Today’s theme was discipleship. We practiced discipleship this morning by joining with all of our South Eastern MN Synod friends for worship. We gathered in a hotel ball room, sang, heard messages from Bishop Usgaard, and shared in Holy Communion together.
Following worship, we gathered into small groups with new friends and talked about the seven faith practices of discipleship:
Ask us about each of them when we get home.
Our day of discipleship was to continue after lunch with taking each of those seven practices and going out into the community. I don’t know about where you are but it rained here today. Poured. Nearly all afternoon. Flexible is the name of the game when you’re on a youth trip so we postponed our venture out and have our fingers crossed for better weather tomorrow afternoon to go out.
We ended our day once more with a mass gathering at the Superdome. Tonight we heard music from Lost and Found, and RhemaSoul. We listened to the story of a man who was bullied in school because of his sexual orientation, and he shared ways that we can stop bullying – both intentional and non-intentional – from happening. (Stand up! Befriend!)
We also heard from a woman from Liberia whose peacemaking and fight for justice impacted the end of civil war in her home country. She encouraged us – the future leaders of the church – to let our light shine. She said, “Youth are like used tea bags. You never know how strong you are until you’re put in hot water.” Our world is filled with injustice and God has given each of us gifts and a calling to share and fight for justice. I think we find that when we stand up for our neighbors in God’s love, we are stronger than we ever thought. It was her invitation to hold up our phones and sing The Little Light of Mine together. (See photo below.). It was a pretty awesome night at the Lutherdome.
We are diving into deep issues here – deep injustices that we as God’s children are called to stand against. We are called to stand up. To show up and not just be a bystander. Because every person – us and our neighbors – is worthy of love and belonging. That’s a gospel message that desperately needs sharing in our world.