Christ Memorial sent eleven high schoolers, three college students and four adults for a week of faith deepening and relationship widening at the GenOn Youth Summit in Wheeling, West Virginia July 16-22. The theme of our week was “Eye of the Storm” where we learned to “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10) and place our trust in God through Jesus Christ no matter the storm we find ourselves in or perhaps even for storms we’ve been sent into. Trust, Fear, Refuge, Guidance, and Relationship were the key concepts that we studied and wrestled with in worship, Bible study, and evening vespers each day.
GenOn Youth Summit (or “GenOn” as our folks have come to call it) is a week of LOGOS to study, worship, eat, play, serve, and fellowship with a bunch of people who become dear friends. Tuesday was our mission day as we fanned out by Bible study groups through the city of Wheeling (a struggling community) to fold donated clothing, clean buildings, organize pantries and classrooms, and paint buildings. The work wasn’t glamorous and on the surface seemed insignificant but we were thanked for doing small things that did make a difference and that allowed many social services organizations to do their work better.
Highlights from the week identified by the youth include:
Talk it Over Time
Strengthening relationships with friends
Say So Time in Friday worship
Making a bunch of new friends
Some of my own favorites from the week include:
- Seeing joy on the faces of young and old at the Tuesday night dance.
- Hearing engaging and thoughtful messages each day of worship from a variety of voices and perspectives.
- An hour long conversation between the director of the soup kitchen and our work group.
- Thanking the campus dining hall cooks after our week with them.
- Bible study with recent high school graduates, especially an insightful and heated (yet respectful) discussion about heaven and hell, God and Santa Claus, faith and doubt, trust and courage.
I could go on!
Thank you for being a congregation able and willing to support our GenOn week so fully–with your donations, prayers, and encouragement. Let me also pass along the appreciation from Concordia Lutheran Church’s LOGOS leader who asked me to thank everyone at CMPC for the support we also gave to them. Your investment in this week in Wheeling will reap returns for years to come and impact many lives.