Ok this may be a new record. Four posts in a single week. No, now that I think of it I did more than this last year(oops two years ago!) when I was in Minneapolis. Still a pretty good start. Let's see how long I can keep it up.
The big thing this week has been the trip to Estes Park CO and the YMCA of the Rockies for the Sabbath Summit for diocesan youth ministry coordinators. It was an amazing 5 days. The Rockies are astounding all by themselves, although at 8,000+ feet I may have been breathless for reasons other than the scenery.
The purpose of the Summit was several fold:
First as a sabbath time for diocesan youth leaders. Just a time away to relax and hopefully get a little time with the big youth leader in the sky. I can tell you that a lot of folks did a LOT of just plain sleeping. Which they apparently needed. There was also worship and a chance for a limited form of spiritual direction. We had a wonderful group of people there to help us through the various "things" that were offered (virtually all of which were optional. You did what worked for you). Body prayer and centering prayer were offered along with more traditional forms of worship.
Second it was a chance to discuss the underlying concepts of the sabbath which grew out of a project called the Youth Ministry Spirituality Project. (I've added a link to their page at the bottom of this posting) 8 years of work with various congregations from a variety of denominations all over the country have resulted in some very interesting thoughts in integrating spirituality with youth ministry. We've already started using some of the ideas here in the diocese and are looking forward to doing more.
There was some really great music, some fabulous people, a great chance for those of us doing diocesan youth work to meet and network.
Now you may be saying "That's pretty spiffy for all you diocesan types. What about the rest of us?" Well this was always meant to grow and spread. It is our hope that we can bring this experience in some form to youth leaders/ministers at every level. How exactly that will happen is still up the air. But it's coming, trust me. When it happens I hope lots of folks will be interested in experiencing a sabbath for themselves.