As the caravan of vans exited I-64 and pulled onto Grinstead, the moan was audible from the front row in the van. The sigh echoed the sentiment that hung in the air on the whole way home… is it really already over? Our Fall Youth Retreat gathered together the youth from our community to share our struggles, celebrate the joys of community, and find God amidst it all at Aldersgate Retreat Center.
Just as we have seen time and time again, our youth are better together. They are confident young people who are fully alive and fully themselves in the presence of those with whom they feel at home. They are bold prophetic people of faith in the presence of those with whom they feel empowered. They are vessels of hospitality and compassion in the presence of those with whom they feel challenged. They are better together because God is knitting them together as the body of Christ. Through the relationships they have built in Christ, they embody the words of Romans 12, “Love from the center of who you are… Be good friends who love deeply.”
Just as Jesus dispersed the disciples as the body of Christ to go into the world and share the good news with the world, we dispersed this body of Christ in the parking lot at Highland on Sunday afternoon. They returned to homework, SnapChat, and Instagram. They returned to identity struggles, family troubles, and power imbalances. They returned as messengers, instruments, and echoes of the good news we shared – no matter what life may bring, there is nothing in this world that can separate us from our home and purpose in the body of Christ.
We give thanks for Highland Baptist Church and the place it provides youth to find out that we are always better together.