Never Stop Growing Up
Students and staff alike stepped into the strong Saturday sun with little sleep, but a crescendo of beauty behind them.
The evening before, everyone dressed their best for a reception of deserts before heading to an evening opera concert curated and performed by parents of Wheatstone alumni. It’s always a special evening – in part because of the clothes.
On Epic Monday, students see the staff in play clothes, then on Tuesday morning the staff are dressed in business casual or whatever makes them feel like an adult. Students were confused and even asked us, “Why are you dressed so fancy?” To which we replied, “This is what we like to wear, don’t worry: we’re the same people you played with yesterday.”
As the arc of student’s transition to adulthood rises, Friday is the day that we all dress up: as one, having played and learned together the whole week.
"Life is better as an adult for Christ calls us to grow up again."
Peter David Gross
The opera concert was lovingly curated around our theme: Living Among Shadows. Pieces included: “The Light That is Felt” by Charles Ives (John Greenleaf Whittier), “Spring” by Ned Rorem (Gerard Manley Hopkins), “Von Ewiger Liebe” (Of Eternal Love) by Johannes Brahms (August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben, after a Serbian folk song) and many more along with powerpoint slide translations.
At the end, we sang the Doxology. To hear operatically trained voices mix with that of the students, staff and guests were enough to raise the rafters to heaven. “Tonight, we’ll party and stay up and discuss like the new heaven is already here,” Peter Dvid Gross said.
The next morning, students and their families regathered at the concert venue to hear a final commissioning address from Dr. John Mark Reynolds. The American story of adulthood deserves a second look: adulthood cannot just be about turning 18, going to college and getting married and buying a house.
If adulthood isn’t about any kind of spiritual emotional maturity: what hope is there? If today’s youth feel stuck with a sense that they are capable of more than they are allowed: is the church willing to offer them hope and maturity or be complicit in the myth?
At Wheatstone, we believe Christian Adulthood is the best way to be human. And, whatever God commands, he will complete. If we seek to grow and mature knowing Christ will complete that work.
Grow up and never stop
Pray — for when you pray, you’re with God.
Thank you for joining us. Time with your students was truly a gift this past week. Keep an eye out for future news from Wheatstone Ministries and a post-conference resource list! Go in peace.
Picture Credit: Juliet San Nicolas de Bradley