This past weekend, Michelle Moody and I attended the Diocese of Atlanta's Youth Worker's Retreat at Camp Mikell. We had a great drive up to Toccoa, even though it was more eventful than we had wanted.

It was very rainy on Friday and we had just gotten on I-85 North when a car ahead of us hydroplaned, spun, got hit by the car behind her, and spun some more. Of course, we pulled over immediately. Michelle called 911 and I went to check on everyone. Thanks be to God, no one was seriously hurt. The girl who hydroplaned was hyperventilating and her muscles locked up. The guys in the other car weren't hurt at all. We stayed with her, held her hand, and prayed with her until the police and EMTs showed up. It was certainly a scary moment for her, and I'm glad we got the opportunity to be there.

We finally got to Camp Mikell, a little late, but there nonetheless. Immediately, we were into a workshop on team building with youth groups. We had a small group task of balancing a bunch of nails on the head of another nail connected to a block of wood. A seemingly impossible task, but one we completed!

Perhaps the most interesting workshop for me was the second one. Pam Drisell, a Presbyterian minister from Athens, led a workshop on finding a rhythm to life rather than always trying to balance everything. Balancing takes all our focus, and once we do find a balance,

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we can immediately lose it. Pam suggested viewing our lives more as a dance, and finding the rhythm therein. When life gets busy, the tempo picks up, when life slows down, so does that tempo. If we can look at our lives like a dance, we are less likely to find ourselves over-stressed and burnt out. I have a CD of her entire talk if anyone is interested.

We did a variety of other workshops, including sculpting clay blindfolded, taking pictures to get a sense of looking at things from various perspectives, being quiet for 20 minutes during a session in contemplative prayer and Lectio Divina, and learning new music for youth.

We met new friends, rekindled old friendships, and simply had a wonderful time.

I encourage any of you who are parents, grandparents, youth leaders, or anyone who has contact with teenagers to attend weekends like these. They are so much more than learning the newest and coolest tricks. They are all about feeding your own soul in the midst of your ministry. Literally, these types of retreats are helpful to finding the own rhythm of your lives. The Diocese of Atlanta does a great job of being a resource to us. Even if you're not a youth leader, there many other such retreats and programs to help encourage you in your specific ministry and gift.

Below are some pictures that Michelle took in the photography workshop.

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