This year our middle and high schoolers, along with their adult leaders, are returning to Santa Cruz and San Diego respectively. We'll be working with many of the same organizations that we partnered with last year. We'll be taking in some of the same sights that we did last year.
But really, though, why should there even be a sequel? Why should we go back? A golden rule of screenwriting is that the original has to be good enough to demand a sequel. Last year, when people trying to find a way off the streets taught and managed our team in a farming experience, we got to know "homeless people" in an entirely different way. What happens when we return and aren't surprised by being taught and encouraged by someone who has experienced a much harder life than any of us?
And did you see the look on the faces of the children at the Boys and Girls Club when we showed up with over 30 extra-large local pizzas and challenged them to a game of dodgeball? 10 vs 120? They ate as much as they wanted and got to take some home. I also saw the look that said, "That was a fun party but will never happen again." But what if?
The cast of characters in San Diego was out of our collective comfort zones. We had to adjust to others who have different perspectives on the Christian faith. Most were more conservative than we. But this year we know that cast of characters will be entirely different. What happens when you throw Presbyterian from Marin together with Lutherans from Seattle, a Korean Presbyterian church from Sunnyvale, and a charismatic Filipino church from LA? We will live together, worship together, play together, and serve the community together. But what will that look like?
It’s all like the sequel to a really good movie. You know many of the main characters now, their personalities, their stories, but you're not sure what twists and turns are waiting around the corner. Last year we saw the Main Character move amongst us, that being the Spirit. How will the Spirit move this time around with a new story and new plot? Tune in and find out.
Jeff Shankle, Youth Director