A week ago I was in Wildwood with an amazing group of Senior High Youth. (see previous blog post.)
Our retreat ended Wednesday.
Thursday and part of Friday was with a bunch of talented kids learning a musical to lead worship this weekend. Lunch on Friday was full of laughs!
Then the LYF assembly began.
I met some amazing Senior High Youth. Over the course of 2+ days we laughed, sang, prayed, danced, talked about what the church looks like to us and what we'd like it to look like, shared serious changes we'd like to see in the world and risks we might have to take to make some of those changes happen.
I took time to look at these two posters before heading to the dance last night. Truth be told, I was in tears as I read the changes and healing that these youth wish to see in their lives and their world. It's clear from this poster that life and faith are intersecting in their lives. Life is happening and the world is a challenging (and sometimes messy place to be.) I'm truly thankful for the honesty in these notes. I continue to pray that the writers of these notes know that they are not alone that there is a community of faith that surrounds them and is there to journey with them.
The risks that people are thinking about taking as just as real as the changes they wish to see.
I'm thankful for the church, in our communities and in our world. Congregations are places where these amazing young people can be to ask tough questions, struggle with real issues and share experiences of life, service, love and grace.
Right now I am officially exhausted. BUT, I'm also incredibly inspired, fired up and excited about the church here and now and the church in the weeks, months and years ahead because there are passionate youth worshipping, serving, building relationships with God and one another all out of the love and grace that God has given to the world.
Our weekend wrapped up with worship. We came together to sing, pray, hear God's word and share in the Lord's Supper.
The altar was covered with the sins we brought to God this day, it was wrapped with the changes and healing we wish to see in the world and it held the body and blood of Christ. We were strengthened by this meal for service and love in the world.
Filled with joy, exhaustion and hope....I'll head to bed. Giving thanks to God for this fantastic week with amazing youth. The new IS now.