THE YOUNG PARISHIONER
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What on Earth is PYM Doing This Year?
Luella Wallander - St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Arlington
I don’t know about you, but I’ve really missed Shrine Mont. I watched the spring PYM weekends, my parish’s retreat in April, and even Shrine Mont Camps get canceled in quick succession as the world ground to a halt. Though I’m so grateful to not be endangering my friends and family, I miss so many things about the mountain that I’m sure you’re missing as well. But while we may not be able to gather 200+ people in the ballroom of the Virginia House and scream King Jesus Is All at the top of our lungs, the threads that hold PYM together in community are still here.
We’re hoping to begin hosting online small groups in the time of Advent with youth from all different grades and parts of the diocese. Much like the small groups at past PYM weekends, this is a space for you to meet new friends and hang out while connecting to each other and this year’s PYM theme (but hopefully with less awkward silence). You can come as little or as often as you are able - in this busy, frantic world, these communities will always be here for you.
Additionally, leave your calendars open for the weekend of Senior High, November 7-8! More details will be sent out as it grows closer. All we can say is there will be youth-led worship, games, connection, learning, and of course, silliness.
And spread the word to your friends! Now is the best time to get your friends involved in PYM, in my opinion. No need to stress about carpooling or stopping for dinner in Woodstock, much less how many pairs of shoes to bring or what you’re going to wear to the dance. If there’s anyone you know at your church, school, or youth group community who you think would love to be a part of our upcoming events, feel free to forward this newsletter to them.
The PYM committee members have been working hard to adapt our traditional large-group programming and create really fun ways to build community online, and we hope we’ve done it justice. I’m really looking forward to seeing familiar faces from my time on the mountain and meeting so many new people and new friends. We’re so excited to kick off an amazing year in PYM, and we hope to see you at our upcoming events!
What's Our Theme This Year?
Last month, the committee convened over Zoom in lieu of our typical fall planning weekend at Shrine Mont. We discussed the upcoming year, brainstorming ideas for what’s to come in the next few months. Most importantly, we took on the task of choosing a theme for a year different than any before. After much discernment, I’m proud to announce our theme for the 2020-2021 PYM year: “I will, with God’s help.”
We found that in times like these, we can not only look to God, but also to those whom God puts around us. “I will, with God’s help” comes from the baptismal covenant. When said in its context, the whole congregation makes a promise to support the person being baptized. While our relationships with God are as personal as it gets, we are blessed to be surrounded by parishes and congregations who love and support us.
With all that we’re missing out on so far this year, it’s hard to see the silver lining left behind: we are being given the greatest opportunity for re-imagination. We’ve built an amazing committee who I know will do great things both this year and into the future. I’m excited about this year, and I’m excited to see what we can do with God’s help!