|Enjoying lunch with staff & youth|
Our Wednesday programs had become so popular this spring that we reached a crisis of capacity. We found that in the midst our “success”, the culture and vision of our ministry had begun to slip into crowd control. As our team gathered to pray and discern how Jesus wanted us to shape the coming school year we asked… Do we cancel it? Do we tweak it? Jesus’ answer to us was “crucify it.” As you might imagine, these were terrifying words to hear. As we prayed through those words, we began to see that Jesus was asking us to let our programs die so that he could resurrect them.
So what’s going to change? Well everything and nothing. We’re starting programs later this year (mid- October) because we’re rearranging our space to allow more conversations to happen. We’re adjusting our bus rides to make it less complicated, and scaling down some activities to make more time and space for relationships with students. However, the biggest changes found their inspiration in a place you wouldn’t necessarily expect: Celtic monasteries.
While other traditions built monasteries as places of withdrawal from the world, St. Patrick built them to engage the local community. Life in a monastery often resembled everyday normal Celtic life; however, the ethic they brought to these tasks had a higher purpose—to represent the kingdom of God. The walls around the monastery were not designed to keep people out, but rather to signify that life operates differently here.
This is our inspiration: that while our hanger might look like a youth drop-in centre, in reality we do things differently around here. This is a home for vulnerable youth who are part of the family God and who are learning to understand what that means.
PS. Yay!!!! I’ve finished the Arrow Leadership
Program!!! I got my diploma and everything!!!
- Derian Julihn
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