Youth Ministry Blog

God is uncontainable

Happy Friday, everybody! 

I received a copy of Women's Uncommon Prayers as a gift this week, and I've already found many words of wisdom in my first look-through. One of the prayers that caught my eye is written by The Rev. Virginia Going, and is titled "Who Are You?" At first I was reminded of our recent CYF discussion series and our conversations about different self-reflective inventories. However, Rev. Going was not talking about who she is, but instead she's asking about who God is. 

Her prayer begins by naming things that God is not, which is a lot easier for many of us to do. I can easily make a list of things that are not "God-like," and this apophatic theology is popular for many theologians and religious scholars. Rev. Going continues bravely by naming who God is to her, and I want to share my favorite line with you. 

"God is spirit, wind, and fire--uncontainable, she will not tolerate the tidy boxes we painstakingly construct for her."


There is so much packed into this one sentence. The imagery alone can have you thinking for hours about how God cannot be contained, and the boxes that we try to fit God into. My question for you this week is this: In what boxes have you tried to place God? What are labels or names that we give to God that are restrictive? 

It's important to note that your relationship in naming God is personal, and there are no wrong ways to understand the Spirit. This exercise is meant to encourage you to ask questions about your faith, which helps us engage in conversations with one another, too! 


Have a great weekend! 

Addison

Baptism

Hi everyone!

Last Sunday we had the opportunity to baptize our Disciples Class. We filled the baptistry and invited each youth to enter the waters and make their confession of faith. We celebrated communion with each youth and their family. 

We did it safely, and faithfully, and it was a holy experience. 

You'll have a chance to witness those baptisms and confirmations this Sunday in worship, too, during our services at 9 and 11am. I hope you'll join us. 

We talked about a lot of foundational ideas to faith throughout our Disciples Class, but one of them was the idea of "community." We first had this conversation in the spring, before the pandemic, and we revisited this topic just last month. 

It was interesting to hear how the class's idea of community had stayed constant in spite of COVID-19. The central tenets of community, of fellowship and relationship and mutual care and understanding, still ring true in the midst of uncertainty. 

I hope this has been true in your life over the last six months. I know it has been true in mine. 

As a community, we celebrate and honor baptisms every year, and this year - in that regard - is no different. 

Grace and Peace,

Jamie

I hope you were able to experience joy

Hello and happy Friday!! 

 

You made it, so take a deep breath (or maybe seven deep breaths.) Maybe your week consisted of numerous Zoom calls, lunch breaks in your living room, and a body yearning to be outside. Or, maybe your week was filled with mask-wearing while learning indoors, socially distant office spaces, and constant fear of health in the back of your mind. 
Whatever experiences combined to create your week, I hope you were able to experience joy. I hope you have been able to find happiness in the small things, and your silver linings are brighter than usual. While these hopes are ideal, I recognize that they might not be your reality. That's okay. It's okay to have no silver linings and it's okay to struggle in finding happiness for the day. These are the days when God is nearest to us; closer than our own breath.
Sure, God is with us when we're experiencing great joy as well. However, I believe that God really loves the "rejects," or those who feel ostracized. God loves picking us up and sitting with us through our grief, confusion, and discomfort. We see examples of God sitting with people through pain all throughout the Bible, and maybe you've experienced comfort from God in a past experience. 
I was thinking a lot about how God sits with us this week, as my teacher friends were posting about their first week of in-person classes. Some of the posts were filled with enthusiasm and fun decor, while some wrote about the stress and fear they were feeling. I bet teachers are not the only ones feeling these mixed emotions, I know I feel them too. My prayer for you this week is that you know it's okay to feel both. You can feel joy for the first day of high school, but you can also grieve the experience that "should have been." God can handle that. 

 

Be well, 
Addison

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