This week at IMPACT, we had the pleasure of having Dr. John Nyquist be our guest lecturer. As we prepare to leave for Brazil in January, it is important that we learn about the predominant religion there, in order that we may better share the Gospel message. Dr. Nyquist shared his extensive knowledge on the subject of Catholicism, and how to engage Catholic believers in conversation.

Having grown up in a Catholic church, I was really interested in learning even more about the faith and tradition I had learned about from a young age. When I started attending the Protestant church when I was in my early teens, I was curious about the differences between Protestants and Catholics – weren’t we all just Christians?
Dr. Nyquist talked about the rich history of the Catholic church, and gave us great background knowledge, in order to better understand the similarities and differences. It was interesting to learn about the papacy, Catholic beliefs about the Virgin Mary, and common Catholic traditions and practices.
Dr. Nyquist then used this base knowledge to then show us how to appropriately communicate with Catholics around the world. I found it very helpful and informative, seeing as though many of the people we will encounter in Brazil practice some form of the Catholic faith.

It is surprising how much better we can relate to individuals when we take the time to understand a peoples culture, religious background, customs, and traditions. If we simply argue the validity of our faith and religion and impress it upon others, we will get nowhere. Instead, we must start by learning and asking questions about the faith of others. Doing so will help to build a trusting and caring environment in which we can then more appropriately share the Gospel message with an individual.

All in all, the students were able to glean a lot of information, and it will be interesting to see how we use the skills we learned in Brazil.

IMPACT 360 – Class of 2012
Nicole Kylene Provenzano