What a great Mission Trip we took! We worked some, played some, learned some and met a lot of great (interesting!) people (raise your hand!). We had a VERY busy day in NYC and saw things I've wanted to see for ever! We have some very giving folks in our congregation, and lot of them are youth! :-) I just think that's cool.
So at the end of every mission trip I've ever taken, I sit back and wonder what we got out of it. We put a lot into it, from the planning and fundraising, to the trip out and back, and of course, the work. But I've never returned from any trip unchanged. How have we been changed this time?
I think we're much more aware now. I hope we can share our awareness with our friends and families, and our church family too. And I hope that through us, others can become more aware and be changed as well.
Through our work in the gardens, we are more aware of the food we eat - where it comes from and what goes into growing it. Through our learning, we are more aware of the backs on which our food comes - how many hands touch it, how those hands are treated, and the price that is paid for our convenience. Through our study and conversation, we are more aware of our responsibility to help God bring the kingdom of heaven to earth - to help care for the creation and the creature and the many ways we have fallen short. And yet, we're not done yet, and neither is God!
Our theme this year was "On Earth As It Is In Heaven." How are we helpers with God in making the earth like heaven? Our job is to care for God's Earth - from using organic and recyclable products, to caring for those whose voices cannot be heard, reducing our carbon footprint and reusing before throwing away, raising awareness and teaching others.
We still have a lot to do! We may be back home now, but the mission has just begun! Send it!!!
What a great day it was! We couldn't have asked for better weather and the places we went...great times! Seems like the general consensus that Operation Adventure was over-the-top fun! I laughed so hard the whole time that my sides hurt! Foot Golf was fun too! Who knew there was such a thing as soccer golf? One last hurrah of fun in the sun before fall really hits. And then the J. Webb Farms - so much to do out there - the hayride, baby animals, s'mores, Pokepizza, picnic table checkers, football, sack races, lassos, scarecrows and gourds...I had no idea there would be so much out there, and we didn't even do the corn maze! I hope everyone had as much fun as I did. The best part for me? The people! Glad you were there! Great times! Let's keep it going all year! :-)
We turned our clocks up this weekend, and it's dark in the morning again. I really don't like changing the clocks, but I wonder if it's not a bad idea right before spring. I don't know about you, but I get spring fever pretty bad and just want to be outside! Maybe dark in the morning will keep me thinking it's not yet spring for a little bit longer. :-)
Don't you wish we could just go back or jump ahead in our lives sometimes? We want to jump ahead to be old enough to drive, old enough to see "that" movie, old enough to drink or vote or go to college or move out or....whatever. Or we've done something we wish we could go back and undo or redo, or go back and then jump over it.
But we've learned from Jesus that it's okay to ask for grace, it's okay to ask for God's forgiveness, for someone else's, and for our own. Sometimes, we're the hardest on ourselves and can't let go of that "ball and chain" we drag around when we've done something we regret.
Without jumping ahead too fast, let's remember that Good Friday is coming (too fast really!), and Easter is right around the corner. These are the two MAJOR days in the life of the church for this very reason. We all mess up. Sometimes we mess up so bad we think we'll never be forgiven and won't be able to get past it. But God loves us more than we can imagine (WAY more!), and forgives us as soon as we ask. That's the easy part. The hard part is extending grace to ourselves, letting go of it long enough to let God take it from us.
GRACE ABOUNDS!!! All Arounds!!! So this Holy Week, let it go, and forgive yourself, even as God forgives you and takes your sin away - as far as the east is from the west!
Saturday was a perfect fall day, and even more perfect for our Youth Group Kick-Off! We had a great turn-out! I hope everybody's on board for the rest of the year!
Kick-off was a "taste" of what we'll be doing all year - some mission, some worship, some conversation, and a lot of fun! What was your favorite part? Corn maze, apple orchard, scavenger hunt for food and Detroit Rescue Mission, Millikin State Park on the river and some beach volleyball, or the bonfire, s'mores bar and highlights/lowlights? It was an awesome day, and even better hanging out with all of you!
If you couldn't make it for kick-off, it's not too late to join up. Text your friends and invite them to go with you. 4-6pm Sundays. And don't forget, Youth Choir practice is at 3:15, right before Youth Groups, and there's always some really great snacks (food!) there.
Didn't get a 2015-16 Youth Group shirt? Order yours here so you'll have one to wear all throughout the year, and especially when we hit the road!
KICK-OFF! The beginning of "The Year in Cinema"