By: Krista Rittenhouse
April 18, 2016
My enthusiasm and hope for the church as an institution was re-ignited. Leaders and participants from all denominations were represented. I was reminded that I am a part of a very broad body of believers.
The Regional Discernment Retreat I attended is designed to offer an opportunity for young adults like me to explore deep questions about their purpose and passion. Over four days I participated in conversations surrounding the discernment of our gifts and talents, what ministry can look like in different contexts, the challenges of the church to meet relevant needs of our communities, and how each of us might take action and practice our call to ministry. I wouldn’t say that I came away from this event with a new or changed view about ministry or my own calling, however, I did leave inspired, encouraged and refreshed.
My enthusiasm and hope for the church as an institution was re-ignited. Leaders and participants from all denominations were represented. I was reminded that I am a part of a very broad body of believers. Differences that so often divide the church, were, in this space, celebrated as strengths that we each bring to the table. And all were united by our core desire to follow Jesus. Seeing this dynamic and hearing stories got me excited about what God is doing through all circles of Christianity. This was the unity and action that Christ desired of his bride, the church. So while I can still experience my own cynicism for the church, and hear the many secular complaints of its pitfalls, this time was a reminder that God is still at work among God’s people and that the church does have a relevant role to play in today’s society. And how cool is it that I am a part of this same movement and mission?!
In a similar vein, I was encouraged by spending time with other young adults that are seeking God in genuine ways. The natural structure and business of Service Adventure has not exactly aided my making friends in Johnstown. Though 19 year-olds are fantastic, spending time with some like-minded people in a similar stage of life (that I was not a leader of) refreshed me socially, emotionally, and spiritually.
Coming back to the unit, I had a renewed energy about the ministry I am currently a part of. I see my ‘work’ connecting to the broader picture of the church’s mission again. My story is directly woven into the same cloth as these amazing leaders and other young adults, and I want Service Adventure Johnstown to be a vibrant addition to an already beautiful work. I came back with a prayer that the Spirit work to make this happen, and a thankfulness to be a part of it.