It's no secret that the world is a difficult place to grow up in. In our weekly gatherings with our Confirmation students, these astute middle-schoolers would raise questions about the events of the world and the grim realities of society. Racism, sexism, bullying, gun violence, violence against those who identify as LGBTQIA, climate change, divorce, the list goes on. Yes, the world is a difficult place, and we might be deluded into thinking that the best response to a difficult world is to get dreadfully serious, when the best response is actually joy.
Know to find joy in the darkness is wise
So go the words of Brandi Carlile's song "Stay Gentle", and there is a deep and wise truth in them. Playful joy keeps us alive and keeps life worth living. Deep joy keeps us able to hope even in the most dire of circumstances. Imaginative joy opens our eyes to ways the world may yet be. Laughing joy can rid us of the bondage of all the concerns of life that threaten to weigh us down.
One of my great joys has been in playing a game called Dungeons & Dragons, and other tabletop roleplaying games like it. In the game I get to tell stories with friends about exploring fantastic locations, solving problems, and overcoming great adversity. I've had the joy of playing with kids, fellow pastors, friends, and complete strangers. These games have the potential to unlock the imagination, and the joy therein, in a way few others ever could.
That's why this summer I am hosting a new Dungeons & Dragons youth group for middle and high school students. This 7-week campaign will go up against the forces of tyranny on a fantastic and fun-filled adventure. There will be hijinks and laughter as we bond around the table and create stories to remember.
So if you're a middle or high school student looking to make friends and sharpen your spirit and your imagination, join us and be a hero this summer!
Heroes of the Summer will meet on Wednesdays for 7 weeks starting June 22nd from 2-5pm at Christ the King Lutheran Church. Since the nature of a game like this requires a longer commitment for the best experience, a donation of $35 will be collected from each participant upon signup. All necessary supplies will be provided, though players are welcome to bring their own as well.
New players welcome! Players need not have played Dungeons & Dragons previously or be familiar with the rules prior to signing up.
-Your Dungeon Master Pastor, Rev. Rory Philstrom