Reflection from a Youth-Group Member

On July 4-8, four youth from St. Michael & All Angels attended Episcopal Youth Event (EYE) in Baltimore with others from around the Episcopal Church in Western Oregon and across The Episcopal Church. Rising high school senior Lucy offers this reflection from her experience at #EYE23.

I had an incredible time at EYE this past week! I’ll admit I was a little hesitant to fly all the way across the country with other youth I barely knew, but it turned out to be a very inspiring experience. My main takeaway was this: “The youth are not our future. They are our present.” All of the sermons were focused around the Book of Esther, which I had never heard before. It’s all about someone you would never expect stepping up to a challenge and saving her people from getting murdered. I know that’s extreme in present-day circumstances, but I loved listening to the speakers take on how to apply it to our lives. What I learned is now is the time to take action in what we believe in. “You were born for such a time as this.” That’s a quote from Esther 4:14, and Presiding Bishop Michael Curry gave us all bracelets that have that quote engraved on them. So now I will always be reminded of that call to action, wherever I may be.  

The most powerful moment came from the last night at worship. I had been very wary of the music the whole week because it was not at all what I am used to. Yet there was one song that stuck out to me and lots of others there. It’s called Plowshare Prayer by Spencer LaJoye and they played it (for the second time) on the last night. I was sitting next to someone who came to EYE not knowing it was a religious event, so she had felt out of place at the worships but decided to go to the last one. When the song started playing, I lean over to her and say, “This is an incredible song!” That was a surprise to her because I hadn’t said that about any other songs. At the end of it, I turn to her and there are tears down her face. She looks at me and says, “I was not expecting that!” That was the moment that stood out to me from the week because there was someone who doesn’t believe in God taking something away from that event. My dad likes to say to me, “Take what you need and leave the rest.” She might have left a lot from that week, but I know that she took that feeling home with her. I’ve never seen something like that happen firsthand and I’m so glad that I was able to.  

  — Lucy, St. Michael’s Youth Group member  

P.S. Look for more photos of this event in the Gallery.