Rev. Lindsey Wade is the Transitional Pastor of Montevallo Presbyterian Church Today was our first full day getting to experience everything Triennium has to offer. We started the day by meeting with our delegation (which consists of all four of us!) and discussing yesterday’s worship and today’s Scripture. Mary and Henry then went off to meet new friends in their Small Groups while Barrett and I learned about intergenerational ministry with a large group of adults. After lunch, we traveled back across campus to worship God once again with the largest group of Presbyterians I’ve ever seen. Today, Rev. Sandra Van Opstal was our preacher and she focused on the story of Zacchaeus, reminding us that Jesus seeks us and sees who we truly are even when the rest of the world writes us off as worthless or bad or insignificant. Rev. Van Opstal pointed out how Zacchaeus went above and beyond what was required of him when Jesus changed his life and we too are called to go out and see others how God sees them now that we know Jesus is seeking us out. The rest of the day I was truly able to witness the young people around me seeking to help others. Whether they were giving an offering to help rebuild a camp in Puerto Rico, remembering their baptisms in worship, learning about creation care or intentional dialogue in interest groups, trading pins with people from New York and Detroit, making first aid kits for people living in the streets in North Carolina or dancing with new friends I saw them giving their hearts God. Today, I was given a glimpse of how God sees these young people and it is a truly beautiful sight.
We sadly departed from Louisville,Kentucky and the church with air conditioning at 8am. Before I knew it, we were passing a sign that said “Welcome to Indiana.” I put in my headphones and watched a few episodes of Parks and Recreation to celebrate. We ate lunch in a Chick-fil-a in West Lafayette where we saw several people from Western North Carolina that were also going to Triennium. Then it was time to register. We found Wiley Hall and took our luggage upstairs where we were given the rules of the dorm and our room keys. I unpacked and headed downstairs. It was raining pretty hard but we were able to get a golf cart ride to Memorial Mall where we picked up our T-Shirts. Then we went to an exhibit hall where we saw Tim from RHINO, our guide during the New Orleans mission trip last August. After that we ate dinner and went our separate ways. Henry and I walked through the rain for about 15 minutes in search of Memorial Mall. We finally found it and went to our small group leaders. We traded pins (each group, or delegation, brings pins that represent the various places they come from), made instruments, and met people from across the country. Then we embarked on our biggest journey. Finding a Starbucks. It was a very sad moment because the two that we went to were closed. Next we went to the Music Hall for worship. We met up with Lindsey and Barrett there. It was a truly amazing experience. I loved getting to hear people talk about how the Presbyterian Church has changed their lives and helped them grow in their faith. Our pastor, Sera Chung, encouraged us to view our lives as episodes that are always changing us and shaping who we are and who we become. I went to bed excited for the next day and the next adventure at Triennium.
Today I saw a lot of interesting things like a squirrel diving in a trash can to get a cookie
Today I saw a lot of interesting things like a squirrel diving in a trash can to get a cookie, interesting rock formations in Mammoth Cave, and even the (symbolic) cabin where Abe Lincoln grew up. However, most importantly I saw God through the line of people waiting to get to the other side of Mammoth Cave. It reminded me of the communion line in church. Except for the occasional “Hey, watch out!” or “It’s slippery there!” There is the one “I wish there was an elevator here.” It was a fairly calm journey into Mammoth Cave, and even heard from one tourist that the light she saw and the end of the tour made her “almost cry.” It was the same relief one would feel when their hard work finally paid off. I can definitely say it was 99% worth it with one percent being my back hurting after having to hunker down under the low ceilings. Thank you to Presbytery of Sheppards & Lapsley and our church for supporting us in this journey. Tomorrow we arrive at Purdue University to begin Presbyterian Youth Triennium 2019!
Making our way to Triennium, July 14: Day 1 Being around our youth, Mary and Henry, is always a unique and fascinating experience. They are both incredibly creative people and you see that personality revealed through what they notice. Sitting at a Nashville stoplight with a donut shop off to the left might elicit a “Can we get a sticky bun?” from most teenagers, but not these two. Instead, after 7-8 seconds of silence Lindsey and I hear a solid minute long commentary on the donut shop signage. From the fonts utilized to the color scheme and lighting. That is what I love about them. They see the world in a different way. They long for the aesthetically pleasing view of the world. I see a lot of Christ through them. I see the opportunity to see the world differently. I see the opportunity to use our creativity to create with God a world not yet seen. Later today we head to the wondrous creation of Mammoth Cave. I suspect I will see the domes and drip stones a little differently because our youth will be challenging us to see them a little differently. Thanks be to God...