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Take heart

What a weekend. I came back feeling good, refreshed, still in a state of trying to figure out my life but with a sense of peace that I haven't felt in a long time. Unfortunately I've had a headache since about 6 last night that just won't go away.

The theme scripture for the weekend was John 16:33 and we heard from Charles Harrison who is the new Director for the center of Wesleyan Renewal. Of course, being the serious follower of John Wesley I am I thought or said Amen after nearly every thing he said.

I was wary at first. As I set foot into worship, the first thing I felt was a little worried. Sometimes big youth events can be really emotionally manipulative. Let's play on kid's emotions, get them saved then tell them to go out and do likewise. If you haven't figured out, that's never my purpose in ministry. As Charles put it yesterday morning, "If you don't wake up and recommit your life to Christ each and every day there is probably something wrong." I'm one of those people who can't give you a definitive date on when I came to accept that Christ is who I am choosing to follow. I can just say that I am always on the journey and some days it is easier than others to follow Christ. Plain and simple.

Thankfully, through the truly inspired teachings and the feelings that I got through the weekend, I walked away feeling good that the youth got to experience something so amazing. I could probably search and find things to complain about, but that wouldn't be helpful. What was helpful was the bonds that I am continuing to form with this group. They're great youth.

The adults got their own small group time which was cool. To just chew on issues of youth ministry and all sorts of things was really great. One of our sessions we watched as the youth were guided through a guided meditation and then moved into some trust building activities. Those were really cool to watch and experience from the 2nd floor of the hall. It was really really cool.
I am feeling renewed, and am so glad that I have been given such an opportunity to be with these great youth and to learn from some great youth directors. Sacramento Methodist Assembly has some great facilities high up in the mountains, and it was wonderful to be away from cell phones, the internet and the business of daily life.

I keep returning to the scripture... and it makes me just smile and will definitely keep me going as I move through transitions to come.

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
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2 Comments:

Hey Laura,
I know exactly how you are feeling. The same feelings I had whenever I returned from a youth trip with you guys. Refreshed and renewed in the Spirit.
Always,
Kris : )

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:56 AM  

I wish all youth events could be as responsible with the Gospel. For a while I just stopped taking my youth groups to large conferences because they were so theologically sloppy and as you put it extremely "manipulative."

I hate coming back from a retreat and having to deconstruct the teachings. That's one of the reasons I enjoy college students, their ability to wade more easily through some of the lovely complexities of our faith.

Pastor Rob

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:33 PM  

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