Yes, that was a Teri quote that was quickly followed by “well, not checking me out, but the woman who scans your groceries…the check out person…” (hey, it was late after a long day! And she was very awesome.)
Each evening we gather in the living room of our cottage to talk about where God was moving today. Often we have seen God in random strangers, in new friends, in small moments, and it’s nice to stop and reflect on those moments and be more aware of them.
Today we had our first full day of the Youth Conference. The day began with energizers, including Teri’s favorite to the song “Istanbul” (the energizer involves running from camels. awesome!).
After we got our energy flowing, Loli offered a great opening keynote about how “all God’s creatures got a place in the choir”—even the ones we disagree with, even the ones we don’t notice are missing, even the ones who looks different from us. She went on to discuss the idea that Jesus was a real, 100% human being…the money quote from this morning was “even Jesus tooted!” (that’s stuck with the kids especially, as an image of Jesus’ full humanity and the lengths to which God will go to identify with us.)
After keynote it was off to small groups—everyone to a different group. There are nearly 40 small groups, each with about 30 people in it. The groups play, learn, talk, and grow together. So far all our small groups seem really great and everyone is making good friends.
Worship this evening included lots of singing and a great reflection on the Ten Commandments from John Bell, focusing especially on the 10th commandment as one of the most difficult, because we are all (especially teens) so prone to compare and judge ourselves based on what others have (or what they are or what they do). A couple of memorable moments included the phrase “mystery is not something we figure out, but something we are embraced by” and “we often care about Having, but God cares about Being and Loving.” At the prayers of the people, we each wrote people and places we want to pray for on paper, then folded them into paper airplanes which we sent into the air, then we picked up nearby planes and prayed for the things on the paper. It was a fun way to engage in praying for one another.
Excitements of the day: rain. lots of rain. amazing tacos and homemade guacamole. really hilarious quotes (including “they’re our Montweeps!” and “you can always go despiderfy the porch…” and Chris saying “be calm!” ).
Things we learned today: Some of the members of the band The Youngbloods are Canadian. Girls can (and should) play Ultimate Frisbee even if no other girls are playing. How to use the washing machine in our cottage.