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Earlier this month twelve youth and youth leaders embarked on a pilgrimage to Rivendell Retreat Center on Bowen Island for a few days of rest, relaxation, community, and contemplation.  

Drawing from Nate Stucky’s book Wrestling with Rest, we explored the gift of sabbath and what rest means for young people, particularly teenagers, who experience greater levels of anxiety and stress during periods of rest. One of the goals of the pilgrimage was to gain a better understanding of sabbath and what it means for our times of rest. We also meditated on the truths that we are indeed good and loved. Both Genesis 1:27-2:2 and Romans 8:31-39 are scriptures that communicate to us our fundamental identity in Christ.  In Genesis, we are reminded that we are created by God and created good. Paul, in his letter to the church in Rome, describes for us how much God loves us.   

Holding the truths You are Good! and You are Loved! in our minds, we reflected on Adam and Eve’s first day of existence, the 7th day of creation, which was a day of rest. While God had given them work to do in the world, their primary vocation was to rest in the presence of God. Rest is not something we earn, nor is it another task we need to check off on our to-do list. Rest is our primary vocation, our first task, our deepest desire. God declared that we are good and that we are loved. In that knowledge, we will find the rest that truly rejuvenates our souls.  

Hear more about this pilgrimage on our Church Coffee Podcast.