I am in Chicago this week for the Progressive Youth Ministry Conference. It’s being hosted by the Jopa Group and the crew at 4th Street Presbyterian.
This is waaaaaaaaaaay different than any other youth ministry conference I have attended.
And that’s a good thing.
It’s not even been 24 hours, but I have learned quite a bit including:
1. Everyone in Chicago has a reserved parking spot at Trinity U.C.C.
2. They are serious about the “don’t take pictures without permission” signs at Trinity U.C.C.
3. Driving into downtown Chicago at rush hour resembles New Dehli, India. I’ll never understand how it all works.
4. Ditka’s makes a mean steak. #thebleucheesecrustisamust
5. There’s a LOT of really, awesome people here who care about the U.C.C. and care about Youth Ministry.
6. Outdoor Ministries works. There are models that work. There is a need for us to get outside and to get our young people outside. This is the bottom line. U.C.C. folks in Ohio…..I am talking to you. It’s definitely WWJD. Reference Wayzata Community Church.
7. Rev. Otis Moss III brought the thunder this morning. “Jesus healed people with pre-existing conditions.” “We need to be the lighthouse ship.” “We have to be the lighthouse ships in the church. We have to go where the trouble and the need is. We can’t stay put.” #representingtheCLE
8. As Luke Lindon would say….the chapel of 4th Street Pres looks like the bridge of the Starship Enterprise.
9. I get to hang out with Margaret Mills. #bonus
10. I am even more energized to get back to it in Avon Lake.
11. Smoked Pulled Pork for dinner. #doesitgetanybetter?
Back to work.
This past Saturday we held our 6th Annual Cabin Fever Cornhole Tournament at the church to raise money for our SH Summer Mission Trip. We set our goals at having over 132 teams play in the tournament and to raise over $9,000 for our trip.
I am thrilled to announce that we had 159 teams compete in this year’s event and we were able to raise over $10,000 for our trip this summer. We definitely had some help from some folks in higher places when it came to the weather. On Wednesday before the tournament we got slammed with ANOTHER Winter storm that took out power, closed schools and made life miserable….again in NE Ohio. On Sunday, the day after the tournament it was hovering around 0 degrees out and the big fan in the sky was set on hurricane strength. Somehow in the middle of this on Saturday we managed sunny skies, 44 degrees, zero precipitation and just enough wind to make our World Record Shot a bit difficult.
I am in awe of how many people give so much every single year to make this event possible. I cant begin to list all of the people and organizations that helped us get ready for Saturday’s big event. From all of us going on the trip this summer…..thank-you. Your support and generosity is providing us with the opportunity to travel to New Jersey and assist the people there with the cleanup from Superstorm Sandy. This trip is providing lots of teenagers with their first exposure to serving and what it truly looks like to be the hands and feet of Jesus. This trip changes lives and changes our world one person at a time.
I can’t wait to tell you about it when we get home.
Until then….please continue to pray for everyone going on this trip and for the rockstars at A Future With Hope in New Jersey as they scramble to find a way to prepare for our team to arrive.
God is good.
#grateful #humbled #sleptreallyreallywellonSaturdaynight
This is wrong.
No other way to cut it.
It is the polar opposite of what Jesus was about.
It is the opposite of loving your neighbor.
It is barbaric and something that has no place in 2014.
I believe in love. I believe every life, every person, no matter – what, is perfect and loved unconditionally by God. You can’t be about love partway or only some of the time.
Love is something that is all or nothing.
I am saying a lot of prayers for the people in Uganda and for the rest of us. We can’t let our world become a place of intolerance and bigotry. We have to stand up for love. The radical, unconditional, unending and courageous love that Jesus perfected 2,000 years ago.
I have been going to summer camp for 25+ years and I still find it just as incredible as it was when I was 10 years old. I still find everything about it……irreplaceable. Maybe it’s because it’s a week where I have nothing else to do but have a complete and utter blast. Maybe it’s because I still get to spend that week with some of my best friends in the galaxy. Maybe it’s because I get to see kids from Avon Lake get hooked on camp and fall madly in love with the whole experience as I did. Maybe it’s because it’s the one place where I feel closest to God and for one whole week God and I get some real quality time together. Maybe it’s all of that plus a bajillion other things.
I hope you all consider making summer camp a part of your plans this year.
You will NOT regret it.
Join us this Sunday for Camp Sunday and hear alllllllllllllllllllll about it. (you may even see pictures of me from the 90’s when I thought it was awesome to dye my hair nuclear blonde!)
Pack your bags and send in your registration.
See you at camp!