18 March 2010
I have learned about new resources.
I have been reminded of trusted old ones that are still valid.
I have visited sacred spaces where lives of young Episcopalians have been transformed.
I have been trusted with deep frustrations and concerns.
I have been offered constructive feedback for all manner of things.
I have become aware of shifting cultural contexts.
I have felt your longing for connectivity, for affirmation, for blessing.
I am gaining a perspective that is often characterized as a "balcony view" of the breadth of expressions of youth ministry across our church.
Proctor Camp and Conference Center in Southern Ohio to the Phoebe Needles Center in Southwestern Virgina where the diocesan Youth Ministries Team (YMT) held their spring retreat. In Ohio I felt right at home in the midst of farm fields on a beloved camp. Youth ministers swapped stories, shared joys and frustrations, and began to make plans to welcome the church to Indiana for General Convention in 2012. I was the facilitator for the youth program at Phoebe Needles where I was welcomed with open arms into the midst of a long tradition of youth engaged in servant leadership. On Sunday I was able to attend worship with a congregation hosting their bishop for baptism and confirmations. Then I rolled up my sleeves and joined THOUSANDS of people of Roanoke,Virginia for a Stop Hunger Now event to pack food for families in Haiti. What an amazing Sunday!
I finished the trip off with a few of my diocesan staff colleagues at a meeting at Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas, where we admitted that an academic 1950s approach to Christian Education is truly a dead model for building the Kingdom. This group is truly passionate about committing the church to innovative lifelong formation that lifts up the ministry of the baptized, servant leadership, and discernment for vocation.
Thank you for your steadfast and faithful ministry. Trust me, the joy of Easter is right around the corner.
Thanks be to God!