Eighteen youth, four adults and two staff members from our congregation are spending this week at Montreat Conference Center in the mountains of western North Carolina. We are attending Youth Week V with approximately 1,000 other Presbyterian youth and adults from across the country. For me, Montreat has always been one of those “thin” places where heaven and earth nearly touch. Over the years a large percentage of future elders and pastors have first felt God’s claim upon their lives while attending a Montreat youth conference. This year’s theme is “Searching for the Signal.” The young people are tracing the life of Christ from his birth to his resurrection. On Monday amidst the heat and humidity we celebrated Christmas, and were reminded that God has indeed become present with us through Christ Immanuel. In fact, God is always looking for ways to break into our lives and let us know that God is present. Often we are so burdened and distracted by simply living day to day that we forget to stop and notice the signs of God’s presence all around us. Pray for our young people, pray for our congregation and pray for our world as we seek the presence of God in our midst.