Youth and families,
As you know, Church Street events as well as the activities of many schools and businesses have come to a screeching halt in response to the spread of the coronavirus. There are so many aspects of this that are challenging, and I imagine that you, like I, might be battling with fear, frustration, and fatigue. (I didn’t mean for that alliteration to happen, but sometimes life is just works out that way.)
I want to share with you our preliminary plans and hopes for moving forward. While our opportunities to meet together as a group in the coming days are uncertain, I am hopeful for some creative and unconventional ways for us to participate with one another as the body of Christ. Below are some things you can look forward to from us:
- Digital NightLife – I am currently researching the best ways for this to happen. We might use some software such as Zoom or Google Classroom to create a remote space to be together. More to come!
- Regular Blog Posts – We will have more content than usual going out in this space to provide our students & their families with resources during these trying times. And if you are a student who would like to contribute to these posts, please let me know!
- Resources – I will be working to share links and digital downloads of various resources for our families to use at home. These could include links to videos, song titles, downloadable art prints, prayers, scripture reading, or liturgy. The options are endless!
- Service Opportunities – I am working to compile a list of local organizations who need specific support during this time. There will be a variety of options so that you can choose an action that is most fitting for your family.
A note to graduating seniors:
I am so sorry that this has uprooted many of your plans and hopes for the end of your high school career. We don’t know what is coming down the pike, but I do know how valuable our senior traditions are each year. While I can’t provide you with specific dates or action plans at this time, please know that I am working diligently to ensure you get to experience your rights of passage in some way, shape, or form. Also, you are so loved. None of us are going to let this time of your lives pass by without adequate celebration. Great – now I have tears in my eyes thinking about you. I am sure no one is shocked. Suffice to say, I am going to do everything I can to make this special and meaningful for you.
Words for Reflection
As we close, I want to provide you with some Scripture, a quote, and a prayer. If these are at all helpful, please use them. Start a group text with some friends or with your NightLife small group. Talk about them around the dinner table. Use them to do your own quiet time. Take these words to heart and know that you are never alone.
In John chapter 10, Jesus is talking to the Pharisees after performing a miracle. During this talk, He spends time using farming metaphors and shares one of His “I Am” sayings – I am the Good Shepherd. In verse 10, Jesus says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” We have the offering of abundant life in Christ. And while these days might make you feel anxious or upset, my hope is that we cling to the Promise that Jesus is with us. I am working hard to strike a balance between appropriate precautions and unnecessary fear, and trusting in Jesus is making all the difference.
I have shared the following quote in several places over the past few days, but these are words that are giving me such comfort and encouragement.
“I am one in whom Christ dwells and delights. I live in the strong and unshakeable kingdom of God. The kingdom is not in trouble and neither am I.”
– James Bryan Smith
Prayer for Uncertainty
Holy God, we believe that You are in our midst even when your hearts are troubled and our minds race with anxious thoughts. Calm our fears and remind us that You are our Refuge and Strength. We ask You to be a source of Light and Peace. Shine in the darkness. Send your Spirit to offer Hope. Teach us how to trust in You.
Friends, I want to be accessible to you during these hards days. Please let me know if there is anything I can do during this season to provide support to you. And if you have anything you think the group might like to hear about, just let me know!
All my love,