This past weekend MPCYouth went on a summer retreat up to the Poconos. We had a fantastic time together we swam, boated, tubed, made s’mores, shared meals, and spent some time talking about what it means to create a culture.
Over the past six months, with lots of help and input, we created a mission statement that we are excited about. Our mission statement is, “An open door to faith, friends, and fun.” We want to be a place where any and all teenagers will always be accepted; where they'll have a space to ask the hard questions about faith, have the freedom to be themselves and make lasting and encouraging friendships,
and ample opportunity to enjoy being a kid and having fun together, experiencing the joy that God offers to us. This mission is about creating a culture that teens feel like they can be a part of.
Culture making is a slow and intentional process. When people identify with a culture they find value in it. They have grown up in it or they work to become part of it. They find it relevant to their needs and the needs of the world. A culture also needs to help answer the big questions in life; Why am I here? What is my purpose? What should I do? These are all things MPCYouth care about, because that is what the youth care about.
Over the weekend we talked about each component of the mission statement. We discussed why each was significant, how MPC hopes to help provide it, and, most importantly, invited them to help create that culture. On the last day of the trip we were on a tubing trip down the Delaware River.We pulled off to the shore for lunch and a lesson. Each of us picked up a rock which represented something that weights us down in life. We filled a backpack with them and tried to walk around on land and in the water. It was incredibly difficult. It was a metaphor for life. We all carry around the weight of imposed expectations and pressures.
However, at MPCYouth we can lay those aside and simply enjoy being together in the current of life (pun intended).
I invite all of you to join in creating the culture for our youth and each other. Let us create a place where people feel welcomed. Where they can grow in their relationship with Christ and each other as well as find a place of joy and peace. Creating culture is a process, but the process moves faster and is enjoyable when everyone shares the same values and passions. Let us continue to join together to create a special place for our teens and each other.