Sunday, July 11, 2010

Mission Trip Planning

I work at a church with a long history of mission trips.  In the past seven years, I have participated in mission trips to Mississippi (5), New Orleans, Minneapolis, Denver (3), and Mexico City (3).  There has been a different focus for each trip.  Sometimes it's work projects...other times it's service-learning...other times we focus on models of accompaniment...and many times it's a combination of these.

This year, we set out to do things a little differently.  Young people were directly involved with planning the trip.  They picked the dates, cities, and focus for the trip.  The end result was a unique (and somewhat eclectic) eight-day experience in West Virginia, Washington D.C., and Columbus, OH.

Saturday, July 10
  • Drive from Des Moines, IA to Huntington, WV
  • Stay at Bates Presbyterian Church

Sunday, July 11
  • Worship at Bates
  • Visit with Pastor Robin Blakeman about "Faith & Mountaintop Removal"
  • Explore the foothills at Beech Fork State Park

Monday, July 12

Tuesday, July 13

Wednesday, July 14

Thursday, July 15

Friday, July 16

Saturday, July 17
  • Return to Des Moines

Some of the themes that will be interwoven throughout our week include care for creation, wealth & poverty, immigration, church & state, religious patriotism, and the role of political advocacy among religious people.  These are complex, loaded issues for young people to be wrestling with.  The 2,500+ miles we spend in the van will, likely, be blessed by conversations about these, and other, topics.

Additionally, there is a daily emphasis on spiritual practices and living in Christian community.  We will plan, cook, and buy meals together.  We will care for each other by listening, sharing, and praying as a group.  We will take time for individual Bible study, prayer, journaling, and meditating at the close of each day.

I have high hopes (which are different than expectations) for how God will work in and through us this week.  There will be regular posts on koinonia written by our group members.  I hope you will join our journey by reading what happens each day.

1 comment:

Thank you for taking the time to be a part of "koinonia"