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Friends, Faith, & Fall Colors »
With the busyness of another successful Summer Camp season rapidly fading behind us throughout the month of August, the Rocky Mountain Conference Youth Department embarked on a fall season of ministry bursting with activity.
Every year as the leaves begin to change, we kick off our fall schedule with the release of the upcoming year’s youth department theme. This year, our theme is, "I Am," to be accompanied by the song of the same name by the band Crowder. We are excited about this new theme as it offers a real opportunity to foster relationships that meet the youth where each young person is in his or her own journey.
For example, claiming "I am the church, I am a disciple of Jesus, I am a friend of man, etc." Or expressing a hurt or need such as "I am struggling with addiction, I am in need of a savior, I am hurting because of "x" in my life." We will bridge our human "I am's" with the greatest I AM of all--Jesus Christ. "Jesus said to them, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM,'"(John 8:58). We are very excited to see the blessings that have already occurred and will continue to unfold at our events this coming year.
To kick off September, Steve Hamilton, RMC youth director, organized and lead a camping trip over Labor Day weekend in Montrose that was complete with fellowship, worship, Jeeping, 14er climbing, sweet corn roasting and hot spring soaking. Families from Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico converged to camp at a beautiful property that was generously opened by members of the Montrose church.
Every morning the group was blessed with corporate worship before breaking up to head into Ouray and Telluride for the day's activities. A group Jeep trip on Black Bear pass lead to ample white-knuckling and many cases of passenger-breaking syndrome as eight vehicles navigated the trail’s tight switchbacks down a 1000-foot cliff into Telluride. “Amazing Grace” has naught been sung with more gusto and enthusiasm than when each of the eight vehicles successfully returned to the safety of the paved streets that mark normal, modern civilization. [Author’s note: My tone in this section of the article reflects my own distaste for Jeeping which may have been accentuated by several near panic attacks on Black Bear Pass. This tone may not accurately reflect the feelings of all participants on the Black Bear Pass excursion].
Immediately following the weekend in Montrose, the youth leaders headed to Glacier View Ranch for Pathfinder Leadership Weekend. Headlined by inspirational messages from Esequias Perea, Leadership Weekend 2017 saw over 200 youth leaders from throughout the conference join together in a time of training, encouragement, affirmation, organization and planning for a new year.
Excitement is high in the youth department as it was our largest Leadership Weekend in several years and followed up the attendance of more than 600 RMC Pathfinders and staff at the Mid-America Union Camporee. We are truly blessed by the active youth leaders in our churches and communities who make Pathfinder ministry a reality.
Later in September, after catching a breather from events by knocking out paperwork and planning in the office, the youth department hosted a mountain biking day trip with the Brighton School at Buffalo Creek, followed by a day of hiking, food, fellowship and worship at Campion with youth from Mile High Academy, Fort Collins and Fort Morgan. Both day trips saw relationships with Jesus strengthened as youth made connections with each other and their local youth leaders. Emphasis was placed on discovering who Jesus is through the beauty of nature. An artist reveals Himself through the work of His hands.
Youth and leaders alike took intentional time to reflect on God in nature. Just a few of the thoughts that manifested during those times follow:
"The majesty and grandeur of Jesus is revealed in the mountains. His soft and tender guidance shows itself as a mother deer guides her fawn to water at a babbling brook. His righteous anger is in the sharp crack
of a thunderbolt and His refreshing promises [are revealed] in a light rain that produces a wondrously bright rainbow."
In the midst of our busy schedule and daily grind, it is our prayer that every interaction we take in the youth department makes it easier for someone to know God. We are excited about the work that has been done and hope you enjoyed reading about it. But, we want you to participate as well! The next big event on our schedule is Teen Prayer Summit for high school age youth on January 19, 20 and 21. So, plan on attending this weekend of spiritual refreshment at Glacier View Ranch. Furthermore, stay connected with our smaller events and day-to-day updates by following RMC Youth and Young Adults on Facebook or give us a call at 303-282-3664to inquire about the upcoming schedule.
[Text and photos by Kiefer Dooley]