On May 3-5, 2019 a number of our youth went to Camp Bethel for diocesan Spring Youth Event (SYE), a diocesan weekend retreat where fifth through eighth graders can explore their faith and God’s love for us with other Episcopalians from all over southwestern Virginia. The event is led by the Youth Mission Team, including a number of St. John’s high school youth. This year’s theme was True Colors, encouraging participants to show who they truly are knowing that God’s love encourages us to embrace those true colors that make us unique. —Tray Light
Nora Terrill: Spring Youth Event is always an event I look forward to. It is our last youth event of the program year and there are always a lot of new YMT and participants at this event.
My favorite memory from SYE this year was the talent show. This was our second year doing a talent show and dance party after worship. After the talent show we all ran onstage and gathered in a circle and sang “Country Roads” and “Don’t Stop Believin’” at the top of our lungs. This circle quickly turned into a full-on dance party. We were so loud that all of Camp Bethel could hear us!
Jackson Wills: My favorite memory from SYE was the labyrinth worship. It was very peaceful and I enjoyed reading and reflecting on all of the positive messages from the YMT, such as “Don’t be discouraged.” The prayer afterward by our clergy leader was also very moving.
The dark and candlelit room added to the mood of the labyrinth perfectly. Out of all of the worships I have attended, this one was by far my favorite and I would love to see it used again. The other kids at the worship were great, everybody felt at peace as well and we were very calm and tranquil. The twists and turns of the labyrinth represented the doubts that we can have about our true colors, and the YMT messages reminded us that our true colors are beautiful. Reaching the center of the labyrinth, it felt as if the long journey was complete and that everyone else also knew that their true colors were beautiful as well. The labyrinth worship was my favorite SYE experience.
Published in the July 2019 issue of The Record