I admit that spending five full days wrangling 15 teenagers didn’t exactly feel like I was easing my way into the job, but I can say with certainty that it was the best way to be introduced to both the city of Memphis as well as this fantastic group of students.

Guided by our fearless leader, Mary Margaret, we took to the streets of Memphis for the 2nd iteration of a wonderful week of service, learning, and a heap load of fun. Our youth walked and maneuvered the Memphis bus system everywhere from the National Civil Rights Museum to Cooper Young to Overton Park and everywhere in between. We were graciously hosted by our friends at First Congregational and spent most of our nights in their Retreat Center playing ridiculous games and laughing until we cried.

While it may be true that the week was something of a “baptism by fire,” I found it to be simultaneously a baptism of the Spirit, just as Matthew predicted. This group of students brought their whole selves to every part of our time together. They inspired me with their willingness to stand in the tension between sincere excitement about the abundance of great work happening in Memphis, coupled with grief and concern for so many of our neighbors. Truly, the Spirit is at work in and through the youth at Grace-St. Luke’s, and I could not be more thrilled to be along for the ride. —Meredith Day