From John Bergen.
Well, our first youth trip was a great success! We had a great time learning and playing and working with people from Ripple and Whitehall Mennonite churches. We had great conversations about community and God, and we saw different ways of doing church. I hope that you were able to follow along from home.
Some foolish Associate Pastor (me) decided we would do two youth trips this year, so next week some of our 7th-11th graders are headed off to Chicago for a week! There, we will volunteer at a number of different service sites and learn about racism, poverty, and homelessness in Chicago's context. We'll be working alongside staff of DOOR Chicago, a Mennonite service organization, as well as a youth group from Fort Dodge, Iowa.
Like last week adventure in Allentown, we asked our young people to do some reflecting before and during our trip. We invite everyone who is not coming with us to reflect with us as you go about your week back here in the Philly area. When we get back, I encourage you to talk to the young people who went on the trip, and share your answers to these questions.
1. What does poverty mean to you? What are your experiences of poverty?
2. What does Philadelphia mean to you? How would you describe your neighborhood, or the whole city? What assumptions do people make about Philly, and what do you think of those assumptions?
3. What do you know or have you heard about Chicago? What questions do you have? How is it the same or different from Philadelphia?
4. What questions do you have for the group from Iowa?
If you have time, we encourage you check out these links, to better understand the place we are visiting: