“We offer programs and activities to encourage all—young and old alike—to learn from one another, grow together, and be refreshed in spirit.”
- from Covenant’s Mission Statement
This month twelve youth and adults—including me--will go on a mission trip together to Alaska. The group will spend time in Ketchikan on July 13 and 14, and will stay and work in Metlakatla from July 15 to 20, and then spend a final night in Ketchikan on July 21.
Metlakatla, meaning “salt water passage,” is a traditional Native American community on the federal Annette Island Reserve. It is home to the indigenous Tsimhian people and is the only reservation in Alaska.
Our group will spend time with youth and adults from the Metlakatla Presbyterian Church. We will work in a community gardens and food bank. We might even have an opportunity to do some fishing from a kayak and learn how to clean the fish in the traditional Tsimhian way. The Metlakatla youth group is made up mostly of Native American high school-age young women, and there will be opportunities for rich cross-cultural fellowship.
One of the many strengths of Covenant Presbyterian Church is its long history of having youth and adults work together on mission and educational trips, and I am very much looking forward to my first trip with Covenant.
Some congregations do not have much interaction between their youth and adults. One Christian educator said that such groups resemble a one-eared Mickey Mouse in that the smaller circle of youth touches the larger circle of adults but fails to overlap with it. The churches whose youth and adults more closely resemble a Venn diagram with lots of overlap are the ones where the youth have the best chance to build a long-lasting faith, or, in the words of our Mission Statement, “learn from one another, grow together, and be refreshed in spirit.”
I am thankful to be serving a Venn diagram kind of congregation! Please pray for us during the time that we will be in Alaska. We look forward to sharing stories upon our return.
Grace and Peace,