The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Sharing each other's burdens

Kwau Kuntu, convo co-chair, and Michael
Kwau Kuntu, convo co-chair, and Michael Russell (both Metropolitan Chicago Synod), sing along to closing music during the youth convocation’s renewal of baptismal vows service. Music was led by The Pull, a Madison, Wis., rock band.
Participants of the Youth Convocation ended their time together with a Wednesday night service to renew their baptismal vows. The service ended with a joyfully raucous version of Bind Us Together and other worshipful music.

Kristina Diaz, convo co-chair, shared how her experiences with racial and ethnic conflict in the church had left her feeling discouraged: “That part of me that was a passionate youth leader died.” She shared a story about being pulled under the water by a riptide and being unceremoniously deposited on the shore, gasping for breath. Diaz related the story to being pulled under, baptized, then spat out by God.

“God has a way of making us do things even when we’re afraid,” she said. “You showed me I don’t have to be afraid.”

The youth found others with whom they could share their fears—and celebrations.

“They’re so open,” said youth Grace Lauver, West Virginia-Western Maryland Synod. “You can talk about your dreams and how God calls you. It’s neat to be someplace where that’s normal.”

At the service youth dropped a stone representing their burdens into a bowl filled with water. Another participant took the stone to symbolize the sharing of burdens. Then, with wet fingers, the pairs made the sign of the cross on each others’ foreheads and blessed each other.


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