Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Faith at 31,000 Feet

Those who know the UDLC Youth Director, know he is not a fan of flying, but is a fan of the INTERWEBS! American Airlines has wifi in flight, so what makes more sense for me to stay relaxed than to blog up here.

I read Becca's post below. I have to say we all have been there and yet UDLC is special, isn't it?

I came to UDLC without ever really thinking too much about it. I came and fought back the desire to compare it to my old church, the one I grew up in. I grew up in a BIIIIIG CHURCH! We had a HUGE YOUTH GROUP and we did HUGE EVENTS!!!!

So when you move from that as your only point of reference and come to a smaller church, you start to look around and say "well at my old church we did..." and "in our service we ...".

Yet, moving is what Church is about and honestly think about it, who handles change better than kids and teens. New schools, teachers, friends, teams.

Yes new is scary, but new is refreshing. New ideas, new experiences, new friends and new seasons of life.

Lutherans have been accused of being afraid of change, but oddly, we started the reformation. We started change. How do you fear what you start. You may be afraid of uncertainty, but that is because of the anxiety.

All the teens and jr. Youth take a chance that youth will be enjoyable and they will have friends and that the adults will try to understand them. Truth is, the kids and teens in there programs hope the same thing about the new group.

WE HAVE AWESOME TEENS AT UDLC and that is because we have AWESOME AND INVOLVED FAMILIES. Church communities are about families. Families don't just mesh because they have the same genes. TRUST ME I KNOW! Families work at it. Spend time together and as the grow become close and know each other. Church communities are no different.

We have all been where Becca is, when we left our last church for UDLC, or went to college or moved away and came back.

EMBRACE THE DIFFERENCES AND THIS WEEK GREET SOMEONE YOU DON'T REALLY KNOW AT UDLC AND SAY"HEY THERE FAMILY!" Yes, they will stare, but blame me and get to know them by name and tell them yours.

FAITH AT 31,000. Why name it that? Because I have faith that this is not my last will and testament and that if I were to not make it home I will see all my family and everyone in heavan will welcome me to that new family. I KID!!!! I KID!!!! No, I marvel at the idea man can fly from one part of the world to another in hours and get in a metal multiple ton object and by morning can be across the country.


Monday, October 4, 2010

Check-In 2 - Keeping the Faith

As someone who was so involved a my home congregation, opinions on involvement with the church in my new environment varied greatly before my departure. Would I stay involved at UDLC? Go to church here? Go to an ELCA church here? Get involved in my new synod? Lose my attachment to church or God?

Well, I can say that being true to my faith and to myself is full of ups, downs, and surprises. The people at the lutheran university center (ELCA!!!) here are certainly friendly and welcoming; I've spent a few hours at the center for dinners, at service, and even at a Pirates game/OAR concert. But, to be honest, they aren't UDLC people. I'm not used to being the youngest, I'm not used to being new, and I'm not used to them as a group. Realistically, I feel blessed knowing that "ELCA people" exist just down the road, but I don't feel that establishing a new community here is essential to maintaining my relationship with God. I have me for that. I also have a book [An Altar in the World by Barbara Brown Taylor] from P. Dizzle that constantly surprises me. Some chapters have seemed to appear at exactly the right moments over the last few months, while other seem to be ones I should put aside for a few years before returning to them. Regardless, the practices Taylor alludes to are a definite stepping stone for me, and have brought on hours of reflection and "absently" staring out my 19th floor window. Reading each chapter allows me time to be alone and to be with God.

My faith and how I keep it are more personal experiences here, but I definitely haven't given up on the LUC crew just yet. Besides, it's in our Lutheran nature to call those who stop showing up, so it isn't even really an option ;)

Rebecca Jean