This post was contributed by Youth Director Cindy Curtis and can also be found in the "Focus on Youth" section of this month's newsletter.
I love the coast! As one who grew up near the water, the Lowcountry rivers, salt marshes and beaches are so much a part of who I am. I cannot imagine living anywhere else. I did not realize the wonderful experience I was in for at Epworth by the Sea for our Confirmation retreat. I enjoyed the location so much I felt a little guilty that it was part of my job. To admit that I learned as much as the confirmands was also a huge blessing to me.
What an incredible retreat!
One of the many teaching events planned for us was the participation in Holy Clubs. I liked the name, but had no idea what we were in for. John Wesley originated the concept while he was in college as a way to not only keep himself accountable, but to participate with others so that each person was given support, strength and a place to discuss their faith struggles. He formulated 22 questions for personal reflection, and the group discussed them. For example, am I proud? Do I grumble or complain constantly? Am I a slave to dress, friends, work or habits? Do I disobey God in anything? (I encourage you to look up all 22) We met as a group both evenings and had our Holy Club time.
Read more about John Wesley's 22 Questions for Personal Reflection at HopeFaithPrayer.com.
The questions led to more questions as we honestly discussed our struggles. The reflections opened our eyes and hearts to God in new and deeper ways. All of the twelve females were in one cabin with one toilet and one shower. The respect for each other, the patience for waiting your turn and taking a very fast shower, allowed us to live the grace that we were learning about. We sang, we worshiped, we attended workshops, we ate great food, we toured the Village at St. Simons, and we had a scavenger hunt in the dark all around the campus that ended at a camp fire. Our group was a model for others by their focus, manners and attention to the speakers and leaders.
As we finish up our confirmation lessons by adding to the information we received at our
retreat, the young people will be well prepared as they contemplate the decision to join the church on April 30. Many thanks to this church, the parents, and the Faith Friends (mentors) for helping to raise responsible faithful youth.