LCMS Ohio District Jr. High Youth Gathering
The weekend of March 8-10 3 of our youth and 2 adult chaperones attended the Ohio District Jr. High Youth Gathering in Columbus OH. The weekend was filled with breakout sessions, games, Bible Studies, crafts, guest speakers, LOTS of singing, and a dance. The two guest Pastors were Pastor Derrick Hurst out of Columbus OH, and Pastor Jeffrey Meinz out of Colorado Springs, CO. The theme was Strength Training and revolved around the Bible verse “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13. In talking with our youth after the gathering, they felt the best part of the gathering were the speakers, games, and the music. Pastor Jeffrey did a great job about bringing kids out of the audience to participate in his telling of the story. His teaching style, which included comedy and life examples that then translated into a Bible story/lesson, spoke volumes to our youth as well as adults. I will never forget his story of Jesus healing the man with leprosy. The man with leprosy came into the crowd, where he was not allowed. He went against everyone because he knew if he could just see Jesus, Jesus could heal him. To illustrate this Jeffrey took a youth and turned him into a human banana split to show how gross and disgusting this man with leprosy was. Pastor Jeffrey then took the boy and embraced him, demonstrating what our heavenly father does for us. This man with leprosy was gross and in public, a place he was not supposed to be, but Jesus healed him. We are full of sin, and not worthy of God’s love, but he embraces us and calls us his own.
Another highlight of the weekend was singing along with Peder Eide to his upbeat and crazy songs. He does a great job of getting the kids involved. This is the second gathering I have been to in which he has been the performer. Both times he did a great job getting all of the kids hugging each other, dancing with each other, and interacting with people they did not even know.
The last highlight was getting to watch one of our Sr. High Youth assist in leading the conference. Every year we have attended we have had one of our youth on the leadership team. It is pretty cool to watch a child you have seen grow up, get in front of all of these people and lead and participate in sharing the love of Christ. This year the youth was Katelyn Aragon. She has been on the YMT team for two years, and has been talking to her younger brother about possibly being on the team next year. Our younger youth really enjoyed the YMT leaders and a few of them asked how old they have to be to do that.
All in all, it was a great weekend!