St John Lutheran Church Dickinson, ND

             
Going Down the Mountain
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Going down the mountain…. that’s the phrase that we used often when I worked at Sky Ranch

Lutheran Camp in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. We used the phrase literally in the sense that, eventually, everyone had to trek down from our perch at 9200 feet above sea level. But we were more concerned with what would happen in the spiritual lives of young people as they departed from the fun, faith-filled, and intentional atmosphere of camp. How would they continue to experience life-affirming faith in Jesus after they had gone down the mountain?

 

Growing up, my church had a lot of options for young people to experience God in unique ways. Whether it was hiking, climbing, canoeing, house boating, or just having fun a theme park, I was usually gone three or four weeks each summer on church trips. The trips were amazing! We sang with abandon. We were open and vulnerable in conversation. We showed one another Christian love and compassion. But eventually the trip would end, and I would be left to foster faith alone without the incredible community and atmosphere of those trips. I struggled to take what I experienced “down the mountain” and back to everyday life. 

 

As we venture toward the end of May we will soon be closing the chapter on another incredible year of programming at St John. This year we ate meals and worshipped together every Wednesday night, we filled our classrooms and hallways to capacity with kids, and we had lots of fun! The energy in this building on Wednesday nights could have powered the whole city! 

 

But here is why I am not worried for the kids as we take a three month hiatus from regular programming: at St John we believe that the home is church, too. That means we can continue to play an active role in the faith lives of kids by making home experiences “mountain top” experiences, too.

 

Research shows that the top four factors in predicting a life of faith for emerging adults are (1) parental religion, (2) prayer, (3) importance of faith, and (4) scripture reading. As you make your summer plans, I encourage you to think about how your family will incorporate faith experiences into your summer fun. For example:

 

  • On your next family hike, take a moment to look out over God’s incredible landscape and read     Psalm 121.
  • On your next family trip, plan ahead and see if there are any opportunities for your family to serve the community while you are there. Even if for just one hour, you can make a difference!
  • At your next family campfire, take a moment between s’mores to ask one another where you saw God in your lives that day and pray for each other.

 

Once we learn that church is not confined to a building or a night of the week, there really is no need to come “down the mountain” ever again.

 

 by Joe Natwick, Associate Pastor

 

 


WORSHIP TIMES
September - May
Sundays 8:00 & 10:30 am
Wednesdays 6:30 pm (Camp-style service)
Thursdays 7:00 pm

June - August
Sundays 8:00 am & 9:30 am
Thursdays 7:00 pm
CONTACT INFO
St John Lutheran Church
146 6th AVE W
Dickinson, ND 58601

Phone: (701) 225-6747
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