7th Day: Everything We Have
7th Day, the Virginia Synod youth event for 5th and 6th-grades was held over the weekend of March 4-5 at Eagle Eyrie Baptist Convention Center in Lynchburg. Over 190 youth and adults made up Shepard Groups that together joined in the fun and faith-filled weekend learning new songs, making crafts, listening to stories, and playing plenty of exciting games.
The focus for the weekend was set by this year’s planning group youth and adults- made up by Courtney Bowen, Eli Boyden, Keegan Browning, Mariella Kern, Izzy McKee, event chaplain Pastor Cindy Keyser, and planning group advisor Maria Roberts.
The story for this year’s 7th Day was from Mark 12:38-44, the story of Jesus criticizing the greediness and self-centeredness of the religious leaders of his day and commending a poor widow whose small temple offering represents a much more important gift. From this gospel story grew the theme “Everything We Have” which centered the entire weekend event. Youth and adults explored how God inspires us to be generous, even if we feel like we have very little to offer!
The planning group youth choose to retell this story with a food drive occurring just outside a grocery store, with two people making contributions- a wealthy person and a poor person. Two “disciples” are helping out at the food drive, and from these contributions learn what sacrificial giving really means, and how they can give what they can to those who need it most!
In addition to the planning group skit- activity modules for crafts, interactive story, music, and movement each focused on three aspects of the gospel story: abundance, poverty, and everything.
In the crafts module, led by Greg McCorkindale, Diane Bayer, andHeather Browning, Shepherd Groups applied their creativity to several projects over the weekend, such as adorning small bags with colorful jewels to represent abundances and wealth. They also decorated wooden coin ‘mites’ with positive messages and images. One mite was kept for themselves and the other donated to senior citizen centers and retirement communities in Virginia.
For the interactive story module, led by Valerie Dombrowski and Sarah Dombrowski, the Shepherd groups saw Mark 12:38-44 come to life. There they learned the history of what temples were like in Jesus’s time, and watch reenactments of the gospel. They also bundled personal care kits to be donated to Lutheran World Relief, giving what they can to those who need it most.
In music, led by Dave Delaney, Tim Wilson, Tori Smith, and Celeste Wilson, Shepherd Groups were introduced to new songs to sing and their corresponding movements, like “This Is My Commandment”. The songs learned here at 7th Day often become the returning favorites, as many are sung across other Virginia Synod youth events such as Lost and Found and Winter Celebration!
Finally, the movement module, led by Bryan Jaster and Maura Dunbar, gave the Shepherd Groups the opportunity to play silly games like Duck, Duck, Cow, have snowball fights and move in the gospel. At the end of the weekend, each group received a verse and together planned a presentation of a human sculpture. These verses were read while the sculptures were performed during the Sunday afternoon worship.
7th Day provided a weekend filled with fun, laughter, and worship as the 5th and 6th-graders present learned more about how God not only provides for all our needs but gives us abundances to share.