High School Retreat

High School Retreat
     As a high school student, many things in my life are constantly changing. One thing that has stayed constant during the past two years, however, has been my involvement in the Sierra Pacific Synod Youth Committee, or SPSYC as we like to call it. After running as a district representative during my sophomore year of high school, I’ve held the positions of Vice President and now President. Not only are we the voice of the youth in our synod, but we get to share our gifts with other youth by putting on annual elementary, middle, and high school retreats. There’s nothing better than watching campers come out of their shell to sing camp songs, do crafts, and meet other people their age that also go to church, something not everyone can experience often.
     Now that I’m a senior in high school and am about to graduate, I’ve been reflecting on the past four years and looking back at what I’ve accomplished. Out of all the groups I’ve been a part of, nothing has been as fulfilling as being President of SPSYC. Through this position I’ve been able to have many incredible experiences such as being a voting member at our synod assembly, meeting Bishop Eaton, learning how to build a retreat from scratch, and creating valuable relationships with pastors, youth workers, and other youth in our synod. One of the highlights during my term thus far has been my trip to the ELCA Youth Leadership Summit at Lutheridge camp in North Carolina this past November. There I had a chance to talk order topamax europe with youth representatives who also hold leadership roles in their synods as well as learn about what our church is doing around the world. At this event I had the honor of hearing speaker Mikka McCracken, Director of ELCA World Hunger. Her passion and enthusiasm for fighting global issues inspired me to bring back what I had learned at the summit to other youth in my synod.
     From February 24th-26th, 2017 SPSYC will be welcoming Mikka McCracken as the keynote speaker for our annual high school retreat at Mt. Cross Ministries, our local Lutheran camp. We know that her passion and enthusiasm will help inspire the youth of our synod to get involved locally in order to make a difference in their own communities and beyond. Between sessions we will be partnering with Mt. Cross to use their high ropes courses, have campfires, and engage in meaningful conversation will other youth from across the synod. On the last day of our retreat we will be holding elections for our committee. If you or a youth at your church is interested in the retreat or running for our committee, more information can be found on our website, spsyc.org. This retreat will be a great experience for anyone looking to deepen their relationship with God, connect with other high schoolers, and become more involved in our church by running for SPSYC. On behalf of SPSYC, I thank you for your continued support of our ministry. We hope to see you at our next retreat!
Inger Smuts
Sierra Pacific Synod Youth Committee President

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