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    The following study guide is offered to teachers who would like to expand their curriculum resources by using St. Anthony Messenger in the classroom. This guide is prepared with high school students in mind, but can be adapted for other age groups. We will feature one article for classroom use each month. Back issues, beginning in May 1997, contain a Teachers’ Guide. Teachers with access to computer labs should encourage students to access the article directly online. Students have our permission to print out a copy of the article for classroom use. We encourage you and your students to subscribe to the print edition of St. Anthony Messenger, where you will see all of the graphics, and more articles that you might find useful on a variety of topics. Please let us know how we can improve this service by sending feedback to StAnthony@franciscanmedia.org.



    FAITH AND FOOTBALL:
    For Baltimore Ravens coach Ted Marchibroda, it’s a winning combination.



    PURPOSE:
    To encourage teens to look for signs of faith in the people they encounter and the events they experience, and in turn to share their own beliefs with others.



    Introduction

    Bring in some form of optical illusion. Show it to your students and explain to them that things are not always as we perceive them to be. Sometimes we can look directly at something and not truly see the whole picture. Explain that this can happen with people we know, too. Sometimes we can seem to know a person, but actually not know everything about him/her. For example, we don’t always see a personal quality, an element of faith or an action driven by belief and conviction.

    Transition to talking about - Where’s Jesus? You want to lead the teens to open their minds and hearts to a search for Jesus in their day-to-day lives. Do we know what faith looks like? Do we know what a Jesus-like action or quality would look like? Can we find it anywhere?

    Group Discussion

    Divide the class or group into smaller groups of three to four each. Distribute (or ask the teens to bring) several newspapers and news magazines. Ideally, they should be ones with at least some coverage of local, regional, national and global issues and stories.

    Ask the groups to select a recorder and a time keeper. Give them 15 minutes to scan through the papers and periodicals in search of:

    1. a story where religious faith had (or may have had) some influence on the participants or the event’s outcome. Examples might be local residents’ responses to recent natural disasters, such as the floods in the Midwest and North Dakota, or the tornadoes in Texas and Midwest states.

    2. a story where the belief in the presence of Jesus, or the belief in religious values, seems to be absent but would have changed or enhanced the outcome, if present. A possible example is the heavily promoted and discussed heavyweight bout between Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson. Could faith have changed any of the behaviors exhibited in that fight?


    The recorders should keep notes on the group’s discussion and reasonings as they work through selecting the two stories.

    Class Discussion

    Now bring the groups back together. Give each recorder an opportunity to present their group’s two stories. You can ask someone to summarize each group’s work on a blackboard or flipchart if available.

    Move to a discussion of the role of a coach. How does a coach influence team members or others? Talk about the article - what do you think of the Baltimore Ravens’ coach influence on his team? Is it direct? Is it subtle? Do his efforts at motivating team players appear effective? Why do they not pray for victory? What would you pray for as a coach? Have you had the experience of coaching younger kids? What did you push for as a coach?

    Brainstorm examples of coaching approaches from the class. With class discussion, highlight several of the more effective methods.

    Now ask the class to think about the Gospel stories. You may find it useful to have at least a few copies of the Bible or New Testament handy for the teens’ use. Direct them to find a few instances where Jesus played the role of a coach to the apostles or his other disciples. Recently, the July 13th Sunday Gospel reading, for example, finds Jesus telling his disciples to go out two by two to preach. What kind of coaching and motivating occurs here?

    Teens as Coaches

    To bring it all together, ask the class for examples or instances where Jesus and faith could be more strongly presented in their own lives. Look for them to offer ideas on how they can actually coach others in faith.

    • Can they be a stronger guide to siblings?

    • Can they support their friends in a way they haven’t done (or dared to do) before?

    • Can they even be a faith coach to their own parents, perhaps in a time of crisis or stress?

    • Can they encourage others through a tough class assignment, a retreat, a personal crisis, a time of doubt, even a ball game or stage performance, or just a word of praise?

    • What personal characteristics does a coach need to develop? How can a teen develop those characteristics?


    Closing

    You may wish to close with a group prayer, asking volunteers to offer words of support and encouragement for others in the group, or for family and friends who need support.

    Further Resources

    Try accessing some of these Internet sources for reference. Be aware, however, that some of these sites may charge for locating articles contained within the site’s archives.

    http://www.nytimes.com/The New York Times

    http://www.latimes.com/The Los Angeles Times

    http://www.time.com/Time magazine

    http://www.cnn.com/—CNN

    http://www.msnbc.com/—MSNBC

    http://www.pathfinder.com/—This site will take you to a number of on-line publications

    http://wire.ap.org/—The Associated Press

    http://www.chicago.tribune.com/The Chicago Tribune

    http://www.people.com/People magazine

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/The Washington Post


    This site may serve as additional reference source more directly related to the topic being discussed:

    http://www.nfl.com and http://www.ravenszone.net/ This will lead you to other sports sites as well.
    Searching the Web with a browser under “Baltimore Ravens” will yield more sources and sites.


    Links Disclaimer:

    The links contained within this resource guide are functional at the time the page is posted. Over time, however, some of the links may become ineffective.

    These links are provided solely as a convenience to you and not as an endorsement by St. Anthony Messenger Press/Franciscan Communications of the contents on such third-party Web sites. St. Anthony Messenger Press/Franciscan Communications is not responsible for the content of linked third-party sites and does not make any representations regarding the content or accuracy of materials on such third-party Web sites. If you decide to access linked third-party Web sites, you do so at your own risk.



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