Senior Capstone - What We Believe
Our world continues to grow louder and wider with beliefs, values, hopes, and dreams. In a year unlike any other, we have learned more about each other and about ourselves. At the PHPC Youth House, we want to set a culture that welcomes this continued growth and celebrates changing and evolving beliefs. Faith is a journey - a beautiful, hard, sometimes crooked, and always changing journey.
During Confirmation, our 9th grade students are invited to physically write out what they believe. After several weeks of talking about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Church, each youth forms their own words for their present faith. For some, this may be the first chance they have had to create language for a belief system they are beginning to see take form. For all, this is what we hope is just the first chance to state what they believe.
This year, we kicked-off a new opportunity for the senior class in our Youth House - Senior Capstone. The primary hope for this program is to continue to build upon the lessons of confirmation and to re-visit some of the same things we talked about during Confirmation. We wish for this to be a moment of reflection before they head off to college or other new opportunities next year.
This past Sunday, we had our third meeting for our senior class of 2021, and the question for the evening was “What do you believe?”
We pulled out the same sheet these youth filled out when they were in 9th grade. The exact same sheet. The familiar questions of “what does the church mean to you” or “what people in your life have shaped your faith” were presented to the 12th graders in our Youth House. For some, the answers may have remained the same, but I think for most, they were surprised by how in such a short period of time, their answers were so different.
For me, I believe our lives are a living liturgy. I believe that our faith grows stronger in some seasons and struggles through others. But, I know that I am never more hopeful than after spending time with our youth hearing about their hopes for themselves, for our community, and for our world.
So today, I share with you some of the beliefs that our senior class holds dear. May they be a prayer for you this day that stirs something in you.
I believe faith is life-changing and beautiful and hard.
I believe faith is different for everyone.
I believe faith is imperfect.
I believe my purpose in the world is to take hardship and give hope.
I believe my purpose in the world is to love others well.
I believe my purpose in the world is to build meaningful friendships.
I believe the church is my home.
I believe the church is community.
I believe the church is a welcoming, safe space.
I believe God is with us.
I believe Jesus is love.
I believe the Holy Spirit) is hope.
I believe I am strong.
I believe I am good enough.
I believe I am made in the image of God.
I believe love is for all people.
I believe love is contagious.
I believe love is everywhere (sometimes you have to look for it).
I believe people are unique.
I believe people are beautifully and wonderfully made.
I believe people are worthy of love.
I believe doubt is healthy.
I believe doubt is what makes belief stronger.
I believe doubt is best carried together.
I believe equality matters.
I believe laughter matters.
I believe community matters.
I believe love can and will change the world.
I believe grace can and will change the world.
I believe you can and will change the world.