When Per Ramsdal teaches confirmation classes, he finds that the talks with the 13-14-year-olds often become very personal and touches on issues like faith, hope and love, which young people can find it difficult to talk about, especially in front of a group of their friends.
“I use the Dialoogle picture cards to prevent the confirmation classes from turning into monologues on my part; it helps the confirmands open up. When they hold a picture card in their hand for support, they can overcome the shyness that prevents them from talking about spiritual and religious issues. Practically everyone can find something in the pictures to help verbalize their thoughts and beliefs, e.g. in connection with grief and crises.”
“For this reason, my confirmation classes love the pictures, and they often ask if we can use the cards, because they – maybe unconsciously– know that it will make our talks easier and more exciting.”
I think that it is amusing to see how perceptive young people are at that age, and how differently the picture cards can be interpreted. The motives are not superficial or straightforward.
”All picture cards contain a depth that opens up for very different interpretations.”
As an example, Per Ramsdal talks about a picture of a house surrounded by greenery. While he thinks that the house looks nice and idyllic, one of the girls in his class thought it was spooky. She focused at the dark windows and told me that there were probably spirits in there. The picture seemed to have made contact with some dark, anxiety-filled side of her.
“The pictures help the young people to get a more relaxed attitude to their faith so that they feel comfortable talking about it and can use it constructively. And I get an insight into the young people’s thoughts and ideas that I would not have had otherwise. In this way, the quality of our talks improves a lot,” Per Ramsdal explains, who is also planning to use the picture cards with his adult congregation.