Saturday: Breaking Chains

The theme for today was Jesus’ power to break the chains … chains of guilt, depression, fear, addiction.  Our day started at the Convention Center challenging ourselves with social awareness exhibits, service activities and play.  Then after dinner at Hockeytown Cafe (This is Redwing country, you know!), it was into the Gathering for another night of music, dance, and encouraging words, in particularly from Marian Wright Edelman, founder of the Children’s Defense Fund.

The night ended with capstone devotions and special group time to close our blessed week together.

Worship is 9:30 on Sunday … and then we are headed home.

Bible Passage of the Day to help reflect on conversations over the whole week:

22For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom,  23but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,  24but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.  25For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.
26Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth.  27But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;  28God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are,  29so that no one might boast in the presence of God.  30He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption,  31in order that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”  (1 Corinthians 1:22-31)

Photo Journal of the Day:

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Friday: God’s Story of Building Bridges into all our lives

Today was Proclaim Story Day … exploring together God’s story of building bridges into all our stories through Jesus.  Wherever we experience challenge, God reaches to relieve us.  Wherever others experience challenges, God calls us to do what we can to relieve them on God’s behalf.

We started with Holy Trinity’s contribution to the Diaper bridge in Detroit … adding our 8972 diapers to the 500,000 that were  collected in total.

The group then joined with 800 youth from the Southern Ohio Synod to explore those stories and share in worship where Bishop Suzanna Dillahunt preached and presided at communion.  Pastor Bob Abrams was there too, as part of her staff.  Many in the group ran into friends from other church as well … yet another bridge experience in the day.

The mass gathering was quite the event.  Sitting on the main floor this time, there was a surprise appearance by the Motor City All-stars including two Temptations, one Capitol and one Miracle … singing together motown favorites that had the whole place grooving big time.  That was followed by a sermon so compelling it ended with a five minute standing ovation … preached by the pastor of a young man who would have attended the gathering this year if not having been shot by a neighbor.  Talk about your bridge-building challenges.

Group time devotions were particularly deep tonight.

Bible Passage for the Day selected by David, Kyle and Ryan:

7A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.”  8(His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.)  9The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.)  10Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”  11The woman said to him, “Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water?  12Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?”  13Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again,  14but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.”  15The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.” (John 4:7-15)

Photo Journal for the Day:

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Thursday: Gone in Peace … Serving the Lord!

Up early to catch our work project busses that turned out to be 2 hours late due to city traffic … the group is ready to serve in whatever way our group leader tells us once we get on the bus.

Turns out we’re going to help with a neighborhood beautification project.  Lennox Block Club is a neighborhood which has organized to rejuvenate their properties … empty lots and buildings and all.

Miss Agnes Miss Martha (pictured below … are all Martha’s so biblically industrious?) are club leaders who gave us directions for clearing an overgrown parking lot of an abandoned apartment building.  During her orientation comments, Miss Martha asserted that “Motivation is participation.”  If you want to encourage others to get something done, you gotta get to work yourself.

Then as soon the group starts its work, another neighbor wandered out in robe and slippers, asking what we were doing.  When he learned that we were clearing the lot, he said, “That really great … my friends and I walk through here every day.”  Then he left … only long enough to lose the robe, change his shoes and bring his own work wagon … jumping in to work with us the rest of the day clearing shrubs, grass, trash and sewer drainage.

Robert is pictured below as well.  And Miss Martha was right.

Another great night in the mass gathering as well … this time with seats straight on to the stage.  Word is we’ll may be working our way to the main floor tonight!

Bible passage for the Day selected by Justin Warnement and Christian Meyer:

16For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.”  (John 3:16)

Photo Journal of the Day:

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Wednesday: From Ford Museum to Ford Field

The day began with a trip to the Ford Museum and Greenfield Village … a really amazing place.  From the limo where Kennedy was shot to the bus where Rosa Parks sat to the Wright Brothers house, Train rides, Model T’s and the worlds greatest frozen custard … it was a delightful day!  Especially with all the other early arriving youth from around the country.  It was a prelude of sorts to the Gathering which began in Ford Field that evening.

And the spirit was strong there again … great music, great dancing, great Word … with 30,000 other high school believers.

Quote of the Day:

I say, “E-L” … you say “C-A”!    E-L!  C-A!!

South … Dakota!  (Sung the tune of “O-H”  “I-O” … we’re gonna start the new craze starting with the circle conversation with South Dakota youth in green shirts below!!)

Bible passage of the Day selected by Abby, Clara and Ruby:

24And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds,  25not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.  (Hebrews 10:24-25)

Photo Journal of the Day:

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Tuesday: Airboats and Diapers and Pools … Oh My!

We started the day with airboat rides on the marsh waters of Sandusky around Cedar Point.  Fast … and be the end of the morning when it started to rain … very bumpy!

After lunch the group started for Detroit … 3 hours in two episodes of driving rain (no pun intended 😉  Thanks to Denise and Mark for their driving prowess.

Once at the hotel, many took a dip in the pool, we grabbed some dinner at Red Ox with tabletop shuffle board and pool.

And we ended our day spending $1200 in contributions from the congregation plus another last minute anonymous donations for a total of $1500 in diapers.  Then we got a $10 gift card for every box we bought at Target … which means we could buy even more.  A total of 8972!  That’s a LIFE-TIME SUPPLY of diapers for a child potty trained by 3!!

Bible passage of the day selected by Brianna, Daria and Hannah:

25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  26Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?  28And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin,  29yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these.  30But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you — you of little faith?  31Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’  32For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  33But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  (Matthew 6:25-33)

Photo Journal of the Day:

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Monday: Ride off to RISE UP TOGETHER at ELCA National Youth Gathering in Detroit

Holy Trinity commissioned 15 youth and 5 adults to worship, learn and serve the community of Detroit at the ELCA National Youth Gathering this week.  On the way, the group stopped to see old friend Tim Fields who just passed his exams to become a Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist at Old Woman Creek Estuary where we cleared hiking paths overgrown by all the summer rains.  After a quick trip to the estuary beach, it was off to the hotel to clean up before dinner with Tim at a local diner where we showed him the video greetings from friends at church … followed by a little local ice cream … and a sunset compliments of God!  It’s been a blessed day … again.

Bible passage for the Day selected by Cate, Hannah, Natalie and Elli: 

7“But ask the animals, and they will teach you;
the birds of the air, and they will tell you;
8ask the plants of the earth, and they will teach you;
and the fish of the sea will declare to you.
9Who among all these does not know
that the hand of the LORD has done this?
10In his hand is the life of every living thing
and the breath of every human being.  (Job 12:7-10)

Can you name the person who made these quotes of the day?

“I can’t find my phone!”

“I didn’t give you that French Fry.”

“These people must think they’ve aged poorly because they keep telling me their names.”

“I didn’t mean to hit those turtle eggs with a sledge hammer.”

Picture Journal

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And on the third day the blogger rises again…

Due to our busy and fun schedule (and also the lack of service on camp) finding time to blog has been quite challenging. So here is an overview of our first three days.

Day 1: We split up into two groups. One group built a she at a habitat for humanity facility and they other group was on yard work duty. Both services were for a Vietnam vet. The yard work group actually ended up doing yard work for two houses because the Vietnam vet was more concerned about his neighbors than he was himself. Our evening plan was to go to a Savannah Sand Gnats baseball game, but heavy rain changed our plans to two dozen HOT Krispy Kreme donuts and a trip to Tybee Beach. (Corresponding photos: Janice and Franklin (the vet), Katie (the neighbor and her chiweenie, the yard work gang, and classic Krispy Kreme sign)

Day 2: Rain, rain and more rain. All service activities were cancelled for the day and we had the day to ourselves. While the rain persisted a handful of us napped and others played some rather competitive card games. Fortunately, the rain clouds parted and what was a gray a dreary day became our hottest and sunniest day yet. We seized the opportunity of the great weather to play a frozen t-shirt game and tackle a team challenge course together. Unfortunately there are not many pictures to go along with either of these two activities, but there is plenty of footage for the video. In the evening we went a Sand Gnats baseball game. It was Forrest Gump day at the ballpark, which meant fireworks to end our eventful day with a bang! (Corresponding photos: baseball game, the balance beam challenge, and the tire challenge)

Day 3: Another day off and we are spending it at Tybee beach and in Savannah. We started off our day with worship at the lake and are not just sitting down to watch the World Cup in Tybee. Go Deutschland!!! (Corresponding photos: worship at the lake, beach volleyball, and ocean swimming)

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Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12