The LYO, your high school group, had a great retreat on the Oregon Coast. We enjoyed a gorgeous home for our stay, beautiful weather, yummy and plentiful food, some fun excursions, plenty of laughter, and (most importantly) learning and growing in our faith.

Our theme this year was: Whatever. And before you jump to any conclusions about teens and the word “whatever” let me explain. Philippians 4:8-9 says: Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable – if anything is worthy of praise – think on these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace be with you.

We studied showing mercy, our giftedness, and forgiveness through three of Jesus’ parables. We read ‘children’s books that fit with the topics and watched Hollywood films that helped bring them to life. It was good to learn and discuss together in such a lovely setting.

One of the LYO retreat traditions we have maintained for many years is to do Affirmations. Each person has a chance to affirm their baptism – their “child of God” preciousness. Then all the rest present heap words of praise, thanksgiving and encouragement upon that person while we toast (with sparkling cider!) their specialness. We then bless them into their life and their ministry. It is a special time and I’m privileged to be a part of those moments.

Thank you for your incredible support of our youth. I truly feel these retreats are the foundation for them to continue in lives of faith. Blessings!

P.s. If you might feel called to this ministry. LYO is seeking a male counselor. Talk to Heidi if this intrigues you.