A letter from YAV Hilary Engelhart in Denver
Email: Hilary Engelhart
A few weeks ago I attended a Young Adult retreat located on the western slope of Pike’s Peak. The weather was beautiful, the views magnificent and even though our van managed to get stuck on the side of the mountain, the retreat was a great experience. (We had to call the camp director to come help us get our van unstuck, which he did very successfully.)
The theme of the retreat was talking about what makes up our faith as a community and how four specific components establish our individual faith. Those components are Rituals, Spiritual, Community and Lifestyle. The weekend started off with discussions about Rituals of our faith and which ones we connected to or experienced God the most. As we moved into deeper discussion I began to realize that it doesn’t matter which of those four pieces an individual relates to the best. It is more a matter of understanding and accepting yourself, and knowing there is no right or wrong. Once you accept yourself, then you can challenge yourself in your faith to grow the other areas. By beginning the conversation with the discussion about rituals, which is one of the parts that I connect with and experience God in the best, I was able to see the interrelatedness of all four. Being able to recognize what kinds of rituals I connect with the most has led me to discover ways to grow my Spiritual side (which we defined as our personal relationship with God). I have recognized the importance of personal time to spend in relationship with God.
The one message that all 30 Young Adults left the retreat with is the recognition that we may all have a different ways of experiencing God and expressing that but being able to understand that allows us to accept that we are all “wonderfully and fearfully made,” just the way God intended.