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“Transformative Experiences”

“Life is short.” Let’s skip the small talk and get right to the heart of the matter: What experiences in your life have shaped you and formed you into the person you are today? I’ve been thinking about this question lately for several reasons. As a pastor, I have occasion to attend more funerals than most. After the privilege of presiding over two such services in the past week, I am struck by the reality that the lives we live really do make an impact. Beyond, “What will people say about me when I die?” I wonder, “How does my life make a difference and who are the people who have impacted my life?”


Additionally, I’ve been blessed with a front-row seat to the arrival of the YouthWorks service-learning teams. This week, our church facility is “home” to youth from North & South Dakota, Iowa, and Colorado. These young people have come to serve, but many of them will be undoubtedly impacted by what they see, hear, learn, and experience. Will they go home as different people than they were when they arrived?


At the same time, I am preparing for my own YouthWorks service-learning trip. As many of you know, my daughter and I will travel with a team of youth and adults from Westminster Church to San Juan, Puerto Rico. We will leave this week and be gone for about eight days. I’ve been on these types of trips before. I’ve been on more than twenty trips including to several foreign countries. Will my previous experiences help me get the most out of this experience, or will my increased level of comfort make it easy for me to just go through the motions?


My son is working at a Christian camp (Calvin Crest) in California for the next seven weeks. How will he be impacted and transformed by his experiences of life and faith? In what ways have people and experiences impacted and shaped you and your faith? When was the last time you thought about these ideas? When was the last time you shared your stories?


My prayer is that each of us will find chances during these summer months to experience transformation and to share our stories with our friends, family, and even strangers. Where will God show up next? I’d love to hear about it.


Very truly,


Pastor Adam

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