In Lay Terms

Random Ramblings From a Church Nerd

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Worth the Effort?

Today must have been "one of those days". Everyone I saw today was feeling a little sick, a little tired, a little overwhelmed, a little stressed. No one was cheering about what a great day it least not within earshot of me.

I've written before about feeling down in the fall. I think that winter, post-Christmas is also a dreary time. We've had some sun, but not nearly enough.

Tonight, I was with a group of 40 youth and a few adults. We are preparing to attend the ELCA National Youth Gathering this summer. I love the Gathering. I think it's a really well done event that touches a lot of kid's lives.

Well, there is a collaboration of congregations that are planning to travel together. We are urban congregations, so we have an affinity for one another. (In the ELCA, white suburbia is getting to be the norm, at least around the Twin Cities). None of the adults had the energy to lead this meeting of games, devotions, and planning. We weren't very together. The kids weren't paying attention that well. They weren't very excited about playing the games. In all, it could have been a disaster.

The redeeming moment was when we were in a small group. At least one or two of the kids asked some good questions. They asked why kids go to the youth gathering. What if the ELCA is spending money for a big party that won't bring the kids any deeper in their faith? Maybe no one else cared about the question, but I loved it.

I chatted with him about why people go, and if the effort is worth it. I believe the Youth Gathering is a worthwhile endeavor. While some kids may participate for the wrong reasons, God can still work through this event to touch them.

That conversation made the evening OK.

But I'm still tired and battling a sore throat. And of course, my BIG OLD conference starts tomorrow. But tonight (like the Youth Gathering) was worth it.


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