By Lea Booth, Associate Pastor, La Jolla United Methodist Church
“What do youth and young people need to hear this year?” This question begins the work of the Spiritual Program planning team each year. When we regrouped in the spring, after SSP decided to go virtual for summer 2020, my honest answer was “I have no idea.” How could we offer hope when the future was – and is – foggy and uncertain?
“We felt tones of rootedness and sustainability would still be vital amidst a pandemic.“
Veronica used the word ‘grounded’ to describe being ‘rooted,’ and the double meaning grabbed me. We’re all grounded! We’re feeling stuck. How can we move from that feeling to growth, even when growth doesn’t seem possible? The ‘Grounded’ theme itself grew from there, and it was the joy of my summer to see how the SLCs on each team adapted the concept to their own contexts and understandings.
“We’re all grounded! We’re feeling stuck. How can we move from that feeling to growth, even when growth doesn’t seem possible?”
Summer 2020 was both so different from – and so much the same as – my prior experience with SSP. I saw relationships form and grow. I saw people engage with each other and learn about communities in need. I saw new skills develop, even if not in the form of using power tools. In a world that is deeply unfamiliar to all of us, SSP 2020 was a needed, grounding experience for me, and I hope for everyone who participated.
Editor’s Note: We are excited to continually support local ministry in whatever way we can! If you are interested in lending your skills to support these new efforts, which include curriculum development, reach out to Veronica Russell, Director of Volunteers and Outreach.