Friday, July 21, 2006

Hot time in Colorado Springs

I want to capture the high points of The Feast from my point of view which is a bit skewed for several reasons. First, I was on the planning committee, so my view in many ways is effected by the months of preparation and the fact that as it started up I was still in work mode. Second, I attended this conference without youth, something I hope never to do again. And third, and probably most significant, I had to leave early so I only saw the pre-conference happenings and the first day, leaving at noon on the second day.

For those who are reading this who may not be familiar with Higher Things, it is unlike any other "youth ministry" organization that I have ever seen. (I place youth ministry in quotation marks, because I believe that it is generally seen as too distinct from the rest of the life of the congregation.) The focus is not on entertainment, although we do have fun. The conferences mix serious catechesis, reverent liturgical worship, and just plain fun. Each of these is kept distinct; you won't see anyone tossing beach balls at a Higher Things worship service.

If there is any doubt that this is something that teens want, the overflowing conference registration, the long waiting list, and the split into two conference sites for next summer should dispel any doubts.

As I write this the final in-depth sectionals are winding up. In two hours everyone will gather for the final Divine Service. If you have never had the privilege of singing wonderful hymns in the company of 1200+ Lutherans--mostly youth--you are really missing out. They will sing the conference hymn, Christ Jesus Lay in Death's Strong Bands, one final time. They will share in the feast of Holy Communion.

Then they will return home, catechized, and--we hope--refreshed by The Feast.

And in this mountain
The Lord of hosts will make for all people
A feast of choice pieces,
A feast of wines on the lees,
Of fat things full of marrow,
Of well-refined wines on the lees.
Isaiah 25:6

Oh, by the way, it does get that hot in Colorado Springs in July!


Sir Darth Merlin Bilbollum Finn said...

Rumor has it that it doesn't get warm or rain often in CO Springs, but after three weeks of heat *and* rain I wouldn't believe that if my family didn't go to CO on vacation every year or two.

Rebecca said...

I must confess...I am seething with jealousy! Oh that we had arrived at our call early enough to take the youth to The Feast...CO Springs is only five hours away, and next year's conference is awfully far to go.