Monday, August 27, 2007

Newsletter Article this week

Colossians 3:12-14 “Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”

This past weekend I had the pleasure of gathering in Nashville to continue my participation as an adult sponsor for the TCYF Cabinet. The Tennessee Christian Youth Fellowship Cabinet is a group of high school aged youth who have been elected by their peers to serve as the planning committee for the high school youth retreats at Bethany Hills. They plan and lead both the fall retreat, called Oktoberfest, and the spring retreat, called Spring Fling. I am beginning my third year as one of the Cabinet’s adult sponsors.

As the newly elected Cabinet came together for their first retreat, there was much laughter and fellowship as well as a lot of serious planning that emerged from the weekend. The youth were ready to learn as the other sponsors and I trained them in leadership, and ready to plan as they put together a fantastic fall retreat.

As we planned, one theme idea kept coming up over and over again: unity. One of the things that these youth were most excited about was the fact that there is unity within the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). And they are right of course, from the time our denomination was just a movement, one of the guiding visions was the unity of all Christians. These young people are proud of our denomination- that all people can find a welcome within our churches, that we can think differently and still live with one another in love, and that we can question our faith when its appropriate and come out stronger for having asked the questions.

I agree that all these things make being a Disciple of Christ great. And I am so glad that our teenagers have that understanding of church. I look forward to the fantastic retreat they have planned with the theme, “One Puzzle, Many Pieces.” I would encourage all high school aged youth to plan to attend this retreat at Bethany Hills, October 6 and 7.

May we all be encouraged by the participation of young people in the life of the church. They are not only the future of the church- but the “now” as well! Thanks be to God!

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