Monday, July 23, 2007

Shine in our hearts

Here's a photo from a night around the campfire at "Inspiration Point" and words from Bernadette Farrell, New Hymns and Songs, R127:

Longing for light, we wait in darkness.
Longing for truth, we turn to you.
Make us your own, your holy people,
light for the world to see.

Christ, be our light!
Shine in our hearts. Shine through the darkness.
Christ, be our light!
Shine in your church gathered today.

Shine on~
Pastor Joy

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Off to camp

I'm not the first to go this summer--in fact, we have a group of folks going as "Outdoor Ministry Ambassadors" from LSTC to camps this summer. So far, they've been to Nebraska, Wisconsin, Colorado... and they will also go to camps in Iowa. Tim, Holly, Tom, Matt, Jennie... they go as a "living commercial" for the partnership we share in Christ. Some will be informal "camp chaplains" for a week, some will simply be present pitching in wherever needed.

Why? It's no secret that outdoor ministries are a place where people hear God's call. Maybe it's because in that "place apart," we can see our lives with new eyes. Maybe it's because dedicated camp staff remind us to keep listening. Maybe it's because we get to experience God's incredible creation all around us and God seems nearer... but for whatever reason, discernment about where God is calling us in life and how God is calling us to serve often happen in camp settings. So, we want to be there.

We come as people with listening ears, open hearts and an exciting story to tell about the possibility of seminary as a training ground on a ministry journey.

As for me, I'm off this weekend to Nebraska - first for an Operation IDEA retreat (if you haven't heard about this amazing Nebraska program, check out their website - and then to Camp Carole Joy Holling (

Can't wait to share a photo here when I get back!

On the way,
Pastor Joy

Serving Christ in the World

This summer has already been so lively and full of opportunities for hearing God's call that it's hard to know where to begin... but let me start with the "Serving Christ in the World" Youth in Mission program which just ended last Saturday.

It was an incredible three weeks. Eighteen high school youth, mostly "rising juniors," gathered from all over the USA at LSTC for a program of immersion first in the city of Chicago and then in Mexico City. In the photo, we're "all cleaned up" for Sunday worship but these were not the only faces we saw during that transformative time. We saw faces with furrowed brows as we did the hard work of preparing to enter another culture. We saw faces bursting with laughter as youth totally enjoyed each other's company. We saw faces crumpled with tears at the injustices we witnessed. We saw faces absorbed in prayer. We saw faces totally wired from the intense games of ultimate frisbee. And on and on...

It was an honor and a privilege to make this strenuous and incredible journey with 18 youth, 5 seminary mentors, Heather Wallace (program director) and other faithful adults (those who accompanied, trained, taught). We were blessed to be hosted in Mexico by the Lutheran Center in Mexico City. During the whole three weeks, we talked about God's call for all the baptized.

Do you know a youth who will be a sophomore in high school this fall? Please pass on word about this incredible program for vocational formation. Dates for next summer's program will be posted on the LSTC website this fall.

In gratitude and delight,
Pastor Joy