Despite the challenges of social distancing, mask wearing, and no big gatherings, you all decided to trust me and let me be around your teenagers. I imagine that this was hard to do. I mean, who in their right mind would just let their kids go and be a part of a group whose “youth pastor” is still in college? Who knows what his theology is, or even worse, what if his political beliefs are skewed during these highly politicized times?
Thank you for allowing me to come join your family this summer. I saw so many gifts in your teenagers, and as a group, they are blessed to be so close to one another. They are all friends! I hope you continue to invest in this group. As I understand it, there is something like sixty children at Trinity who will be in high school within the next ten years. Something tells me that number will only keep growing, but I digress.
For those of you who did not have teenagers to bring to our meetings this summer, you are probably wondering what made this time fun (especially since social distancing and other pandemic rules needed to be enforced). The main theme that ran through this summer was long walks! We met on Monday mornings, walking from Pybus to and from the island at Walla Walla, most times reading a verse for reflection, and ALWAYS skipping rocks across the river. On Wednesday nights, we met at Dizzy D’s and walked along the canal to get to Rotary Park. We played games like capture the flag, signs, and our personal favorite, kickball. Then we would spend the last half hour participating in lectio divina, reflection on scripture, and conversations about life. Most Friday mornings, we would hike Saddle Rock. This was what I consider to be our most spectacular walk. It was always rewarding to reach that unmatched view of the valley, no matter how hot it was that morning. We were created for this! This summer we learned more of what it means to love God and our neighbors with everything we have.
I cannot give enough praise and thanks to the adult volunteers that came to my rescue this summer. You were all very generous with your time and energy. Trinity church, keep being family to one another, keep investing in the youth of this church, and keep being expectant of the hope and joy found in Jesus! My hope is that when I come back to visit next summer, I will be able to see you all as I have seen your teenagers this summer.
Grace and peace,