This past weekend 17 teenagers from Fleetwood CRC along with 6 youth leaders & parents made the long wind-y trek through the UBC Research Forest to Loon Lake Lodge & Retreat Centre for a time away from ordinary life, phones and screens, homework and chores. This time away was for the purpose of rest, enjoying creation, spiritual growth and group bonding. That’s exactly what happened!
We ate delicious food and junk food together.
We played sports and games in the gym.
We explored the forest and canoed across the lake.
We read Scripture, had discussions about our identity in Christ, sang and prayed together.
And we stayed up a little past our bedtimes.
One of us even jumped in the lake at 6am...twice.
As a youth pastor, I was proud of our students for a number of reasons. They gave up their cell phones and all electronics for 36 hours. They engaged deeply in reading Scripture and exploring what it means for their lives. They sang heartily during worship times. They built relationships with one another. They were positive, encouraging and kind to one another. They even took up the challenge of memorizing Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 1!
My prayer is that these words sink deeply into the souls of our young people, that they would embrace their identity in Christ and live out God’s call on their lives wholeheartedly.
What is my only comfort in life and in death?
That I am not my own,
but belong with body and soul,
both in life and in death,
to my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ.
He has fully paid for all my sins
with his precious blood,
and has set me free
from all the power of the devil.
He also preserves me in such a way
that without the will of my heavenly Father
not a hair can fall from my head;
indeed, all things must work together
for my salvation.
Therefore, by his Holy Spirit
he also assures me
of eternal life
and makes me heartily willing and ready
from now on to live for him.