The desired outcome of VYLTP is to develop a whole and effective young Christian leader and agent of transformation, equipped with the necessary skills to deal with the challenges of our contemporary world.
The course content is compiled by a comprehensive network of organisations and professionals. Each week varies in content and style, including a combination of formative tasks, session participation, reading summaries, and group presentations. Each day is started and ended with a prayer service.
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Becoming aesthetically aware (2016)
June 9, 2016
The second week of VYLTP 2016 focused on the theme of Creation and Creativity. Conversations with Prof John de Gruchy led to some fresh insights and many important questions. Time was also spent with Alyson Guy in the Art Room at Volmoed expressing some new-found ‘aesthetic awareness’. Written reflections were submitted at the end of the week. An extract from the submission by Jenna-Rheed Poole captures some of the new insights from this week:
“What you hear is not what you are listening to, but what you are listening with.” – Rene’ Twist
I have always considered myself an open minded person, not realising how close minded I actually was until I heard about the art of the Bible. I have come across new terms such as aesthetic awareness; even the word God is new to me. I now see God as a mystery in which we live, move and have our being. I have always tried to put God in a box. I have been told many a time not to do this, but I cannot help but want to understand what or who He is. God is not a who, but the mystery before space and time. I hate to use the word “he” to represent God, as it puts him on a human level of which he is not. I have yet to come to terms with this thought, but I am slowly deconstructing and reconstructing my mind in order to fully comprehend the magnificence of this mystery we name God.
I have come to know that the Bible is not a set of instructions and if we think as such, we will lose track of the real message that is hidden in the word. I have now been taught to see it as a “book of ‘God –speaking literature’” as said in chapter four of Art and Souls. This was seemingly impossible when mentioned, but I was opened to the variety of writing styles in the Bible. Writings of national history, myth, poetry and human stories – just to name a few. This has shown me that the art of God was brought forth into the world by the people who wrote the Bible. It shows how God used people to show his creative side and to allow us to think deeply about what he is really trying to tell us sometimes. I think in this way, he is showing us his sense of humour too.
My true journey of redemption has finally started. It will be a tremendous hike, but I am looking forward – with great excitement – to what more God has to show and offer me. I already feel him working through me and I can only but wait and see what Our Creator will showcase next.
|By Jenna-Rheed Poole|
A 2017 worship facilitator’s experience …
| “What I got was far more than I expected ... I was a part of a community of 16 people. Apart from a Nigerian, a Swaziland citizen, another U.S. citizen, and a Zimbabwean, and myself, all the other participants were South African, and they also reflected the diversity of the Rainbow Nation. We had chapel twice a day, and our time between those morning and evening prayer services was filled with lectures, guest speakers, field trips, and conscientizing conversations over meals and tea times. We created community rules emboldened by respect, honesty, and compassion. We were asked to dig into our most profound places of pain and hurt, be it gender-based violence or inherited poverty. We were challenged to read the Bible “seriously, not literally” by Volmoed’s resident theologian, Rev. Dr. John de Gruchy. We listened to environmentalists talk about the Cape Town water crisis and developed action plans for promoting environmentalism in our home communities … |
And this is only a small taste of what we did.
| Courage and Hope: The Volmoed Experience|
By Hillary Taylor