Youth Retreat Results: Total that left for retreat via a 1975 Crown Bus + a much newer Audi Quatro = 44 students + myself, my wife and three other youth workers. Total that returned home to attend the Good Friday service with the rest of our faith community = 44 changed students + myself, my wife, and three extremely tired youth workers. First word to come to mind when I try to describe the weekend...success.
While I'm largely uncomfortable with quantifing my weekend with words like "results" and "success", after over a decade of youth ministry experience I still find great joy in bringing home the same number I took away. One of the students asked me how I thought the retreat was and I told her to ask me in ten years and then we might know. With out knowing an exact number of "decisions", "healings", or "in-fillings", (I do know we baptized zero, wait several fell in the creek, does that count?) I was largely pleased with the weekend. Just a few of my favorite snap shots...
Standing on the dock over Lake Fulmer receiving communion with each other using bread we made and juice that was a cran/grape blend.
Sitting in a creek at the bottom of a waterfall, dropping large rocks, small pebbles, or for some acorns, into the water. Asking God to carry away our hurts and heal us. Giving thanks as our own bitterness symbolically sunk, or for some floated away to get stuck under a branch.
Reading about the "Living Water" and then drinking from a real mountain spring.
Standing in a candle lit room singing "We are hungry for more of you.."
Listening to the the birds and the creek as 44 students all stopped in different places to practice quiet time.
Hearing students complain that there was not time scheduled for quiet time the next day.
I could go on and on, but I think you get the point that some good stuff happened. Today I drive to Los Osos to do it again with a new group of students tomorrow. I've never had left over lasagna for Easter lunch before, but we're about to get on the road.
Happy Easter Everyone...
He is Risen...Risen Indeed
(or for those that attend the "contemporary service")
He is Risen...Tight!.