In Lay Terms

Random Ramblings From a Church Nerd

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Travelin' Through

Today, I am departing for the ELCA National Youth Gathering in San Antonio, TX. I'm going to be in San Antonio for the Multicultural Youth Leadership Event (MYLE), week one of the gathering, and the Lutheran Youth Organization (LYO) Convention. In total, I'll be there for 10 days. I'll be a chaperone for some youth for most of it, but I'm also staying on a little longer to do a workshop (with a very long title: What It Means To Be Welcoming to All Sexual Orientations and Gender Identities).

I've sure been on the road a lot this summer. To tell the truth, I still really enjoy travel. I've had times in my life when I get to travel a lot. I get tired, but I still look forward to my next trip. This summer has been the same way.

Ian commented a while ago that I haven't spent too much time describing my trip to Italy. He is right. I think part of my problem is that when I have so much going on, then I move onto the next thing very quickly. Italy was left behind in my mind as I moved onto the next program I had going. This is what summer is always like for major event after another.

Anyway, here's a little preview of this trip. I am technically traveling with The Naming Project and with Bethany Lutheran Church. Both the kids I'm going with are involved with both. However, Bethany is a part of a youth ministry collaborative called VIBE. It's a collection of urban churches with small youth populations that do youth ministry together. So, we are traveling with all of them...about 40 kids. HOWEVER, VIBE partnered with some other Twin Cities congregations to travel together to create a trip of about 100 kids. We are going to be a force to be reckoned with!

Because of my workshop, I had to change my flights around. I asked if they could keep me on the same flight as my youth (our whole group is taking five flights to get there). That didn't happen, so I'm flying by myself both ways now. The kids are covered, so it's not that big of a deal. But I feel bad that I'm not flying with them

As for the gathering itself, usually they do a really good job of putting together an excellent program. I've always been impressed with it. I've also been fortunate to travel with a really good group. Let's pray that this group is also smart and knows how to handle themselves.

The workshop is probably the thing I'm most nervous about. I'm doing a pro-gay workshop to kids at the ELCA Youth Gathering. This could really backfire on me. I've been working on my outline. This is not the time to talk on the fly. I hope that I have an audience who is willing to listen and not heckle too much.

That's my trip! I probably won't get to blog, but I'll try. I can try to keep you updated on how things are going. If you really want to watch our progress, then you can visit the ELCA Youth Gathering site for updates. I also believe that VIBE is going to try to keep a journal for folks to read. You can try to visit them here, but I'll change it, if I have to.


Blogger Chris Duckworth said...

Good luck and God's blessings to you on your workshop. As you know, kids (who in their teen years are emerging from black & white, concrete thinking to an ability to think abstractly) are all over the place on the issues of sexuality, but with love as a guide I trust that you will lead them into a healthy understanding of sexuality, relationships and love.

Have a great time. My only youth gathering was as a youth director in 2000 in St. Louis, and it was great, and I look forward to returning one day to another youth gathering.

12:57 PM  

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