Skip to main content

Reflections: Youth Retreat

I've been a bit delinquent in blogging this week, and I just got back from a weekend conference youth (CCYM) retreat held at one of our conference camps, Casowasco.

It was an exhausting weekend, with a wedding thrown in the middle. But the thing that keeps me doing youth work, the reason that makes all the craziness worth it, which I've mentioned before, is seeing youth articulate their faith for themselves, their own thoughts, sometimes for the first time, as they are figuring out who they are. Being a witness to the transition between child and adult is a precious gift, even if I occasionally (or frequently) want to pull my hair out from being part of such a process.

This weekend, our keynote was my probationary colleague Rev. Heather Williams, and the theme of the weekend was "You've Got a Friend in Me," based on Disney's Toy Story. In one of her talks, Heather referred to the movie and how Woody knows that he belongs to Andy because Andy has written his name on Woody's foot. Then Woody acts out in pain, anger, and violence when he thinks Andy doesn't want him any more. She compared this to our belonging to God, and how we act when we think we don't belong to God any more, or when we think that God has broken promises to us.

In youth witnessing (we give youth time to do 'open witness' - just come up and tell how they see God working in their lives):
One youth read from a book - and I unfortunately can't site the source - but the quote was something like this: "We spend too much time stealing time from those who love us most trying to please those who love us least." Is that on target or what? As youth, as people, as pastors we do this.

Another youth shared something a friend had told her: "If it's not great at the end, it isn't the end."

Sometime the youth have theology that is - well, undeveloped. But it is their own. They are working on saying what they believe and why for themselves, and that's a lot to work through. So I admire them for being willing to stand up in front of 100 other youth and cry and laugh with them and be honest about their fears and doubts and stumbling faith. Good stuff.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Hey Beth!
That was one heck of a wedding I must say. And one amazing weekend.
I'm going to miss you all but I know I'll be at the reunion in December. I'm going to miss you all so much.
I know CCYM is in good hands with your new officers and I wish you all the best of luck.
God bless.
-Kevo
Beth Quick said…
Thanks Kevo ;)

Popular posts from this blog

re-post: devotional life for progressive Christians

I posted this a while back before anyone was really reading this blog. Now that more people seem to be stopping by, I thought I'd put it out there again with some edits/additons since it's been on my mind again... Do you find it difficult to have any sort of devotional time? When I was growing up, I was almost compulsive about my personal Bible Study, devotion time, etc. Somewhere along the way, I got more and more sporadic. In part, I found myself frustrated with the devotional books that I considered theologically too conservative. I find it hard to bond with God when you're busy mentally disagreeing with the author of whatever resource you're reading. My habit was broken, and I've never gotten it back for more than a few weeks at a time. So, a disciplined devotional/prayer/bible-reading life - is it something I should be striving to get back, or something that is filled by other ways I am close to God? This is a debate I have with myself all the time. On the

Sermon for the First Sunday in Advent, "Hope: A Thrill of Hope," Mark 1:1-8

Sermon 11/26/17 Mark 1:1-8 Hope: A Thrill of Hope             Are you a pessimist or an optimist? Is the glass of life half empty, or half full? My mom and I have gone back and forth about this a bit over the years. She’s wildly optimistic about most things, and sometimes I would say her optimism, her hopefulness borders on the irrational. If the weather forecast says there’s a 70% chance of a snowstorm coming, my mom will focus very seriously on that 30% chance that it is going to be a nice day after all. I, meanwhile, will begin adjusting my travel plans and making a backup plan for the day. My mom says I’m a pessimist, but I would argue that I’m simply a realist , trying to prepare for the thing that is most likely to happen, whether I like that thing or not. My mom, however, says she doesn’t want to be disappointed twice, both by thinking something bad is going to happen, and then by having the bad thing actually happen. She’d rather be hopeful, and enjoy her state of

Sermon for Second Sunday in Advent, "Peace: All Is Calm, All Is Bright," Isaiah 11:1-10, Mark 13:24-37

Sermon 12/3/17 Mark 13:24-37, Isaiah 11:1-10 Peace: All Is Calm, All Is Bright             “Silent night, holy night. All is calm, all is bright. Round yon’ virgin mother and child. Holy infant, so tender and mild. Sleep in heavenly peace. Sleep in heavenly peace.”             This week, I read news stories about North Korea testing a missile that perhaps could reach across the whole of the United States.             This week, I spoke with a colleague in ministry who had, like all churches in our conference, received from our church insurance company information about how to respond in an active shooter situation. She was trying to figure out how to respond to anxious parishioners and yet not get caught up in spending all of their ministry time on creating safety plans.             This week, we’ve continued to hear stories from people who have experienced sexual assault and harassment, as the actions, sometimes over decades, of men in positions of power have been