What a joy to be a part of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Shannon is a junior in high school. She attended the 2015 General Assembly and will return to the 2017 General Assembly this summer with a few members of our congregation. Shannon wrote this reflection in 2015. The entirety of her essay is here. If you would like to help Shannon and other members of our congregation participate in this summer’s General Assembly, send donations to the church marked “General Assembly.”
I didn’t realize what I had agreed to until the day before I was leaving to go to Columbus, Ohio… I would be heading into the unknown in a few hours with strangers that I would have to interact with for the next six days. Great. I met all the people that I would soon become close friends with over the course of the week in a mere two minutes and before I knew what was happening, we started the drive that was supposed to take eight hours. Instead, thanks to lots of traffic delays, I had twelve hours of bonding time with these strange new people. As we drove, I was telling myself that I would survive. I didn’t know there would be hundreds of people surrounding me in a room bigger than my house. I stood, petrified, as I took in the new information. I had no idea how I was going to get my quiet, uncomfortable self through this week of speaking and interacting with all these new people.
My worries were overwhelming me… until worship started. It was the calming of the storm. I listened to the beautiful voices of the singers, joined in the poetic prayers, and engulfed myself in the message. I loved the theme, Soar. It seemed perfect for the situations that were surrounding us and the guest speakers used that theme and created masterpieces that changed my ways of thinking. I was sad when they ended and I knew that I had to go back to interacting with all the strangers. Then, another savior. I started seeing familiar faces from camp and I saw counselors that I had not seen in years. Everything came together and my worries drifted away.
After that, the week seemed to go by way too fast. I remember the workshop of tears. We had to tell our stories of hardship and expose ourselves to that issue, then realize that everything will be okay. That was the workshop that brought us all together. That was the workshop that gave us the motivation to soar like eagles. “Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God.” That is the scripture that stuck out to me. It’s from Isaiah 40:1 and it made me look back. I looked back at all the times that I had been comforted and how many times I had comforted others. There was a gap between the two that I hope to fill in the coming years. I wanted to be comforted more than I wanted to comfort others. I found that when you take the time to comfort others and help in ways that are uncomfortable for you, the reward is great….
I didn’t want the amazing week of God and friends to end.
Again, if you would like to help Shannon and other members of our congregation participate in this summer’s General Assembly, send donations to the church marked “General Assembly.”