Summer can be a time of joy, pain and transitions.
The joy that summer brings is warmer weather, beautiful flowers, fresh fruits and veggies, and the lush green landscape. For 12 years, my family looked forward to summer and spending evenings on the soccer field. I looked forward to volunteering to coach or coordinate with parents for snacks, water and end of season celebration at the local park district.
I enjoyed seeing familiar faces and parents who are beginning in the sport. It was a part of our summer fun, but we are now looking forward to something new.
My son graduated this year from high school and decided to enjoy his summer in a new way with a part-time job, volunteering at a local food pantry or school and celebrating with friends and family before starting college.
For some families, summer has brought heartache with violence, hurricanes and unpredictable weather, and children separated from their parents.
These are challenging times that call for us to step into being All Anew. At the Tenth Triennial Gathering (2017), Leymah Gbowee challenged us to think about anew as a process. She called it a way of life, not an event. She said we must engage, align and make a difference in the world together.
Human trafficking exhibit
This week, Women of the ELCA is helping to end human trafficking by informing more than 30,000 participants at the ELCA Youth Gathering about of the issue. In Houston, we will have an exhibit space that engages youth and adults in our advocacy efforts to end human trafficking.
Our goal is to help empower young Lutherans to become agents of change against human trafficking in their communities.
Our interactive space will include making hygiene kits and asking youth to write encouraging words for the kits. The kits will go to two local agencies in Houston that will distribute them.
Staff from one of the agencies will be available to answer any questions about how they are working to end human trafficking in the city of Houston. You can join us in our efforts to end human trafficking by asking youth to stop by our exhibit space, or you can still donate to our exhibit.
How are you creating change in your community?
Eva James Yeo is director for membership at Women of the ELCA. Photo of words of encouragement written by youth at the 2015 ELCA Youth Gathering in Women of the ELCa’s exhibit.