As a senior in high school, this DYE marked the beginning of the last year of youth events for me, but the first of many youth events for Bellwether Farm. During a previous visit to the farm during the Spring Youth Gathering, we placed our handprints on the concrete floor of the Worship Barn. Walking into the Worship Barn at DYE and seeing the changes, namely the wood floor, was overwhelming. The wood we were contra dancing on Friday evening was laid on top of our prayers. It felt like God's love was rising from the floor and gathering within us. Saturday morning brought about the scavenger hunt where we all got soaked in the rain, but that didn't faze us too much! We simply changed our clothes and hung them to dry over the banister. Bellwether truly became another home.
Bellwether Farm is great because you get to experience God in so many different ways, not just on the page, not just in the sanctuary on Sunday mornings, but in the sun coming in through the windows as you wake up
in the morning, the wagging tails and kisses from the beautiful dogs, the unobscured night sky, free from light pollution, the camaraderie between members of teams during activities, the joy in your heart as you call the goats and sheep to come eat and seeing them run to you, and when the honey bees land on you and just roam freely on your arms. God is everywhere, constantly with us, no matter who we are or what we believe, and this is especially true at Bellwether. He's in the mud after the rain. He's in the growing plants. Yes, He's even present in those bugs that distract us. Bellwether is growing with us. It's feeling the rhythm of life, just as we
are. Every time we do something new there, Bellwether is experiencing it for the first time too. Just as God is building us piece by piece, just as we build ourselves, Bellwether Farm is being built by other people for
you. Each day is new at Bellwether, bringing with it new challenges, new experiences, just new in general. This is the same for us.
My first experience with youth events was at Happening 2016. I was young, struggling with anxiety, and for some reason, I found a family amongst people I barely knew. These past couple of years have provided me with experiences and memories I will hold close for the rest of my life. You never really know who you'll meet at events, and the hugs of people you haven't seen in months who love you, being able to pick up right where you left off as if no time has gone by – priceless. The people who you didn't even know on Friday, you're probably going to exchange numbers and talk with frequently after.
My faith has always been one of the biggest parts of my life, and being able to share in it with so many of you has allowed me to grow. Thank you Father Zeke for introducing me to youth events. Thank you Father Vincent, Canon for Christian Formation, for continuing to love and help us find ourselves at youth events. Thank you Mary Anthony, for being inclusive, caring, and providing transportation for so many of us. And thank you
to Bishop Mark, for the continuous support of us and for bringing the dream of Bellwether to life. A big thank you to the team at Bellwether who made it possible for this to happen with their continuous hard work and dedication. I hope and pray that all the people who come after me will find the love of God and the love of others, and go in peace to love and serve one another.