Hi all,

I know it’s been some time since I last wrote a post here, but I want to share that it’s not because my internship hasn’t been moving forward. There’s been a lot of movement and exciting things happening and I’m glad to be sharing some of the updates with you.

It seems fitting that I write this tonight, after a great conversation with my mom, where both of us shared with each other that we feel a certain stirring inside ourselves, something moving in us that is about to come to life. There’s a kind of spiritual energy that seems to break through when living deeply into call, and I’m so thankful for Eco-faith Recovery for giving me the space to explore both the excitement of what I think of as co-creating with community and Spirit, as well as the fears of not being enough or failing that come up with that work. These have been present with me lately and I imagine they will continue as I dive deeper into this great project.

“So, what, exactly are you doing again, Nathan? What is this project you’re working on? Well, you can find the original story and a starting description on my first blog post. But now I get to share some of the exciting updates and a little more about what this might look like.

First off, I think we have a name the Eco-faith Youth Project. As it’s currently imagined, it will be a gathering of 10-15 high school youth, all participating in 6 days of interactive games, speakers, stories, and outdoor adventures, focusing on what youth need to know about the future of our environmental crisis and economic pressures, as well as what spiritual resources we have to help us respond to this Great Work together.

Another exciting piece of working on this project is that I’ve been getting lots of help. In November, I started meeting weekly with Anna, a first year PCC student with ties to the congregation of UCC Ainsworth, and she’s been an amazing collaborator in this process. I’m inspired by her excitement and dedication to making this project an amazing experience for the youth. I’ve also been meeting monthly with my mentor, Dick, which has been immensely helpful in trying to take what I’m learning about the biosphere and economy in the Organizing in the Bio-commons class, and translating it to ideas for games and speakers to make this camp an exciting experience for youth. It often feels a bit daunting to come up with something that will work well for the youth, but I’m hopeful with a little help and creativity, we can make this a great experience. And who knows what could happen. If there’s enough energy around this, maybe the youth this year will decide to come back next year to help run the project themselves (this is my secret/not-so-secret dream for this project).

Lastly, I wanted to ask for your help. Yup, that’s right, I need your help, too. I’m looking for anyone (or anyone who knows someone) that has some creative ideas about how to take bigger abstract concepts like understanding economic exponential growth or the limits of our nonrenewable resources and create games or illustrations that bring us to new understandings of what they are. I’m looking both for folks who understand these concepts and want to help, and folks that have worked a lot with youth using games of different sorts. My goal is to try to bridge these two pieces as best as possible. So if you have YouTube videos, or cartoons, or just want to get together and talk with me about your ideas, please let me know.

For now, I want to say a big thank you to everyone who has supported me, and I’m excited to share more as the project develops. Please feel free to post on this blog or contact me if you have thoughts or questions.

Thanks,

Nathan Holst

EcoFaith Youth Camp (by EcoFaith Intern, Nathan Holst)
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