Links for Learning
Curriculum Connections for High School Teachers and Students
This months Links for Learners will support high school curriculum in:
Christian lifestylesFamily love; the gospel story
Basic Terms in This Months Article
Look for these key words and terms as you read the article. Definitions or explanations
can be researched from the article itself, or from the resource materials cited throughout
the Link for Learners.
9/11 terror attacks
Presence of Christ
Children of God
Parent's Loving Story
Thousands of stories emerged from the tragic events
of 9/11. This month we read a deeply touching story of one father's search
for his son following the attack on the World Trade Center. Gerard Baumbach walked
the streets of lower Manhattan looking for his son Dan. Fearing the worst, yet
supported by love and faith, he prayed and searched until he was reunited with
Dan outside a New York hospital.
As you read the story, focus on what must have been in Gerard Baumbach's heart that
desperate morning. Can you feel his dread and fear not knowing if his son were dead
or alive? Can you identify with Dan's ordeal, struggling to escape the disaster,
then trying to reach his family? What did Dan's mom and girlfriend feel waiting at
home for news?
Further in his story, Gerard Baumbach describes the "Emmaus walk" he shared
with Dan as they trudged uptown looking for a train to take them home. During this
walk, he realized that father and son had become brothers after sharing the 9/11
experience. Talking about the incident brought meaning to all that had happened to
them. Later, he was moved to write about his story, to share it with others.
Share your thoughts with one another, spending just enough time on this to understand
the highlights of the story.
Gospel Story of God's Love
Now let's look at another story, the gospel story of Jesus and his Father. You've
listened to parts of this story many times in church, in sermons, and in prayer services.
Focus now on the gospel as a story.
We suggest reading Luke's Gospel. It's not necessary to read through the entire
Gospel. Read enough to capture the heart of Luke's message. See the Gospel as a story
with characters and emotions. Jesus' life story is a passage to us and back to his
Fathera living, dying and rising.
Check out chapters one and two.
The writer Luke sets up a narrative, based on eyewitness accounts. Elizabeth gives
birth to John, who will preach the coming of Jesus. Mary accepts the angel's message
in faith and Jesus is born. By the time he's 12 years old, he's already at home
in the temple.
By chapter three John
has pointed to Jesus as savior. Jesus begins his ministry when he's about 30. As
he preaches and heals the sick, some believe in him and others question his authority.
In chapter nine,
Jesus authorizes his disciples to preach and heal. But Herod, the Roman leader,
is growing anxious about this man Jesus.
Chapter 11 finds
Jesus teaching his followers to pray the Lord's prayer to the Father. (This is
just how Todd
Beamer prayed before heroically preventing the fourth group of terrorists from
using their plane for more destruction on 9/11.) In chapter
13 we find the Pharisees and other religious leaders growing increasingly indignant
with Jesus. Opposition to him increases in chapter
Read the last three chapters carefully. Again, see it as a story. When it comes
time to celebrate Passover, Jesus knows his death is imminent. All night he prays
in agony, until he is arrested, betrayed by one of his own. He is condemned to
death, mocked and beaten, then suffers a violent death while his mother looks on
helplessly. But the Father raises Jesus back to life, good triumphing over sin.
In Luke 24:13-35, some of Jesus' followers come upon a stranger while walking
to the town of Emmaus.
Not realizing the stranger is Jesus, they voice their concerns over what has happened,
only to have him open their hearts to the meaning of it all. Later, with the help
of the Spirit, they shared their story with the world.
Stories as Sisters and Brothers
Gerard Baumbach and his son Dan shared a living/dying/rising experience in the midst
of the 9/11 tragedy. Their Christian faith helped them realize the parallels between
their own experience and the living/dying/rising of Jesus. Since 9/11 others have
shared their thoughts on the events, helping us to see meaning in the tragedy.
At a memorial service shortly
after the 9/11 tragedy, Rabbi
Marc Gellman told a story of how a single stick can be snapped easily, but a
bundle of sticks will not break. We are those sticks, he said, and if we bond together
no one can break us. And further, all the people we come in contact with during our
daily lives are the "sticks" in our bundle. Rabbi Gellman, part of Good
Morning America's God
Squad, reminds us that we are all sisters and brothers trying to stay bundled
in a common bond of community and love.
Christians believe that Jesus repeats his living/dying/rising in each one of us
as we work our way back to our Father. Do you have your own story to share? Have
you experienced a kind of living/dying/rising, whether a dramatic event or a gradual
realization, that has brought you closer to your family or friends?
· Losing a parent or a close friend
· Struggling with alcohol or substance abuse
· Recovering as a victim of violent crime
· Suffering a serious illness or disabling accident
Can you share the realizations with your group or class? What happened between you
and someone who loves you? Was there an "Emmaus walk" for you? What helped
you find meaning in what you experienced?
Thankfully we don't all experience what some have endured. Yet we can all learn
from our own experiences, however minor they may seem at the moment.
· A parent's anger over ignored curfews
· Annoyance at a teacher challenging us to do our best
· Facing ourselves honestly while on retreat
· Refusing to let a parent love us
With an open heart we can see the "Emmaus walks" in our lives, the moments
when we wake up to a new realization of who we are, the moments when it hits us that
Jesus was walking along with us. For the disciples in Luke's Gospel, it was in the
breaking of the bread that they understood. For Gerard Baumbach it was the talk with
his son as they worked their way home. For you, it could be anything, if you're open
to see it.
Three-part video series on
father-son relationships, available as a free rental to schools from Freemedia.org.
Weekly e-newsletter from the National
Center for Fathering.
Take the Reins: A Father Teaches His Son about Life, Commitment and Spirituality,
by John L. Moore, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1997.
Try accessing some of these Internet sources for further general reference. Be
aware, however, that some of these sites may charge for downloading articles contained
within the site’s archives.
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
The New American Bible
Documents of Vatican
The New York Times
The Los Angeles Times
The Chicago Tribune
The Washington Post
The Miami Herald
The Associated Press
PathfinderAccess site to a number
of online news publications
The History Channel
The Close Up Foundation Washington, D.C.-based organization
Channel One online resource for the school channel