June 16-22, 2019
St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, O’Fallon
2018 was our 4th Annual SMYC, and the first time since its inception that we haven’t moved to a new location. Having found a home that affords us the blend of living, worship, class, and recreational space, we found ourselves pondering what this program might be for the years to come.
Up to this year, we had not developed a theme for our yearly gathering of Michaelites, in fact, I’d suggest that we weren’t actually looking for one. Rather, during our deliberations over courses and schedules and liturgies, a theme found us: “Called, Consecrated, Commissioned”.
We began with a class on Acts, a look at the life of the early church, the call to the first generation of Christians. Next, a practicum on what the church does as it prays and sings the liturgies of the church, entering into sacred time and space together. Naturally, the desired outworking of such close encounters with the holy is the multiplication of the same, and so we considered just what holiness looks like in the people, places, and things of the church. And finally, we took time to consider what the vocation of holiness might look like in the life of youth in today’s church, discussing the nuance of listening for what and where that call might take us as both laity and clergy.
On top of all this, of course, was our ever-present practice of praying the Offices and celebrating the Eucharist, while engaging in the ministries and leadership of the same. Youth led us in Morning Prayer and Compline. They carried out the ministries of lectors, intercessors, acolytes, and even Eucharistic ministers.
They served each other daily in obvious ways by cleaning and maintaining shared spaces, but they also ministered in the not so obvious: sitting with someone having a hard time, inviting someone to join in on a game, being Christ to one another even if we were just hanging out on the lawn.
We weren’t looking to change anything, and we weren’t even really looking for a theme. But what we believe we found was a place in the life of the diocese and the local church into which we could really sink our teeth. In this, we believe that we can be an intentional part of the process of raising up tomorrow’s leaders, today, not only for the good of the local congregation but for the life of the church on the whole.
And so, we will be doubling, or I guess tripling, down on this year’s appointed theme. In the course of the next 3 years we will flesh out each of the components of “Called, Consecrated, Commissioned” individually so that our core curriculum will continue to invite the youth of our diocese and beyond to actively engage with the call of God to each of them, the consecrating work of the Holy Spirit in their lives, and the commission of Christ to go forth and be holy people for the sake of the world.
For more information, check out the diocesan website or contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Most importantly, make plans to send your youth to join us June 16-22, 2019 as we journey with them and discern together just what it means to be Called by God.