Young adults take a weekend to ‘Find Their North Star’

This past weekend at St Dorothy’s Rest, 20 young adults — an age typically characterized as 20- and 30-somethings — took respite from the hustle and bustle of daily life to fellowship, worship, and “go deeper” in their spiritual lives together. The retreat, titled “Finding a North Star: Discerning a rhythm of life to guide you on the journey of faith,” was lead by Albert Giang from the Diocese of Los Angeles.

Answering the question, “Why are you here?” established a sense of common ground immediately as the group first gathered for introductions. Many participants expressed a similar desire for a community of peers in the church. Others noted the difficulty of finding a work, personal, and spiritual balance as a young adult. A hunger for personal growth and discernment was also a common theme. The answer, “I just need a personal retreat,” was met with many nods.

The weekend’s workshop sessions were designed to answer many of these needs. In the sessions, participants were guided through a series of spiritual practices that they could employ in their own lives: prayerful scheduling, silence and centering prayer, lectio divina, and Quaker clearness committees. Participants engaged with these topics through individual journaling and reflection time, small group prayer and discussion, and large-group presentations. The sessions and discussions were knit together by the continually reoccurring topics many young adults in the church face—discernment, finding meaning, and establishing balance in life.

Of course, the entirety of the weekend was not just spiritual heavy lifting! The fire in the cabin’s meeting space was constantly stoked thanks to the expertise of some of the ex-camp counselors and outdoors enthusiasts, and s’mores were on the menu at all hours of the day. Participants gathered to worship the beauty of God’s holiness in an evening Taize service on Saturday and in a day-hike through the breathtaking Redwoods. As is the case with all good Episcopal gatherings, food and laughter were abundant. A hotly contested game of “Celebrity” (also known as “Fishbowl”) went on into the wee hours of the night with Team B eking out a victory by a single point.

Many North Stars were found this weekend — peering out into the night sky past the vaulted forest of Redwoods, gazing inward at one’s own deep personal calling, and facing outward towards a community of peers formed and forming. 

 

Photos: A view of the Redwoods from a porch at St. Dorothy’s; Grace Aheron attempts to roast a marshmallow while also avoiding the incinerating heat of the fireplace in her face; Taal — the youngest young adult at the retreat — and Ethan Lowery saying their goodbyes on Sunday.