Pastor Adrienne - January 22, 2024
Over the weekend, Natalya, Tyler, and I attended Extravaganza in New Orleans! Extravaganza is the ELCA’s Youth Ministry Network’s annual conference where ministers for children, youth, and family gather for continuing education, inspiration, and this year, lots of information about the Youth Gathering this summer!
On our first night, Thursday, the speakers introduced the theme for the conference which was “Dream.” They brought our attention to how many dreams and stories of dreams run through the scriptures, and how they all weave into the larger story of God’s dream for the world. God calls us to make that dream a reality.
With the music representing the music culture of New Orleans, we sang song clips with each dream. In response to the story of God’s promise to Abraham that he would be the father of many nations, we sang Coldplay’s Sky Full of Stars. To Joseph’s dream that he would be great, we sang Taylor Swift’s Bad Blood when he reunites with his brothers after he has risen to power despite his brothers’ betrayal. For John the Baptist, in his role to pave the way and to warn people to turn back to God, we sang Total Eclipse of the Heart; for Mary, Destiny’s Child Independent. For Jesus, in his dream for the world, John Lennon’s Imagine.
When we trust and believe God’s promises for us, nothing can stop us. It comes to us. What dreams do we hold in our heart? What dreams, unleashed from fear or the busyness of the mundane, would we let loose to soar?
Here comes the finale: our story. And with it? We sang the epic clip of Aerosmith’s Dream On. In that dark, foggy room with neon streams of light, much like a packed concert, a thousand dreams for the church were swirling around. As you read this epic chorus, I invite you to listen to the song or, in good Steven Tyler fashion, scream it in your head, as you envision your own big dream.
Dream until your dreams come true.
We are invited to hold space for dreaming, BIG dreaming!