Triennium Thoughts & Prayers

Presbyterian Youth Triennium is a gathering for high school age youth from the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Cumberland Presbyterian Church that occurs every three years.  Research tells me that it began when I would have been of age (probably the summer that I was confirmed), but I knew nothing about it and my youth experience is a whole other story...

My son was confirmed last year and this year is a triennium year.  He is the only one of his confirmation group that is going, along with  our incredible (and I do mean INCREDIBLE) Christian Education Facilitator.  She has been generous enough to volunteer to pick up our son and take him to Camp Johnsonburg where a group of teens from the NJ area will be meeting for the day (getting to know each other and hopefully having some fun) before they get on a bus that evening and head for Purdue University where the event is held.  They will spend 5 days on campus before heading back to NJ (arrival time is after midnight) and finally home.  (Because they are getting back so late, my son and some of the others will be spending the night at camp before heading home.)

I am a Presbyterian as is my son.  I'm not here to push my beliefs down anyone's throat (though I am more than happy to share my thoughts should anyone care to ask).  I will, however, offer this prayer to all those who will be converging on the University to participate in the event.  And if you feel so moved to read, pray or just send your good thoughts...

As these youth gather together from far and wide, watch over them.  Bless them as they travel be it via car, train, bus, plane or any mode of transportation.  Bring them safely to Purdue University.

As they meet; let them be open to new experiences and people.  Let them listen with open minds and hearts.  Let them know that they ARE the future.  That your word is what they might bring forth in their words and actions.  

Especially let them learn and remember Luke 10:25-37:

10:25 Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he said, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

10:26 He said to him, "What is written in the law? What do you read there?"

10:27 He answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself."

10:28 And he said to him, "You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live."

10:29 But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"

10:30 Jesus replied, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead.

10:31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.

10:32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.

10:33 But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity.

10:34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

10:35 The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, 'Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.'

10:36 Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?"

10:37 He said, "The one who showed him mercy." Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."

Guide them to love and respect one another as the above passage illustrates.

Help them to support one other.  Encourage them to forge new friendships.  Try new things.  Explore new ways of thinking.

When the Triennium is over, let them return home safely.  Let them share with all who are willing to listen about their adventures.  Let those who hear have their hearts be filled with the joy of their stories.  And together, let us all work to make this world the place that is filled with Samaritans.




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