At the end of this month thousands of UCC youth will gather in Florida to learn, to worship, to meet new people, to experience the UCC in a different way than what they are able to in their own churches. While this is an exciting endeavor, not just for the youth but for the adults that have the joy and privilege of accompanying the youth on such a trip, there is also a heavy weight as we count down the days to NYE2016.
Many of the youth across the country will be making their way to Florida via bus or plane. Some riding or flying for the first time. But with the excitement of a new journey on the horizon there is also the understanding that around the world, buses and planes have been and are being used as weapons against crowds.
Many of our youth will be heading to Disney World (where the National Youth Event is being hosted this year) for the first time in their lives. But with the excitement of a new adventure buy proscar from canada coming up there is also the knowledge that this place of wonder, in fact the whole state of Florida has been in the news for some horrific and deadly events.
Many of our youth will be experiencing the extravagant welcome that our denomination prides itself on. Some will be accepted for just exactly who they are for the first time in a church setting. But with the excitement of a new way of being in church in front of them there is also the awareness that the country is an increasingly inhospitable place.
So I ask that you would hold the 126 people from Iowa going to NYE in your prayers this week. Also, I ask that you hold the thousands of youth, chaperones, families, workers, speakers, and local pastors in Florida in your prayers this week so that we might have not just a physically safe trip; but an emotionally and spiritually safe experience at this national youth gathering.
Samantha Houser, Program Support/Adjunct Youth Ministry