A Different Kind of Summer Camp: a Fellow’s Story
Working With Youth Has Been A Ministry To Me
Over the course of the week we heard stats about racism, refugees, prison inmates, and homelessness. We watched documentaries and heard stories from people who had the very experiences we were talking about. Nothing was sugar coated. Everything was given to us as it was. For the first time, a group of teens really knew what was happening in the world around them, and it made us sad, angry, and confused. We didn’t know what to do, but the leaders were prepared for that.
They prayed for us, talked with us, and most importantly, they listened. Truly listened. They didn’t leave us in that position of hopelessness and despair. Rather, they inspired us, built us up. They told us how we as teens could make a difference and help those around us, how we could be the light in our own communities.
Paige's Story: God's Incredible Plan
Working with youth has rekindled my own sense of wonder and awe at the love of God and the life of Christ. They have taught me to find the joy again of uncovering my faith and leaning in closer to God’s presence. Their devotion to their personal relationship with God has prompted me to deepen my own daily connection to God, scripture, and prayer.
Advent: Searching for Peace
God really does have incredible plans for the young people that trust God’s care and direction for their lives. All we have to do is trust and take the time to see how God may be calling us, in whatever field we may be called to and in the midst of whatever pain we may be experiencing to hear the words, “I have a plan for you!”
Creation Care: One Gracious Step At A Time
I am reminded in the season of Advent that the work of reconciliation is not up to me. Reconciliation is God’s work. I do not bring peace, rather I hope for the coming of Jesus, who is the Prince of Peace. I sit in the season of hope and am reminded that my faith is in God who is working even when I can’t measure all of the results. So, even when I don’t see peace, I know that God is at work reconciling the world to God’s self.
There's Just Not Enough - Six8 Sermon
So, the question you can ask yourself when you begin to feel overwhelmed at the vastness of what it means to love the earth by reducing your waste and consumption is this: “What is the next right thing?” … I don’t know what your next right thing is; only you can answer that. But, I hope you strive for goodness, rather than perfection. I hope you realize there is an ocean of grace, that it takes time, and that simply showing up to figure it all out is a testament to God’s ongoing presence in our lives.
Seeing God in Unexpected Places
[This sermon was preached on the rooftop of McKendree United Methodist Church during the closing service of our Six8 intensive. Chelsie Reed, a Six8 mentor, and Justin Schoolcraft, a summer intern, were the two co-preachers. Chelsie shared her personal testimony (indicated in italics) and Justin (indicated in bold) spoke from the perspective of Moses’ son, Gershom.]
Being a Good Neighbor: Community Engagement
When I learned several years ago that the term “spiritual practice” encapsulated much more than prayer and reading Scripture, the way I experienced God on a regular basis shifted. For me, it became about seeing God everywhere, and looking for God in unexpected places. When I broadened the ways I was able to intentionally connect with God, my view of God expanded.
Being a Christian and being a good neighbor go together like peas and carrots. Being a good neighbor means caring for our surroundings, which includes people, the Earth, and our community. Being in Nashville for a month has given me the opportunity to immerse myself into this new community around Trevecca and it has been so fulfilling. As an extroverted-introvert (someone who is shy around people that they are not familiar with), being a good neighbor in a new space can be really challenging, especially when you have no knowledge of your new surroundings. Here are some things I’ve learned in becoming a neighbor in this new community:
Sustainability & Abundance: Lessons From Jason Adkins
Did you know that today’s teenagers are stressed out?
Of course you did - especially if you have one; especially if you are one.
But did you know that many sociologists think that today’s teenagers are under more pressure than any generation in recent memory? It’s true. Research is coming out on an almost daily basis that paints an anxiety-inducing picture of what life is like for today’s young people
The Asking of Holy Questions
What does it look like to take care of God’s green earth? And why should we care about creation? These are a couple of the questions that I have been contemplating these past couple weeks as I have been feeding chickens, running goats to graze, and working in the greenhouse with Jason Adkins (our scholar for the summer) and the people of the Trevecca Urban Farm.
An Invitation to the Table: Reflections on Loving Your Neighbor
It had been a full day of listening to theologians lecture about the biblical call to love your neighbor, watching improv, and visiting sites around Nashville to see the lecture concepts in action. After a time of worship and reflection at the end of the day, I joined my dear high school friends in a circle of chairs to begin our nightly debriefing conversation. The safety of this circle held the questions the students dared to ask –– the difficult ones about community, current social issues of our day, and the intersection of faith and calling and missional living.
It was our first summer intensive at the Six8 Fellowship, a theological mentorship program for high school students on the campus of Trevecca Nazarene University. Our week was centered around a profound yet simple question, “Who is my neighbor?” For those gathered for the week, the initial answer came in the oft-quoted call to love our neighbor and so to avoid redundancy, we decided that all of us needed to hear this calling with fresh ears and see our neighbor with new eyes.