This year Wycliffe College launched Arise, a theological program for high school youth. The program, originally dreamed of by Wycliffe alumnus Matt Adams, seeks to educate, train, and equip young leaders in the church.
During the week long program over March Break (March 11-17), Matt’s dream became a reality: seven students from around the GTA spent a week worshiping together, participating in sessions given by Wycliffe College professors, being led by Wycliffe students, visiting sites around Toronto, and living in the college dorms.
The Arise students also spent a lot of time focusing on various aspects of vocational discernment by reflecting on how they could fulfill the call of Romans 12:1-2 to “take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him" (Romans 12:1, the Message). Bringing their deep theological questions, passion for seeking God and discerning where He is leading them, and youthful excitement and energy, the students were a blessing to many who encountered them.
One of the students at ARISE told us what they learned over the week-long program:
"Disclaimer: I am no theological expert, and I do not pretend to know exactly what God wants. The following is naught but my interpretation of what I learned at Arise.
As a high school student, I am asked about my post-secondary plans more often than I wish to talk about them. As a Christian, I am often told to listen to God and follow His calling. At school, I have learned that humans have free will to make choices about their lives. I have often asked, can these all fit together? At Arise, I learned that the answer is YES.
Everyone has free will to carve a path for themselves. But that does not mean God does not affect that path. God bestowed upon each of us a wealth of talents. We as humans use our free will to choose. We will probably pick based on these talents. God wants us to do something that has meaning for us. At Arise, I learned that our vocation is to love God, to follow his teachings, and to bring others to him doing something we are passionate about. With our free will we can choose that something. "