Last night's youth group meeting

The Plan:
Take students on a 'prayer walk.' Use a contemplative style of prayer by wandering along the trails in the congregation's secluded 5-acre woods. Read a few verses from Psalm 19 at various places along the trail several times and then spend time in silence -- pondering a word or phrase that stood out or entered our mind during the reading.

The expectation:
Students will appreciate the silence and experience the presence of God through the scripture, the secluded wilderness setting and through the silence.

How God showed up:
One of our walks on the trails revealed a newer, smaller trail that none of us had noticed even a week before. When the students followed the trail they found a well-constructed 'hut' with a dug-out firepit nearby. (In case you didn't know it -- finding a fort in the woods is one of the coolest things ever to happen to a kid.) After the initial, "Cool! What a great fort? I wonder who made it?" comments I waited for what would come next. What I didn't hear was any talk of entitlement or trespass. Nobody was concerned with "our land" or "our property". They started saying things like, "I wonder if whoever built this has a place to live?" "We should do something to welcome them and let them know that God loves them." and "How do you think we could help this person?"

What happened next:
We brought some items to the fort to welcome whoever spends time there. We invited them to come and visit St. Matthew, and we left a Bible and a bit of sealed food in ziploc bags.

Hospitality. God showed up in a major way.

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