Pentecost came today at DYA and as we gathered together to worship, we heard not the sound of a mighty rushing wind, but of a multitude of voices, lifted up in singing and praising God. As we sang and prayed and worshiped together, we were reminded of the diversity of Christ’s body, and the power of God’s Spirit to breathe life into us and give us the courage to follow God, and to work for justice for those who are oppressed. It was quite a day!
Our morning saw a few folks wake up early to go for a walk in Duke Gardens, while the rest of us got all the sleep we could. Then, as is our usual, we all met in the common room, sang our mealtime song, walked together to breakfast, ate, and then headed to prayer with Father Julian. Our guest lecturer today was Dr. Sujin Pak, Dean of Students at the Divinity School and professor of Church History. Dean Pak invited us to think about the church as a pilgrim, journeying with God to God.
She asked the youth why they thought so many have chosen not to be a part of the journey that we call Church, and what they would change about church if they could. Youth thoughtfully reflected and shared their hopes that the church would be more diverse and inclusive of those people who might not “fit the mold” so many of churches exist within. One student noted that youth often do not have voices in their church, and expressed the hope that churches would learn to listen to what their youth have to say.
In the second half of the lecture, Dean Pak invited us to consider the church as the body of Christ, and how together with our different gifts we make up one body. We reflected on the Pentecost story from Acts and saw how the early church was made up of people who gathered together to worship, were empowered by the Holy Spirit, proclaimed God’s word, broke bread together, and carried one another’s burdens.
In the afternoon, and with the good news that the US would advance to the next round in the World Cup, we headed to our Living Theology Workshops. Students today had free choice as to which workshop they would attend, and in each of them the young people (and us adults!) were encouraged to think about how our unique gifts and interests could be put to use to serve God in the daily rhythms of our lives. An abstract artist, a comic book creator, a gymnast, a documentary filmmaker, a spoken word artist; these leaders all offered their beautiful gifts to our young people in the hopes that they might see in their own good gifts God’s Spirit leading them to serve as part of Christ’s body in our world.
As we neared the end of evening worship I was personally reminded of the power of the Holy Spirit to breathe life into God’s people, to let them dream and prophesy in the world. Though we have not yet learned to fully understand and appreciate one another’s own unique languages, there is hope that through the Spirit’s guidance we will learn to live and speak and bear witness to the Word that has come to dwell among us in Christ’s body. This is the good news we were reminded of today, and that we celebrated as we broke bread together, and wrapped up another day at DYA. –
You can catch a glimpse of our evening worship service together at the download link here. (https://www.sendspace.com/file/ng2m8b) Check back in with us tomorrow when our students facilitate and lead our final worship gathering of residency.