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.