'We sent Timothy, our brother and co-worker for God in proclaiming the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you for the sake of your faith (1 Thessalonians 3.2) Paul's first letter to the church at Thessalonica is perhaps his earliest letter in existence. It is a letter full of enthusiasm and encouragement for the young Christian community in that city. Patrick Jurd shares that enthusiasm for the gospel of Jesus Christ. As a parent, teacher and educator, he knows well the importance of the ministry of encouragement. His series of brief reflections is written for parents, teachers, clergy and other educators who want to draw out the best in young people so that they may truly live the gospel. The themes of his reflections are inspired by the Lasallian and Franciscan charisms and cover a variety of topics - discipleship, liturgy, the church's year, education, prayer, formation, spirituality, integrity, life choices, building relationships - in ways that are thoughtful, caring, gentle, inspiring, and above all, concerned 'to strengthen and encourage' young people in faith. ""This series of reflections based on Patrick's extensive reading, prayer, reflection and experience in Christian education offers an oasis to educators and others who in their busy lives need to take time to reflect and pray in order that they may be ""strengthened and encouraged."""" --David Hawke FSC, General Councillor, Pacific Asia Region ""I find Patrick Jurd's writing pithy, honest, gentle, blunt and quietly witty. Again and again he suggests a slightly different angle and take on matters of import, and without you quite realizing the deft art involved, he has jazzed and refreshed both mind and heart. As John Baptist de La Salle said of the Creator, His ""way is not to force the inclinations of persons"" - Patrick works that way. A lovely book to dawdle over and a gentle thoughtful book to give away, too."" --Brian Doyle, author of Thirsty for the Joy (One Day Hill) Patrick Jurd was born and educated in Parramatta. He completed a Science degree at Sydney University, before moving south to marry AnneMaree Eddy. They now have two adult sons. He taught for more than twenty-five years in Lasallian schools and it was the inspiration of the Lasallian charism that led to his writing reflections. He has over thirty years' teaching experience in Melbourne Catholic schools and more than fifteen years' experience in faith leadership. Patrick is currently the Director of Faith and Religious Education at Ave Maria College, Aberfeldie.