The 8th Grade Service Immersion is a capstone experience for all Christ the King 8th graders. If the goal of Christian education is to form young people in the image of Jesus Christ, the Service Immersion is designed to show them how to put their faith into practice. Therefore, it’s about more than doing service; it’s about recognizing how service is an obligation of their baptismal call, something they will need to throughout their lives in order to express their love for the God they cannot see by loving the brothers and sisters they can see. Although this is something they prepare for all year long, the experience culminates in the 3-day, 2-night immersion experience in Indianapolis at the end of the school year.
Of course, the Service Immersion is a fun experience and a time to make lasting memories with their classmates, but in order to make sure that the experience goes even deeper than that, the following elements are an integral part of the immersion:
- Hands-on service work each day
- Direct contact with the people they are serving, including the working poor, homeless veterans, and at-risk children.
- Daily Mass
- Time for group prayer and guided theological reflection to help the students process their experiences in the light of faith. (The Youth Minister is an active participant and leader on this immersion for this reason.)
- Setting concrete goals prior to the immersion, and being given the opportunity to reflect on these goals afterwards.