Last week, around 20 teenagers from congregations in Portland and Salem participated in the third diocesan Hope & Fire Youth Overnight. The parish of St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church in Portland hosted the group for the two-day event.

As all our Hope & Fire events promise, we had activities planned for fun, service, and contemplation. “We barely made it out of a dark corn maze on Thursday night,” said the Rev. Canon Chris Craun, Canon to the Ordinary, “a few teams required help, but no one was lost (permanently).” Our sources* tell us that Canon Chris was, in fact, part of one of those “temporarily lost” groups not at all due to her self-described “directionally challenged among corn” fault. *Our source was Canon Chris...

On Friday morning, the group learned about and engaged in the reflection practice of lectio divina, a traditional monastic practice of scriptural reading, meditation, and prayer.

After the group spent time in the contemplation, the youth learned about St. Michael & All Angels’ outreach ministries and participated by putting together care kits for Blanchet House. Then, the youth headed out in teams to do a neighborhood clean-up in the Northeast Portland area.

We invite you to mark your calendars for the next Hope & Fire event, scheduled for February 3-4, 2024, in Salem. More information and registration for that youth event will be available in the Diocesan Digests throughout the winter.