Sunday, February 27, 2011
This past weekend 80 middle high youth and 20 adults from a number of congregations in Lake Michigan Presbytery gathered at the First Presbyterian Church, in Holt for a special gathering. The planners of the event called it a "youth mix." Participants spent the weekend together enjoying fun activities, and growing as young Christians. The Holt congregation and I showed up for worship on Sunday morning. The youth led us in music and with liturgy they had prepared. The theme of the youth mix and worship was "That's Racin', based on Hebrews 12:1 "Let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us."
After worship, Rev. Miller, visibly exhausted, moved on to what was next, leading a new members' class. Making most of the opportunity, he introduced me as a "polity lesson," and as one who gives a face to the Presbytery. In my role, I get to explain who it is that we are as a Presbytery and what it is that we do together. That day, at First Presbyterian Church in Holt, the Middle High Youth Mix was the face of the Presbytery, the perfect example of our living out the Presbytery's mission statement, which states that we are "sessions and congregations together seeking God's leading, sharing God's love, and spreading God's light."
For a weekend, a 100 disciples of Christ came together from our various congregations and did what they could not do on their own with the same results. They had a large group experience in the church with their peers and had their faith stretched for having come together. They talked about spiritual things exploring the love of God. They learned that they were not alone in their seeking after God, nor were they the only ones needing the love of God, or wanting to serve God. Along with "a cloud of witness" of those who have gone before us, we are in this "race" together. It isn't always easy. There will always be obstacles and we must persevere through them AND it is easier to do when you know you are not alone! As Rev. Miller, the preacher for the day said, "That's racin'."
Youth have a way of draining energy from adult bodies, as Rev. Kirk Miller, the host pastor, eluded when recognizing the adults who helped make this possible. "They are the ones with the tooth picks in their eyes." Yet, youth ministry also has a magical way of re-energizing adult's spirits, that keeps veterans like the honorably retired Rev. Wayne Conners, keep coming, even after a career of youth ministry. There is something exhaustively delicious about the energy and the hope children and youth give us.
Thanks to all who made this event possible!
Grace and Peace,