ELCA Youth Gathering Discussion Questions based on Alexia Salvatierra

Discussion Questions based on Alexia Salvatierra

1. Describe your reaction to Pastor Alexia's initial story about the gang member.

2. How aware are you of the immigration crisis that Pastor Alexia described? What has influenced your awareness (or lack thereof)?

3. Pastor Alexia reminded us, “Our country has a historic commitment to provide refuge to people.” How should our country's history influence our actions today?

What is our history as children of God when it comes to immigration? How should this influence our view of the immigration problems plaguing our country?

4. Pastor Alexia said, “We have a broken immigration system.” In what ways is our immigration system broken?

As high school students, what can you do to help fix our country's immigration problems on a systemic level?

What does it mean to advocate on behalf of others?

How can you advocate on behalf of immigrants in your community?

5. Pastor Alexia called our immigration system “inhumane.” Do you agree or disagree? Why?

6. According to Pastor Alexia, “Since 1995, we only allow 5000 visas for unskilled laborers.” Does this statistic surprise you? Why or why not?

7. Pastor Alexia said, “To have a certain level of privilege in our world is to be able to choose your burdens.” To you, what does this mean?

Based on this definition, are you privileged? Why or why not?

What burdens have you chosen to carry? Chosen to ignore? Why?

8. Galatians 6:2 says we are to “Bear one another's burdens and thus fulfill the law of Christ, the law of love.” This week in Detroit, how can we bear one another's burdens? How can we continue to do so after returning home?

9. Pastor Alexia questioned, “Why do you think Jesus healed so many lepers? Because he knew His body was prone to leprosy.” What does this mean?

How have you seen evidence of leprosy in the body of Christ?

How can the body of Christ be healed from this disease?

10. According to Pastor Alexia, “A body fully alive is a body fully connected.” Why?

This week, who have you connected to?

How are our connections this week with others both inside and outside of the ELCA strengthening the entire body of Christ?

11. Pastor Alexia said, “A burden shared is a burden lightened.” Describe a time when you've found this to be true in your life.

12. According to Pastor Alexia, “The power in what the paralytic man's friends did is that they shared his burdens so deeply that they brought him to Jesus. Then there is hope for healing. Not just in our own lives but in Jesus giving us the wisdom and power to heal our society and world.” What does it mean to bring someone to Jesus? Who do you need to bring to Jesus? How can you go about doing this?

How does Jesus heal people? Do you really believe that he does so in this day and age? Why or why not?

What have you learned so far in Detroit that might help you to bring healing to our society and world?

13. “If you've been in this country for more than a year, you have to go back to your home country for 10 years before you can be considered for legal entry into our country.” Does this law seem fair to you? Just? Why or why not?

14. Pastor Alexia talked about the blessings immigrants bring to our country. Do you think immigrants bless our country? Why or why not? If so, how?

15. According to Pastor Alexia, “It's not enough to see immigrants as victims and want to rescue them.” Why not?

16. How can you share the burden of immigrant youth in your community?

17. Pastor Alexia said, “Prayer is real. Prayer is powerful. Prayer is a form of action.” Do you believe this? Why or why not?

How have you seen prayer work?

Together as a group, pray for immigrants and the issues they face. 

Download this discussion as a PDF. 

ELCA Youth Gathering Discussion Questions based on Eric Barreto

Jen Bradbury on Youth Ministry

Jen serves as the director of youth ministry at Faith Lutheran Church in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. A veteran youth worker, Jen holds an MA in Youth Ministry Leadership from Huntington University. Jen is the author of The Jesus Gap: What Teens Actually Believe about Jesus (The Youth Cartel), The Real Jesus (The Youth Cartel), Unleashing the Hidden Potential of Your Student Leaders (Abingdon), and the forthcoming A Mission That Matters (Abingdon). Her writing has also appeared in YouthWorker Journal, Immerse, and The Christian Century. Jen is also the Assistant Director of Arbor Research Group where she has led many national studies. When not doing ministry or research, she and her husband, Doug, and daughter, Hope, can be found traveling and enjoying life together.

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