Back-to-School Lock-in!

This past Saturday and Sunday, we had an awesome back-to-school lock-in, which was planned by our equally awesome youth council! We had twelve youth here to stay overnight! It was a fantastic opportunity for our middle and high school youth to spend some quality time getting to know each other better and having fun at the church!

We were unable to take pictures for a lot of the night because most of the group games were in the dark, but you can see a little of the fun below! We ate pizza, played capture the flag, sardines, infection, and board games, made homemade popcorn, and closed the night with an evening prayer and a viewing of Space Jam!


Thanks again to the Youth Council for planning the lock-in. This was a great way to kick-off the year for the youth–stay tuned for some super cool events this fall!



Mission Stay- Day 4!

(From yesterday!)

We dropped off the cookies at Sunshine Ministries and got a tour of the building! Then we went to the Haven of Grace to clean apartments! There was some very random stuff laying around. They also brought us water and doughnuts! (“That was a good doughnut”-Ann Parish)

We went to Crown Candy Kitchen for lunch, but we got it to-go so we didn’t have to wait in the long line outside! It was good and we sat under an awning! We listened to Jamaica Ray play the steel drums, too. Then in the car we listened to Can’t Stop This Feeling a lot.


After we went to that nice lady Ginger’s house and played with Nacho the French Bulldog and Minnie the Golden Retriever. And we packed up all our carnival stuff into a yellow wagon and walked over to Grace Episcopal Church for ECM’s fundraiser!

The carnival was great and we gave away most of our big prizes! We even played some other games ourselves. Finally, we closed out the night with a movie back at the Dutton residence. It was a fun week!

The first annual Junior High Mission Stay was a great success. Special thanks to Ann and Ginger for helping all week! We had a lot of fun and learned a lot in the community.

Until next time,
The Whole Crew

Mission Stay- Day 3!

This morning we made cookies for Sunshine Ministries! We put some butter in the parking lot today (to soften). They were chocolate chip with 4th of July sprinkles. We made 150 small cookies and THE cookie–a giant cookie we had for ourselves. The cookies were delicious.


After we made our booth for the Episcopal City Mission carnival. It’s a ball toss. It’s got blue and blue and red and white felt. The circles were not that great but we put in a lot of effort and tried our hardest. It was really fun! We also made a sign for the booth.


This afternoon we swam at Allie’s house! We swam and we swam and we swam. And Joe convinced Bailey to swim and it was so much fun. We played Oreo and the movie/tv guessing game. Joe won that game. Addie almost made a basket from the diving board. Crocket the dog dove for his torpedo. Ann gave us ice cream and Popsicles!!

Tomorrow we’re helping at the Haven of Grace and eating at Crown Candy. We’ll cap of the day with the ECM carnival and a movie night!

Bye bye, aloha,

Addie, Joe, Katie, Bailey, and Allie

(and Jillian and Ginger and Ann)

Mission Stay- Day 2!

This morning we got to St. Peter’s on the hottest day of the year. We went to Beverly Hills to garden with Beyond Housing! We saw a cabbage butterfly and a dog. And a squirrel. And a bird. Just the one bird.


In the garden we hoed the weeds and watered a lot of plants. There was no running water, so used laundry detergent jugs. We also planted sweet potatoes! We also drank some Powerade–thanks Jillian! Bailey does like memes. Everyone learned about weed weasels. We worked super hard, but took lots of water breaks because it was hot. April and her dog sugar were our hosts!


We went to Fitz’s for lunch and then kicked butt and bowling. Allie won, but Joe went easy on everyone. After that, we went to Schnuck’s and did not buy refried beans. We got unsalted butter, eggs, sprinkles, and most importantly, chocolate chip cookies supplies! We’re making cookies for Sunshine Ministries in the morning!

Day 2 (6)
Adios amigos! Goodbye my dudes! It is Wednesday!
Allie, Addie, Joe, Bailey, Katie, Ann, and Jillian


Mission Stay! Day 1!

Today was the start of our junior high “Mission Stay.” All this week, rising 7th and 8th grade youth are going out into the community and giving back to St. Louis, followed by fun local activities in the afternoon!


For our first service project, we headed up to north St. Louis near All Saints’ Episcopal Church and picked up trash! Ms. Lewis, a parishioner at All Saints’ and member of the neighborhood, led us all around as we helped beautify the area. It was an awesome morning! And it wasn’t super hot, so that was nice.

Then we headed to Bailey’s Range downtown for some delicious burgers. After that we spent some time at the City Museum and topped of the day with some refreshing Mr. Wizard’s Frozen Custard!


More updates to come tomorrow!
Jillian and the Junior High Crew

Day 7-What a Random Day!

This morning started with an extra early wake-up call–4:45 am! (And that was after a late night of stargazing!) We went to the outside of the chapel for a corn pollen blessing by Deacon Paula! It was beautiful and a really great experience. We learned even more about the culture and it was awesome. Some of us were allergic to pollen and could not eat it, but some did anyway.

Then we went back to bed and got another two hours of sleep! Tommy and John woke up the boys at 8:30 with a vacuum cleaner–NICE. Afterwards we made big breakfasts of all our leftovers. We went around the reservation and picked up trash. Mary found a spoon. Nell saw a fluffy dog. We hung out on the playground after we packed up and did some sweet swing tricks.

Gloria and Gordon made us some delicious tacos at the Hummingbird Café! Which we got to via our newly painted bridge. Then we packed up the cars and said our goodbyes to Mother Cynthia and Deacon Paula!

We drove to Albuquerque and jammed and watched vines and some people slept. Our hotel is super awesome. We got here and relaxed and took showers and the water pressure is amazing.

For dinner we went to El Pinto and ate more chips than an average person can consume. There was a cool Jeep that we spent a lot of time on. We also Snap Chatted A LOT.

Now, it is our final night, and we fly home tomorrow. It was a really great trip and everyone wants to come back next year. We’re gonna miss the  reservation and the dogs and cats and the people and the popsicles and the BBQ Lays and the games and the jam sessions. And we’re gonna miss the fam.

Kwaheri, hadi wakati mwingine,
Henry, Nell, Mary, and Jillian


Day 6-Corn, Paint, and More!

Hola Padres! Donde está el Shamu?

This morning we woke later than normal because Jillian is super awesome. Thirty minutes can make a difference! Jack did so much work today. We went to Morning Prayer and then we went to work! Some of us went back to the garden and basiled it up and some others watered some blue corn. Planting the basil is very relaxing, except when they’re short. We met Wade and he told us a lot about Navajo culture and racism. The rest of us painted and scraped the Hummingbird Bridge more.

After lunch, Nell fell on cactus. Then we did more inside work. Jack, John, Nell, and Henry squadded-up with packaging blue corn to sell, while the rest of us became cleaning masters. We then finished the Hummingbird Bridge and it looks dope! Some people went to finish painting the inside of a house and painted a quirky and fun table with a lizard. We did some awesome work today!

We spent a lot of time on the playground this afternoon, while Juliana sang in the church! We also had a very controlled argument. Dinner was leftovers because we leave tomorrow! Edd came back and autographed some pictures for us and blessed Chris’s necklace. Then some people from Spain rolled up on their motorbike and John and Rachel were master translators. Tommy asked them about soccer. Tell Andrew H. they like Reál and Barcelona!


We just finished up Compline and we will be heading out soon to star gaze! Tomorrow we wake up SUPER EARLY for a corn pollen blessing at sunrise!


Adios Amigos! See you in dos days!

Jack, Juliana, Chris, Rachel, and Jillian


Day 5- It is Wednesday!

It is Wednesday my doods!

This morning we got up at midnight to say, “it is Wednesday, my doods!” (see video below)

Then we went bed, got up later today, and went to Morning Prayer. Some of us went to work in the fields again, while others scraped paint off the Hummingbird Bridge. Billy and Evan had fun picking up trash, while John, Jack, Juliana, Rachel, and Jillian had trouble scraping paint, but turning up to music (“turnip is a plant” quoteth Billy). Julie was awesome and got us more food. Scott and Jer-Bear worked on some irrigation stuff again.


After, we had lunch and went back to work. Everyone painted the bridge for a bit, then some shelled goobers (goober means peanuts). Some planted basil, painted the inside of a house, picked up more weeds, and broke down boxes. It was a super lit day and we did a ton!

Some of us came home and played Magic the Gathering while everyone else watched. Tonight we had an amazing dinner made by Paula and Shirley (Paula’s mom). It was a delicious traditional Navajo meal. We had Navajo tacos on fry bread and blue corn mush, as well as Navajo tea!

Then we watched OG Money Fast and Rowdy Eddy do traditional dances with his daughter. He even taught us some dances, where Chris took home third, Tommy took home second, and Billy took home first! We also learned about native plants and had more blue corn mush. As usual, we finished the evening with a nice round of Compline.

Tomorrow we are going to paint more, finish the Hummingbird Bridge, and pick up trash. It will be our last full day at Good Shepherd!



Billy, John, and Tommy

Day 4- Working and Capture the Flag

Tomorrow is Wednesday my dudes! (T-minus 3 hours)

We woke up slightly later today and then we got ready. Jack ate a lot of cereal. AND THEN we went to Morning Prayer with Mother Cynthia.


We split up into groups and most of us went to the corn fields and the green house. A few of us went with Julie to clean a Sunday School room. Evan was a master weeder. Chris made the best compost. If it ain’t Chris’s, it ain’t worth it. Mary maybe pulled a back muscle. We watered the garden, planted corn, picked weeds, made compost, watered the trees, and Billy found lizards. And some of us also found a pokey capertiller. But then Sammy almost ate it and was super cute. Henry shelled peanuts like a boss. Rachel was way fast at planting corn. Jer-Bear and Scott helped with irrigation things.

Basically, our whole afternoon was hard work. Margaret, the program director, was super impressed by us and how much we got done! The Sunday School room is immaculate and we planted so many beds of corn.

After, we played the one word sentence game AGAIN and played guess that movie and some other games. We made our own pizzas for dinner. Then, after that, we hopped in the cars and jammed all the way to Rez Refuge, a teen program for Navajo youth. We went to a park in St. Michael’s and played like five games of capture the flag with them. John and Henry captured both the flags and Chris got people out of jail (so bravely). Henry made a dope dive after his capture. Billy, Evan, Mary, and Nell found 2 DirecTV boxes and smashed one open and opened the other one with rocks. And then dragged one down the hill. We did bring it back to properly dispose of it! It was awesome to hang out with the Navajo youth!

We also found out that our picnic tables double as benches. Very shocking. Tommy did a sweet dab. Shout out to Willard Gerding!

We closed the night with Compline (CLASSIC!) Tomorrow we’ll do some painting and more gardening, but it’s our night for native food and grass dances WITH FAST EDDY!

Coming to you straight outta Compline,
Mary, Chris, Evan, and Jillian

Day 3-Canyon De Chelly

It’s two days til Wednesday my dudes!

We woke up early to go on a hike with Ed and Sedona to Canyon De Chelly! Ed is a native Navajo and we called him Fast Eddy because he left us all in the dust.


Canyon De Chelly was really pretty and very deep, and Juliana broke her camera from taking too many pictures. IT BLEW HER CAMERA’S MIND!


The hike down to the White House Ruins (ruins inside the cliff!!) was easier for most people (not Juliana or Evan or Henry) than the hike up, but some of us were sucking wind as we went back to the top. Billy hard-core-parkored. Jillian sang the Rocky song as she was coming up the mountain. It was incredible to stand in awe of God’s creation.



Then we went to the Spider Rock overlook and fed the ants with our accidental lunch crumbs. Billy found a pencil that said, “Give a hoot, don’t pollute!”


We took a super back way home, and after dropping off Ed and Sedona, we headed to the Navajo Nation Museum. However, most of us wanted to visit the zoo, but we enjoyed the museum and learned a lot.

Then we came home, relaxed, and played the one word sentence game. Henry also played piano a lot. We had hamburgers and hot dogs for dinner (classic mid-west) and then went to see the Medicine Man. It was very smokey, but Phil provided a lot of deep insight into creation and Navajo culture. He did a great job of tying that into our belief system, as well.


We closed with Compline once again, and tomorrow we begin our work on the Reservation! We’ll have our bucket hats on.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s awesome update!

Henry, Billy, Juliana, and Jillian