We’ve covered many pressing issues and topics during our time at West Central Regional Youth Event — racism, illegal immigration, sexism, homophobia, global warming — but none more important than “are carbonated beverages called soda or pop?
I’m sure it comes as no surprise to you that this conversation should arise among people living in different areas of the United States. For many of our Iowa youth, the name “soda” was largely foreign. Good-natured teasing ensued over the “correct” term to use. This relatively benign example is a great way that young people are expanded by learning to talk and listen to new and different people. Of course, they’ve also been stretched by hearing others’ interpretation of scripture and opinions about the aforementioned issues.
Nevertheless, in our Iowa Conference group gathering, we spent some time celebrating gifts and seeing how we can use them. Ultimately, the group voted to embark on a conference wide service project to a Native American reservation in South Dakota. I’m always amazed at the depth and breadth of the ways in which young people want to share themselves when they are given the opportunity to dream. We plan to present this idea to our Iowa Conference Board of Directors in August.
This morning we will close our time together in worship, which our group is leading. I’ll post photos soon of what happens there!