As you can probably tell from my lack of posts in the past weeks, I've been keeping busy. With Lent preparations, long days full of meetings, youth group fundraisers, a lock-in, funerals, and hospital visits, it's been hard to find much free time. Luckily, we're starting to get into the groove for Lent, and so things should ease up slightly before the marathon that is Holy Week.
This past Friday, we hosted nineteen fifth-graders at Good Shepherd for an all night lock-in. Now, I've done lock-ins in the past. In fact, I remember doing many of them when I was a high school youth director straight out of college. I would stay awake and energetic all night long, go home for a long nap, and continue the weekend as usual. Not anymore. This time I was exhausted by 2, asleep by 3:30, and for the rest of the weekend, I felt as if I'd been hit by a train. Despite the long recovery, it was still a night full of fun for all. We played games throughout the church building, ate too much junk food, learned all about the sacristy and chancel (rather, I had fun teaching the kids about the finer things in worship), and many of the students made some new friends. And there's nothing like having some of the parents arrive bright and early in the morning to wake us all up with the magic smells of bacon and pancakes.
We started off the evening with an excursion to Jewel-Osco. A few weeks before, the Sunday school had hosted a bake sale which raised a good amount of money, and so we took the 5th-graders to Jewel to use that money to buy groceries for the local food pantry. We divided into 4 groups, and 90 minutes later the students had filled about 10 carts with Velveeta, sugar, flour, cookies, mac and cheese, boxed dinners, and all the non-perishables every kid loves.