wrapping up triennium


I took today off. I didn’t mean to. I fully intended to go in to the office and assess what else needs to happen in the next few weeks. Then I woke up with a headache, still-sore feet and in spite of sleep, I was too darn tired. I stayed home and forced a Sabbath on myself.

I can’t fully explain why a week like triennium is so tiring. I was mostly in the role of small group leader. I felt blessed to have great conversations with small group 47 and some of the people in our Prospect Hill Presbytery delegation. There was a lot of processing the theme, interacting with people and so much walking in intense heat and humidity. Okay. Maybe I just explained the tiring part of it.

Today I thought through what I took away from PYT this time. Sure, I was reminded of how many great gifts youth bring to a gathering and to the Church. Sure, I was appreciative of everyone sharing stories and testimonies of God working in their lives. Unfortunately, the conference ended for most people with a bit of controversy. I didn’t go to closing worship because I wanted to make sure I was on time for the airport shuttle. I followed the tweets and will, at some point, watch the video of the sermon. You can search the hashtag #pyt13 for more on that service.

I’ll tell you how my PYT ended. The last official event I went to was the Tri-County fair. I didn’t really participate– mostly I observed. I saw crowds of people dancing, playing games, eating fair food like cotton candy and snow cones. I heard the roar of conversation and the felt the pulse of music as I slowly walked back to my dorm room.

Triennium kind of faded out for me. Not in a sad, nostalgic way but more in a happy, contentment. I was ready (I thought) to transition back to “real life.” I think that’s a sign of a good life– when one can leave something so full and happy like PYT and eagerly return to a loving spouse, a place that feels like home and the list of what needs to get done. Not every part of Triennium hit me in an epic way. That’s ok. Triennium is for youth and the youth I caught up with had that epic experience. PYT was a solid event and I am happy I could participate in it.

I think my role in full-time youth ministry will fade out, too. I went to worship at church on Sunday. I ended up in the nursery, savoring the time I had to play with and interact with little kids. I mentally made a list of areas that need organized and some of the tasks that will need done so I can step out of the youth director (or Christian ed director… whatever my title is) with a clear conscience.

While I was in Indiana, we received our official housing assignment at UDTS. I also received the schedule for orientation. It’s real. We’re moving. And I feel fortunate that Steve and I have the next month to pack and think through things. It’s going to be hard to leave my mom and grandma. It’s going to be hard to leave some of the Cherokee friends. I know it’s the right thing, though. So expect a few reflections on that process.

About SaraBSutter

I serve as the pastor of United Presbyterian Church in Goldfield, Iowa. My husband Steve and I are excited to be in a friendly small town and look forward to the years ahead. In addition to nerdy church stuff, I love reading books, writing, good coffee, cats, and football.

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