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Teens Encounter Christ

TEC is a weekend FOR teens, BY teens and ABOUT teens. It is full of singing, laughing, learning and sharing. TEC is a weekend without judgment, where all kinds of young people come together for one cause: To learn about the real caring love God expects for one another and about our relationship with a personal God whose presence is the ground of our being.

Whether you are just finding your relationship with God or you want to strengthen that relationship, TEC is a place where that work can take place. The TEC team works to develop a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere for EVERYONE. There is a series of "talks" given by youth on the team that help to build freindships between all participants. The variety of activites -- singing -- games -- etc. are planned so that the whole experience is one of unexpected and creative surprise.

If you are interested in participating or want to know more, contact

The Rev. Jeff. Paul (Carson City)
Debbie Martin (Las Vegas)


Refelctions from a recent TEC leader:


"The Best Kind of Tired"

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me;  for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

-Matthew 11:28-30

I'm exhausted.  I could sleep for a week.  My capacity to focus on the simplest detail is severely compromised.  (Anybody seen where I left my alb?)  I'm wrung out, sprawled on the couch like a dishrag dangling over a kitchen faucet.  Did I mention that I was tired?  I've just spent 72 hours with 36 high schoolers at a Christian Retreat called Teens Encounter Christ.

But Jesus is not kidding - just saving the punch line for last. The "labor" and "heavy loads" about which he speaks have nothing to do with work, duty, mission, or ministry.  He's talking to people who are always laboring to be "good," and to "not be bad."  He's talking about the heavy load of guilt and self-reproach that are part and parcel of a sinner's life.  He's talking to me.  He's talking to you.  The "rest" he offers is a rest from the sheer silliness of our efforts to win God's favor or to avoid God's rejection.  In Christ, God decides to "drop dead" to the business of keeping score and getting even.*  God decides to simply love us.  We rest in perfect love.

Now the punch line:  The reason that Jesus provides us rest from all our calculated (and exhausting) efforts to manipulate God is precisely so that he can call us into ministry and work our tails off!  Oh yeah, the Kingdom is one busy vineyard all right.  There is way more than plenty for everybody to do.  If you want to be counted with the laborers in the Kingdom vineyard, than you're gonna have to regularly make friends with "tired."

But it's the best kind of tired - a tired that wears the most peaceful smile, a tired which issues the steady hum of deep satisfaction and reeling joy.  It is a tired that is a celebration, like an athlete who, win or lose, left it all on the field, and whose sore muscles ache with the proclamation of a job done faithfully.  It is an exhaustion that never exhausts;  rather, it feeds us and nourishes us with meaning and hope.  Kingdom-tired is a witness, creating momentum for all the workers in the vineyard.  Kingdom-tired never burns you out - it pours you out with passion and purpose.

Kingdom-tired...as opposed to Burned-out-ugly-tired - like sitting on the couch with a half-gallon of ice cream watching daytime television, or serving nine church committees all the while feeling resentful and entitled because people don't seem to get how wonderful you are. That kind of stuff will really wear you out.

-Steven C. Kalas, M.Th.

January 7, 2002

(* From a book by Fr. Robert Capon, the title of which escapes me. It's something like Why Christians Don't Get It.)

History, Origin, Background and Affiliation
of the TEC Program