I hope this mail out finds you happy and grateful. We have a lot to be happy and thankful for around here. February was a great month for us. We had a handful of regularly scheduled events, a new event, a youth rally, and some new faces around here, so it was exciting.
We did all our normal kinds of events, of course. We hosted an area church leader event, I drove to Faith and worked with their young people for an evening, we did our “Let's Start Talking” training and premarital counseling, and had a little Super Bowl Party. We hosted our weekly Bible studies and more of our students are getting into our informal group study of “Mere Christianity,” so that all is going well.
On top of that though, we got invited to participate in BHSU's first ever “Wellness Fair.” The idea was to have a bunch of organizations get together and set up booths in the Student Union that promoted healthy living. We accepted the invitation and started building a booth to promote prayer and meditation. We wanted to have something that compared what our minds look like when we are fractured and busy verses prayerful and meditative.
Our Wellness Fair Booth 2017
Now, I'm not a terribly artsy person, but we have a couple of students that are, so I put them in charge of the project and they came through with flying colors. Here is a picture of our booth. It is two blackboards with mirrors glued to them. One side has sharp of glass everywhere and represents how shattered our minds get in our culture of constant sensory bombardment. The other side simply has one mirror on it and represents how we can see ourselves more clearly when we take the time to be prayerful and calm. I'm really happy with the way the booth turned out. Our girls did a great job on it.
So we hauled it down to the Student Union and set it up and started making contacts and spreading the good news of prayer. We didn't have a huge amount of interest in our booth, but we did meet some folks and build some bridges with the Counseling Center staff, so it was well worth the time.
One of the quirks of our particular ministry is the wide spectrum of beliefs present. This came up again at the Wellness Fair in a big way. At one point, I left our booth with some of our students and checked out the other booths for awhile. When I got back, I realized the two students who were running our Christian Student Organization booth were both atheists. They realized it too and we all had a good laugh. Whether or not they believe in God, they believe in what we are doing as a group, and that's not a bad place to start.
The biggest thing we did in February was our Northern Hills Church of Christ 3rd Annual Youth Rally. This year's theme was “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan and it was a lovely time. The first year we were flailing a bit trying to get all the organization right. The second year we fine-tuned it, but still had some kinks. This year it went off splendidly. We finally hit our stride.
Calvin Chapman Telling Us We Are God's Babies
Everyone was having a good time and learning about Jesus together. It was everything a good youth rally should be. Alan Hardison, one of our elders, even remarked, “You know, this wasn't just a youth rally; all the adults who came are having a good time and being encouraged by this too.”
And one of the best parts was how much of the area was involved. We had teens coming from a hundred miles in either direction and representing 7 different congregations. We even had one oddball group drive over from Iowa. Our speakers came from all over the northern hills. We had lessons from Calvin Chapman from Faith, Ernie Bishop from Gillette, Matt Kenaston from Sturgis, and Byran Lessly, Alan Hardison, and I from Spearfish. Jim Price from Rapid City and Thomas Pruett from Spearfish led singing.
It was beautiful to see all these folks from all these churches getting along and working together to put on a spiritually encouraging weekend for our young people. It reminded me of Psalm 133, which says:
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!”
- Psalm 133:1
Thanks for reading! You have a great day!