And now for something completely different... I am headed to my first ever National Youth Gathering, Jesus, Justice, Jazz. I am not entirely sure what to expect. I know a great deal of the gathering will be upbeat, and effusive. I have a colleague who balks at these gatherings because they seem to point youth away from the tradition of the Church, and toward some sort of "New and Improved" Church.... or some such thing. I think with 36000 people present, we will have all sorts.
What brings me the most stress is not being genuine in who I am... I am not the most effusive. I might even wear my collar one day... but when others question why I am not acting a certain way, or say comments like "You need to loosen up!" or whatever... that brings me stress. I will need to just remain rooted in my own identity and not get flustered when others want to make me act some other way.
I am looking forward to this trip and I am excited to be here with the youth of my congregation.... and maybe even see some old friends, and make some new ones!