Eikon Kickoff Night

Our first week of Eikon is in the books! We had a great turn out from both youth and parents! Together we got together to share a meal and learn about the plan for the year ahead. Each week we’ll focus on one letter of the acronym FLOW. These stand for Fellowship, Learning, Outreach, and Worship. Each of these themes has an adult and a student leader who are in charge of organizing and leading these events. Please take a minute to check out our calendar available by clicking on the calendar tab, or right here. This calendar can be downloaded directly into your own calendar and should be updated automatically whenever changes are made.

Once we got all of that business out of the way, we had an opportunity to enjoy each others’ company with our first Fellowship night of the year. We played a memory game to get to know each other and Austin Kock ended up beating out everyone by remembering long lists of books in the Bible, Batman villains, nail polish brands, and numbers. Way to go Austin!

We followed that up by playing a few rounds of the classic Eikon game, Gargon. This is an intense mix of capture the flag, hide and seek, and flashlight tag. What a blast! And in case you’re wondering what in the world is going on in the video below, while the Gargon was busy hiding the pieces of the flashlight, Jamie asked the youth to face the wall. This fine group of gentlemen decided to pass the time by making up their very own Christmas song.


CREW, How is This Confirmation?

Welcome to CREW 2015-16!! This year is going to be a journey of growth and discovery from the waters of baptism and enfolded into weekly worship and praise! In all of our activities, class time, and relationships (in fact relationships is our middle name [Creating Relationships Every Wednesday]), CREW will be an important way we can grow more deeply into our baptismal promises.

CREW is much more than what happens in this large group classroom. It will be a vibrant connection between your homes and the congregation. We’ll share what we’re learning each week with you at home through challenges, projects, and questions. All of this is so that faith can begin to speak into the very heart of our daily lives.

  

What is Confirmation?

Outside of the church walls, “confirmation” is a run of the mill word associated with the ideal of verification – we choose to receive confirmation when a package has arrived, a reservation is made, or an order has shipped. Inside church, however, the word “confirmation” is used quite differently and often means slightly different things.

Most often, “confirmation” is used to describe the entire two year educational process which prepares students for the Affirmation of Baptism service and the life of discipleship that follows. During that time a student is said to be in or going to confirmation. The Latin word, confirmare, from which “confirmation” comes literally means “to strengthen”. When we pair that with the word faith we produce an appropriate definition of “confirmation”. Used in this way – confirmation is a time to strengthen faith.

“Confirmation” is also used to describe a special worship service that concludes this time of faith-strengthening. Therefore, a student looks forward to being confirmed at his or her confirmation service. In the ELW this service is called Affirmation of Baptism, a rite of passage which reminds us and the congregation of the covenant made at our baptism – both God’s promise to us and our call to live out those promises.

Martin Luther reminds us that the Christian life is one of daily dying and rising with Christ in the waters of baptism. In this sense, “confirmation” is something that never stops happening. It all begins with the sacrament of baptism where we’re washed with water, marked with the cross of Christ, and filled with the gifts of the Holy Spirit in a public celebration. It’s “confirmed” in the Affirmation of Baptism service, in which we say, “YES!” to our baptism. And it continues in the daily renewal of our commitment to the baptismal life.

In other words, confirmation is not an end, but a beginning. Everything we do in CREW will help to deepen our faith by pointing towards the only question that matters in the right of Affirmation of baptism. At the end of your two years in CREW you will have the opportunity to stand before the congregation and take on the baptismal promises your parents made for yourself.

During the Affirmation of Baptism liturgy, candidates will be asked to “profess faith in Christ Jesus, reject sin, and confess the faith of the church.” Then – and perhaps more importantly – you will be asked:

“Do you intend to continue in the covenant God made with you in holy baptism:

  • To live among God’s faithful people,
  • To hear the word of God and share the Lord’s Supper,
  • To proclaim the good news of God in Christ through word and deed,
  • To serve all people, following the example of Jesus,
  • And to strive for justice and peace in all the earth?

CREW is here to help you understand the vivid picture that this questions paints, and to equip you to say yes to this call in a way that will continue to change your life and help you to begin a life where you Grow in Faith, Share Jesus Christ, and Serve Others.

  •         To proclaim the good news of God in Christ through word and deed,
  •         To serve all people, following the example of Jesus,
  •         And to strive for justice and peace in all the earth?

CREW is here to help you understand the vivid picture that this questions paints, and to equip you to say yes to this call in a way that will continue to change your life and help you to begin a life where you Grow in Faith, Share Jesus Christ, and Serve Others.

ELCA Youth Gathering – Recap Video

Here is our Gathering Recap Video. Last night we had a dinner with our investors where the youth on the trip were able to share their experience with the people who provided the financial gifts to make that possible. We’d like to say thanks one more time to our generous supporters!

If you’re having trouble watching the video here, try it on youtube: https://youtu.be/vjGCSdo29Pg

ELCA Youth Gathering – Day 4

Here is our Day 4 video. This was our “Proclaim Community” Day. We were sent out to explore the interaction center, play games, and immerse ourselves in activism projects. The Walk for Water Project is the project that our kids decided to really get involved in. Just from our own pockets the kids grabbed enough money to raise $300.

We also decided to try to get floor seats for the final night of the Gathering, you’ll have to watch the video to see how it went!

If you’re having trouble watching the video here, try it on youtube: https://youtu.be/1vDRaqsdVx4

ELCA Youth Gathering – Day 3

Although we’ve already made it back safely, we have a few more videos to post. Internet was surprisingly hard to come by and when we did have it, it was fairly slow. So, uploading the videos took a back seat to being with the kids.

With all that out of the way, here is the Day 3 Video. Today was “proclaim story” day. This was our opportunity to meet and worship with the other youth in the Southeastern Iowa Synod. We had been running on very little sleep so enjoy all the awesomely fun things all the kids and adults do when they are sleep deprived!

Please comment below to share your support and prayers with the kids. I can’t wait to show you what else we’ve been up to!

If you’re having trouble viewing the video here, please click on the following link: https://youtu.be/wgsXjIlwh1c

ELCA Youth Gathering – Day 2

Here is the much anticipated debut of the Day 2 Video! Today was “proclaim justice” day. This was our opportunity to serve the city we’ve travels to. Although we had to fight through some long delays, all of the kids were extremely patient and flexible. I’m so proud of them. We only got to serve for two hours, but the kids made up for it by working extremely hard.

Please comment below to share your support and prayers with the kids. I’ll be reading your comments to them at 10:30pm central time…so get your comments in early! Can’t wait to show you what else we’ve been up to!

If you’re having trouble viewing the video here, watch it on youtube: https://youtu.be/SDhAv-F0Gao

ELCA Youth Gathering – Day 1

Well after a 24 hr delay due to some faulty internet at the hotel, this is the video from our first day at the ELCA Youth Gathering!

We met with St. John’s Lutheran Church and Capitol Hill Lutheran Church at 10pm on the 14th and then spent the night traveling to Detroit. When we arrived in Detroit we were able to get our first taste of the Gathering’s over 30,000 people and what opportunities worshiping together.

Be on the look out to see Julian compete in the first day of the Gathering’s Version of the Voice

Please comment below, and I will read those comments to the youth later on tonight!

If you’re having trouble viewing the video above you can watch it directly on youtube by clicking the link: https://youtu.be/PMMczrpydFs

I hope to have yesterday’s video available later today (I’ll be using a different internet option).

Youth Gathering Preparations: Racism in Our Lives

We’re getting so close to leaving for our trip! This week we focused on understanding a few different levels of racism and the roles they can play in our lives, communities, and the world around us. We watched this video that helped to explain the privilege that can be associated with racial and socioeconomic discrimination. Continue reading for a brief recap of what we learned! Continue reading

Youth Gathering Preparations: Confronting Evil

Racism in America is a deep-seated evil that holds both the victims and the perpetrators in bondage. Liberation comes when we proclaim the redeeming work of Christ as it convicts us of our sin and simultaneously absolves us. We explored the reality of racism in Detroit in order to arrive at a place that will allow us to enter Detroit with the type of awareness and humility that are necessary to be with and for the people of Detroit.

This week we read through some articles and explored their relation to the theology of the cross. Our work can be found in the courtyard area of the worship center on the bulletin board. Please take an opportunity to explore the interactive display we have there. Continue reading

Youth Gathering Preparations: Detroit’s Past, Present, and Future

Before we take off, we had to introduce the history and culture of Detroit (including history, cars, music, food, business and landmarks) in preparation for the 2015 ELCA Youth Gathering. The knowledge we gained will enable us to visit Detroit with a deeper appreciation for and understanding of the city and what it has to offer.

Detroit has a rich past and a promising future. Before we enter into Detroit as guests, it is important for us to spend some time learning about Detroit’s past, present and future. Detroit received a lot of bad press in the last few years. The media has failed to tell the stories of innovation and hopefulness at work among those who live and work in and around Detroit. They also have failed to lift up and honor the rich and vibrant past of Detroit, a past that brings the city’s people great pride. Continue reading