The Spiritual Life Retreat is obviously a life changing experience for most. If one is open minded and ready to listen, SLR can really change them. This past SLR in particular was special for seniors because they got to see and hear one of their favorite teachers ever, Mr. Randolph.
The Spiritual Life Retreat is obviously a life changing experience for most. If one is open minded and ready to listen, SLR can really change them. This past SLR in particular was special for seniors because they got to see and hear one of their favorite teachers ever, Mr. Randolph. One moment that impacted many students was what he had to say about Thomas and the other disciples. He pointed out that in scripture it reads that one week after Thomas said he doesn't concur with his fellow disciples about Jesus’ resurrection, he has his encounter with Jesus that most are familiar with. He then proceeded to raise the question about leaving room for doubters and leaving room for the “doubters” at Maranatha.
At Maranatha there are hundreds of discussions about spiritual life and whether or not Maranatha is effective in helping students grow spiritually. Some students feel strongly that it doesn't, one anonymous student said, “the pure amount of rosy Christianity that consumes events is the epitome of not leaving room for the doubters.” Other students feel that Maranatha is a comfortable space for them to grow. Deven Hollimon said, “It’s not necessarily the chapels alone but between mentor groups and a handful of really amazing teachers, I’ve been able to grow.” There is definitely valid arguments for both sides of the coin and room for good testimonials and discussions.
All of this began raising questions such as: Is Maranatha effective in leaving room for the doubters? Does Maranatha overcompensate for the doubters?
Mr. Layton's answer to these questions were incredible. Layton is in the process of getting his Phd entitled “Storytellers” on the topic of children finding their role within the narrative of Christianity.His answer was consistent with empathy for students and their walk. When posed the questions concerning leaving room for the doubters he said, “A major part of being an adolescent is gaining new thinking operations and by nature you're going to ask more questions. Even if you feel solid in your faith you still might ask a lot of questions. So it's highly important for them to explore those questions in a safe and comfortable environment.” He continued to say he hoped students feel that Maranatha is effective in allowing them to grapple with difficult questions. In the end, teenagers are by far the most difficult audience to make a lasting impact on, and the fact that Maranatha is constantly trying to improve is what really matters.