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CLAY 2018: Thunder Bay

Going Home

The first few days after CLAY 2014 are often described as a “coming down from the mountaintop” for youth, home team leaders, and volunteers alike. After a full four days of activities and three nights of very little sleep, it can be difficult to get back into the routine of home life. After four days of interacting with several hundred Lutheran and Anglican youth, worshiping God and strengthening in faith, it can be difficult to not go back to the same temptations and old habits that you left behind  when you started the journey to Kamloops. What do you do when you get back home from CLAY, changed in a way that you may not understand yet , and everything else has stayed the same?

It’s important to remember that CLAY Gatherings, which are often the “mountains” or spiritual high points for many people, are not the only times that you can be close to God. These events are valuable because they help us connect with other youth from across Canada, and allow us to see the world from a different perspective. We can worship in different ways that allow us to find new meaning in the liturgy and songs that we know by heart. We learn about our place in the wider church, beyond our congregations or parishes. These experiences give us a reserve of strength to fall back on when times are hard and God seems very far away.It’s in these valleys of life where your experiences at CLAY will matter the most.

September is just around the corner, and we’ll be back to our school and work routines before we know it. In the midst of your busy lives, take time every day to remember CLAY 2014. Re-read a blog post or your journal. Look up a few tweets. Put a picture from CLAY 2014 up in your room. Pray while you’re on the bus to school or driving someplace. Then go out and become “wine to a thirsty world,” as God intended for us to be.

– Hannah Shirtliff, CLAY 2014 Communications Coordinator