questions quickly and simply with typical Sunday school answers. But Cultivate Young Adult really challenged me to make time to explore the answers. I had to come to terms with the fact that my spiritual life is defined by knowing Jesus rather than by just knowing answers.”
by Chris Stoker
We’re currently accepting applications for Cohort 2 of Cultivate Young Adult, which will begin in September 2016. You can find more information at saconnects.org/cya-cohort2