LAUNCH is an event for recent high school graduates led by Pastor Dave Delaney, and his summer intern, Emma Kessler. Held on the campus of Roanoke College in Salem from July 9-13, LAUNCH helps participants take stock of where their faith life has led them so far and provides opportunities to engage in discussion on matters of faith, life, and vocation that participants are likely to face as they transition into a new life stage.
Six high school graduates gathered for LAUNCH this year to learn and discuss with speakers from across the Synod matters of faith, lifestyle, and vocational challenges and choices. This year’s speaker lineup featured current college students and recent college graduates who grew up through Synod Youth events, Pastor Drew Tucker of Christ Lutheran in Radford, and Chaplain Chris Bowen of Roanoke College among others who came to share their knowledge and experiences.
There was tons of fun to be had at LAUNCH as the group attended a local baseball game, and watched a handful of favorite movies over the five-day event, but there was also plenty of time taken for quiet reflection as well. These chances for independent reflection and study were scattered throughout each day, and are a unique component of LAUNCH that isn’t often a feature of other youth events. These opportunities allowed attendees to consider the big conversations and experiences they had together that made an impact on the major life transitions they’ll be making this fall.
LAUNCH participants also had the opportunity this past week to reconnect with friends made at previous Synod youth events, as well as to take time for themselves for intentional evaluation on what they want their college experiences to be like. All LAUNCH participants were invited to stay through the weekend and attend Power in the Spirit, serving as another way to connect and make the transition from youth to adult in our synod.