This summer, as summers tend to do, continues to fly past us. The last entry was about a month ago, and since then Hillary and I have completed staff training at CJH, celebrated our first anniversary, worked 3 full weeks of camp, and are now heading to Houston for the National Youth Gathering.
The Gathering is a massive, immersive experience during which thousands of high school youth, adult leaders, volunteers, and sponsors descend upon the city of Houston. The website for the ECLA Youth Gathering provides the following description:
Every three years, 30,000 high school youth and their adult leaders from across the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America gather for a week of faith formation known as the ELCA Youth Gathering. Through days spent in interactive learning, worship, Bible study, service and fellowship, young people grow in faith and are challenged and inspired to live their faith in their daily lives.
Hillary attended the Youth Gatherings in New Orleans years ago, and my brother went to Detroit in 2016. This will, however, be the first time either Hillary or I attend as adult leaders. While she has some anticipation of what the week holds, I have no idea.
To be honest, I am in an in-between space emotionally going into this trip. I have loved, absolutely loved, being back at camp–seeing the growth of camper and summer staff alike, and I am not excited to miss an entire week while in Houston. On the other hand, this is such an incredible experience, and I get the honor of working with Hillary and seeing her be awesome and active as the Youth Director for her church and the hand full of high school kiddos she gets to bring to the Gathering. This will be one of the last events she gets to have with this crew before we leave. There is definitely an aura of nostalgia and memories in the background.
In that same light, I feel hesitation leaving home for a week. This is time we could spend with friends and family. When we return, we will have four short weeks before packing up and settling in Gettysburg. Now, as much as it may be easy to dwell on these negatives, I know that it is not as constructive to think about. Hillary and I both recognize and embrace this amazing opportunity to participate in the Gathering, and we are so thankful to do so.
We head out Monday, June 25th with a few other churches and a charter bus. I will do my best to document the adventure and will report back with new thoughts, observations, and reflections from the Gathering soon. Until then, thank you for being you and for reading this.
If you have any suggestions, tips, or questions about the Gather, give us a shout out–We would love to hear from you. Additionally, any ideas on games to play on the Bus with 50 something high school students??? We need something to pass the time on the journey there and back!
Peace and Blessings,
Oh! This is totally unrelated to the Gathering, but here is a monthly update of Games we’ve been playing, since I am sure thats what you’re most interested in!
- Clans of Caledonia – Deep economic strategy game in which you try to bring your Scottish Clan into the industrialized world.
- The Fox in the Forrest – Elegant 2-player trick taking card game.
- Charterstone – a legacy worker placement game we are playing with two close friends (still four games to finish before they get married and ewe leave–Ahh!!)
- Gloomhaven – Heavy psuedo-RPG style board game with great combat system and slight legacy style game play.
- Star Realms – (App version) Two-player deck building game.
And a few new-to-us games we hope to play soon…
- Battleball – Futuristic football; basically NFL Blitz for the N64 as a board game. Lots of dice chucking (from 2003!)
- Lords of Waterdeep – D&D themed worker placement
- Pandemic (1st Edition, WHAT?!) – Already owned, but this is a copy from 2007 with original art and components.