Making things better from one time to the next is the best part of youth ministry, or of any work. In January of 2017 I led a ski retreat for the first time, with the help of a colleague and a great team of leaders. The colleague and I evaluated the experience afterward and identified several ways it could be made better, meaning more focused and aligned with our aims for ministry. One of those was to make it more prayerful.
So for last weekend’s reprise of the ski retreat, I made a prayer book for us to use. There is a unison prayer for before we left, meal graces, morning and evening prayer outlines for the main retreat day, and–my favorite–an order for the dedication of a Christian home that we used upon arrival at our house, before we moved in any bags. We lit a candle and walked through the house room-by-room, saying prayers and reading Scripture as we went.
None of the prayers are original. They are almost all taken from the PC (USA) Book of Common Worship, the special occasions and daily prayer editions.
The ski retreat can be better still. The team of leaders will get to that. But I’m taking a couple of days first to enjoy the feeling of having collaborated with other leaders to make something better.