Sunday, July 8, 2012

Charitable Giving and Youth Gatherings

Today my church is collecting money for our youth who will be traveling to the ELCA youth gathering this week.  I shall donate money.

I'm donating money for a variety of reasons, but the main one is because my going to national gatherings was one of the most formative experiences of my life.

In 1980, I went to one of the earliest Lutheran youth gatherings (we weren't the ELCA then) post Luther League years.  It was held at Purdue University.  We went with a larger group from Tennessee, and it was amazing.  That gathering also prepared me for college in ways.  We stayed in a dorm, and our days were structured like college days, with what I remember as classes, and a variety of subjects to choose from.

Equally important was meeting such a huge variety of young people, all of us at various-yet-similar stages of our faith journeys.  It was one of the first times that I remember thinking, "Ah, there are people like me.  I'm not some freak of nature."  I can't even remember what prompted that feeling, just the relief of the feeling.  And I'm not surprised.  It's a typical adolescent feeling, that we're all alone, that we're strange and unlovable, that we'll never find our tribe.

In later years, I went to Global Mission Events, which also raised my consciousness and also prepared me for college.  It was great to meet adults who were unlike most of the adults I met at church.

Now, as a grown up, I suspect there were many adults at my local church who were like the ones I met at these events.  But back then, age groups didn't mingle much.  How would I know?

So, yes, I will give some money so that our young people will have a good experience.  When I was young, unknown grown ups did that for me.  It's time to repay the favor.

1 comment:

Garima said...

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