By Cass DuCharme 

As many of you know, Caitlin Childers, John Patterson, 21 of our youth, and I spent last week at Passport Choices at Wingate University in Wingate, North Carolina.


The theme for Passport this year was "TAG! You're It," featuring the scripture Matthew 22:9, Go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.  Through Bible studies, devotions, small groups, worship, meals, awesome fun times, games, and parties the youth discovered that everyone is welcome at God's table. They went outside their comfort zones and learned once again that all people are created by God and important to God.


As you can imagine, we talked a lot about the game of "tag," and played it a lot, too. Throughout the week, all of the rules of the game came to life for the campers and leaders alike. On the first day of camp we talked about "the chase" - about God pursuing us because God loves us so much. On the second day we talked about "home base" - keeping God as our strong foundation, and involving Christ in the choices we make. The third day we talked about what it means to be "out of bounds" - that Jesus calls us to step out of our comfort zones and care for people who are left out. On the last day we learned what it means to be "it." We are the ones called to carry God's message of love to the world!


I thought about our church a lot last week and how this theme affects us. Then I wondered, are we conscience of the fact that God is continually pursuing us? Do we see our church as a strong home base for followers of Jesus? Do we really step out of our comfort zones to care for all people? Are we striving to carry God's message to the world and Shirley Hills?


What about you? When was the last time you cared for someone outside your comfort zone? When was the last time you invited a neighbor to Sunday School and church? These aren't questions to make you feel guilty, these are questions to remind us that you and I are the hands and feet of Jesus in this world. We are the ones that God has chosen to share his love. Tag! You're It!