“A mature Christian sees Christ in everything and everyone else. That is a definition that will never fail you, always demand more of you, and give you no reasons to fight, exclude, or reject anyone.”
― Richard Rohr, The Universal Christ: How a Forgotten Reality Can Change Everything We See, Hope For and Believe
This past week 25 youth and 6 adults spent time in Texas City and Galveston learning about creation care and climate justice. We spent time cleaning the beach and sand dunes. Our youth cut up plastic bags to make balls of “plarn” for weaving mats to give to the homeless. Youth and adults waded into the marshy waters to plant sea grass in order to help restore the coastline. After a busy morning of packing produce and kids lunches at the Galveston County Food Bank, youth planted over 100 native grasses at Galveston Island State Park to help restore the eco-system and capture carbon from the atmosphere.
But that’s not all they did! In the mornings and evenings youth spent time doing meditative yoga, writing to their representatives, discussing where they saw the divine in things during the day, preparing and serving meals to one another, washing dishes, playing games, singing loudly to fun music, painting each other’s nails, engaging local kids at a neighborhood park, and just generally getting to know one another better.
While our mission trip was themed around eco-justice, the real theme was and always is present, seeing the Christ in one another and in all that surrounds us. The youth of this church certainly do that, and they constantly work to create an inclusive and welcoming space for all of their peers. One night when our youth were asked to share something that surprised them so far on the trip, someone shared that they were “surprised how little they’ve had to fight for respect and recognition” on the trip.
So, I hope you join us, in person or online, this Sunday to hear from our youth about the work they did on this mission trip. But beyond hearing about the work they did, I hope you also open your hearts and minds to live like them, and ‘see Christ in others, demand more of yourself, and have no reason to fight, exclude, or reject anyone.’
With an open heart and mind,
Director of Youth Ministries