The New Colossus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
—Emma Lazarus, 1883
With another NYWC kicking off this morning, this is exactly how it feels. Youth workers are the most misunderstood tribe of church workers. Maligned, misrepresented, dispatched to the corners of the building these resilient men and women endure a lot to be in youth ministry. They do it because they’ve answered a calling to minister to the tribe of people often cast aside as lepers in the church, teenagers.
And they come to convention looking for rest, ideas, and encouragement. Convention is a place of shared known where we can laugh, cry, and celebrate what God is doing. As they come today, I hope to pour what I can into them.
This is a homecoming for them and I intend to welcome them home!