Dear Grace youth and Families,
PAST: Thank you all for such a wonderful retreat this past weekend. We have an amazing group!! From the youngest to the oldest they are fun, respectful, insightful, inclusive and curious. I loved seeing how the group formed and how eager everyone was to include new friends. We had some really thoughtful discussions around criminal justice, racial justice, social justice and economic justice. Our guest leader, Charisse Spenser was an inspiration to us all. She led us to a clear understanding that justice starts within ourselves and works outward. (she also leads a mean game of musical chairs!)
Many, many thanks to our drivers and chaperones (Dinah, Jim & Suzanne). Chaperones Jim and Suzanne worked tirelessly and were so fun to have with us. Thank you both!
I am attaching a few pictures below from the weekend.
PRESENT: Did I hear that Jack is directing the Christmas Pageant this Sunday?! Hooray! We have all seen his skill and compassionate leadership at work in South Dakota. Wonderful! I'm guessing other's of you are helping out as well and I know it will be amazing. I am so sad to miss it :( Our family leaves for holiday travels on Saturday, but I wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. I'll be thinking of you Sunday and wishing so much I was with you.
Retreat #2 - Richmond
"How to Build a Just Community"
Jan. 14-15, 2017
We have an amazing weekend planned for our second retreat. We will leave Saturday morning on the 14th (probably about 9AM from Janet's house) and return Sunday afternoon.
Here is the plan:
We are staying at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in downtown Richmond
(http://www.stpaulsrva.org/). This is Jack B.'s home church - Thanks Jack!
day long workshop with the Richmond peace Education Center on "How Can we Build a Just Community? (http://www.rpec.org/)
Evening discussion with Andy, Tim and Binx on criminal justice. We are asking everyone to read Bryan Stevenson's book, Just Mercy before the weekend. We have purchased books for everyone and Andy will bring them to church on Sunday. You can pick them up Sunday - or another day at church. We will watch Bryan Stevenson's TED talk and have a discussion in the evening.
We will attend the 9AM service at St. Paul's
10:30 we will have a 90 min. workshop on Justice and the arts with "ART180" - an incredible organization in Richmond (http://www.art180.org/)
Then we will head home.
What will I need:
money for dinner and breakfast. Sleeping bag - and overnight bag of clothes.
FUTURE (part II):
We have our third retreat scheduled for Feb. 10-12 in Washington, DC. I'm having a few second thoughts about another big trip (expenses and energy with school and everything). I am pondering having our third retreat be something at home - perhaps an interfaith event for other youth from the synagogue, the mosque and a few other churches in town. Hmmm....what do you think? I would love your feedback on this. Our conversation this past weekend focused bridging gaps and justice work through building relationships. Maybe we should do some of this in own own hometown.
FUTURE (part III):
Our summer service trip is coming along. The group this weekend narrowed their choices down to home repair and construction in Kentucky or more urban service work on homelessness & food insecurity in DC. I have a few options but the key issue right now is DATES.
We have three options:
Kentucky: Friday, June 9th - Wed. June 14th (we would leave midday after schools get out)
DC: June 12-16
Please let me know if one or both of these dates will work for you.
Ok, that is a lot for now. Please don't feel overwhelmed - I will be sending this all again in smaller chunks but I just wanted to share it all with you now since I am headed out of town for the holiday.
I love this group of teenagers and feel so grateful to be able to explore such important issues of faith and life with them.
Warm wishes for the joy of Christmas and peace in the new year.
Sunday - Dec. 4th
"World Religions & Teachings on Justice"
Grace Church, Red Hill
10:30 - 12:45AM
On the Second Sunday of Advent we will gather to explore the meaning of Justice in six of the world's great religious traditions. The morning will include presentations from scholars and practitioners, time for small group discussion and morning prayer. Our hope is to learn together and grow in our commitment to working for a just society. Please join us for this special Advent gathering! Our learning, sharing and prayers will form our morning worship. Panelists include: Sharkar Nair on Islam and Hinduism, Karen Chapman on Sikhism, Martien Halvorson-Taylor on Judaism, Paul Jones on Christianity, and Ann Marie Smith on Buddhism. All are welcome!
For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
"Friendship, Wilderness & JUSTICE!"
Sat. Dec. 10 - Sun. Dec. 11
James River State Park Lodge
We will depart late morning and return around noon on Sunday. We will stay overnight in one of the lodges, hike, cook dinner, have a fire, and talk together. We will do lots of activities to get to know one another, outdoor exploration and we will begin to look at how different traditions define justice and ask us to work toward Justice. We will also share some stories of "injustice" and work together to create our own worship service on Sunday morning. We might also get a chance to visit Yogaville's Lotus Temple which provides a wonderful look at the worlds great religions. We will depart at 10AM Sat. and return by noon Sunday.
***at this first retreat - the group will make some decisions about their summer service/learning trip***
OTHER RETREAT DATES:
Jan. 14-15 (one night - Sat.)
Feb. 11-12 (one night - Sat.)
This Sunday we have our first big event/fundraiser at Church.
Our Advent Workshop should be loads of fun and also a great fundraiser.
11:30 following worship - this Sunday - Nov. 29th
HERE IS WHAT WE NEED FROM YOU:
1. Come and help make wreaths, sell candles, help children
2. Please bring a garbage bag full of cut evergreens from home - boxwood, hemlock, holly
3. please bring some kind of baked good or fruit or bagels for the brunch
4. if you have any clippers handy - we will use them to clip the greens
The church has kindly offered to pay for the wreath materials so all donations will go to the the service trip to South Dakota.
Could you please reply to the email and let me know if you can be there and what you will be able to bring.
Here is what we already have:
-Drinks, baked goods, greens
-Baked goods, greens, clippers, music, devotionals, etc.
Grace Youth Service Community - News
Candles - support service trip and women's cooperative
In the coming weeks, Grace Youth will be selling candles from Thistle Farms to support our service trip to South Dakota in June 2016 and also support the important work of Thistle Farms women's cooperative. Each candle is $20.00. It is a wonderful gift for family and friends during the holidays. We will be selling candles following church on Nov. 15, 22, and 29.
Advent Wreath Making Workshop - Nov. 29th following worship
Grace Youth are hosting an advent wreath making workshop after church on Sunday, November 29th. We will have food to share, greens and candles and wreaths, and plenty of expert wreath makers to show us the way! Please bring your whole family and make an advent wreath for your home and maybe one for a neighbor or friend or shut-in. We will also have advent booklets and readings for the weeks of Advent. Candles will also be on sale to support the youth service trip. We are asking for a $30. donation for each wreath, but we invite everyone to come an make a wreath for free if you would like.
Youth Retreat - Sat. Dec. 5 - Sun. Dec. 6th
Grace Youth will head to Douthat State park for an Advent retreat on Dec. 5-6. The theme of our retreat is Spiritual Journeys. We will look at the spiritual journey of the Lakota people and we will draw maps of our own spiritual journey. We will hike and play outside, cook together, build a fire, and talk about our pilgrimage to South Dakota. We will depart at 12:00 noon from the Village School and we will return around noon on Sunday.
Please contact Janet Legro with any questions email@example.com