#1,253 Pool Party 2.

So today was the first day the new 7th graders got to come to youth Sunday school. Ben talked to them about Pentecost Sunday and how that’s the birthday of the Christian church, and how they’ll have their own new beginning with their new group.

And to welcome them we had a summer kickoff party at the Wilsons’. Which meant gourmet burgers, hand battered and fried chicken, and loaded fries from Mickey’s tiki kitchen by the pool. Y’all can’t even understand how awesome it is over there until you see it for yourself. I leashed up Chevy and Baker, packed some towels into my favorite burlap tote and we walked the 2 blocks to Euclid. They partied pretty hard.

Stay calm, everyone. It’s just orange Fanta.

Since April we’ve been doing weekly in-depth studies on real prayer, and what it’s for, and how to talk to God the way that is most meaningful. We’ve been talking about how there’s a difference between public prayer, (which is usually formal and meant to be a symbol that a large group can relate to) and private prayer (which should be deeply personal, intimate, conversational, and heartfelt—as if speaking to your actual dad). Youth Sabbath is in August and this year, our students are rewriting the Lord’s Prayer week by week, one line at a time, in conversational, real language that they feel is meaningful. They’ll recite it on that Sunday, and it’ll become the permanent prayer for Laurel FUMC youth.

I’m really proud of what they’ve come up with. So far, it goes:

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.
Hey Dad, I know you’re listening because you’re in control of everything and you love me and I’m so thankful for that.

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
I can’t wait for my friends to meet you and see what you have in store for them.

Give us this day our daily bread.
Feed our hearts and minds; we’re hungry for your word.

And that’s all we’ve gotten through so far. They were throwing out ‘cornbread’ and ‘spiritual platter’ tonight, so I’m proud we wrangled it into focus at the end.