Dear Friend,

It’s the final day of convention. Hard to imagine, it feels like we just got here, but yet we leave tomorrow morning. It’s always been hard for the Community Mennonite MYF to “get into” the worship services at convention, mostly because of the music. At Community, we only sing hymns, but at convention, it is mostly praise and worship bands… a stretch for our youth. Our youth often spend the first day or two at convention complaining about how it doesn’t feel as worshipful to them as it does to sing hymns… Having been at congregations where praise and worship was the norm, and hymns weren’t even an afterthought, I know this isn’t the case for everyone. The trend continued this year and, like always, it was the healing service on Thursday evening that helped us relax a bit. I think part of it is that the different feel of the service, the softer feel to the music eases the group into a more comfortable space where they can better feel worshipful, distracting them from the music a bit.

This week I attended two seminars that I particularly enjoyed. One was about what it means to live simply, especially in such a “stuff” driven culture. I was reminded of the book “The Gospel According to Larry” in which the main character owns approx. 80 items (This not including things like kitchenware and furniture…) and I wondered what I would include on my list of things if I limited myself to 100 items. NOT MUCH. That’s what. I think I ended up with about 60 of my items being clothing related… and that was with me trying to only list ESSENTIAL clothing items! Try it out, it’s difficult! The other seminar I attended was with EMU’s own Deanna Durham! She spoke about how being comfortable and at home with your body and who God made you relates into building and maintaining healthy relationships… I thought it was timely after my check-in earlier this week.

To be honest, I’m feeling a bit apprehensive about returning home. There is so much to do this next week, and I’ve truly enjoyed taking a week to just breathe a bit. Going back means returning to “real life” and any accompanying questions, troubles, and puzzles that I set aside. But it also means returning to my friends and family, to my comfy bed, to bachelorette with the girls, and all the other joyful parts of my life in Harrisonburg. So, I guess I’ll just take it one day at a time…

Lots of Love, Mandi Jo