On Monday night, I returned from attending my first ELCA YMNET Extravaganza. My friend Sarah has been trying to get me to attend an E for quite awhile now. I don't know why but I often would drag my feet and come up with some excuse for why I couldn't or wouldn't be attending the E (as it is affectionately known in the Network.) But this year I gave in...and I am so glad that I did.
The ELCA YMNET exists to strengthen and empower adult youth ministry leaders in service to Christ as part of God's mission. And what a gift the network is...a place to gather with others who understand the call to children, youth, and family ministry and know its joys and struggles. I was blessed to gather with friends and colleagues from many different places in my life. I was blessed to meet new friends who loved and accepted me for who God created me to be! I was blessed to spend some time exploring the city and recharging my batteries.
The E hosts many wonderful workshops throughout the event to help us grow and learn new practices for working with children, youth and families. For me, there were so many wonderful workshops that I wanted to attend but I couldn't get to them all. There also was large group gatherings where we worshipped together. The comedian was awesome.
I also love that on the last day...there was a time for healing prayers and blessings. It was an incredibly humbling experience for me to bless friends and colleagues. I am glad that I offered up myself to pray because God sure works in amazing ways. I was on the complete opposite side of the room from where we were sitting but yet somehow I ended up blessing dear friends in my life.
There is so much more I could say about how wonderful the E is! I hope that you are able to join us in 2015 in Detroit. I wont be dragging my feet anymore...and will definitely be in Detroit. And thank you Sarah for encouraging me to attend the E. I just should have listened much sooner than I did!