Carrie, Simon, Liz, Mary, Zach, and John finally meet Daniel Ezekiel. The youth pastor is not what they expected. He greets the group warmly and gets the room set up for group discussion.
As Daniel got chairs from the garage, the group grabbed each chair and set it up so that they would form a circle in the office.
“He seems really nice,” said Mary as she set up her chair.
Liz giggled, “He is kind of cute too.”
“Hey…what about me?” complained John.
“You’re just a pest,” answered Simon.
John frowned and sat in his chair. He looked at Mary and smiled, “Guilty as charged.”
“What do you think Zach?” asked Carrie.
Zach sat down and cleaned his glasses, “He seems to be very eccentric.”
“What’s that mean in English?” asked John.
“I mean that he has a very active mind.”
“Yeah…I saw that in him too,” said John, “Do you think that’s a bad thing?”
“Not really,” answered Zach, “Most scientists have a tinge of eccentricity in them. It helps them be successful.”
“If you say so,” said John.
Simon sat down in his chair and looked up at the ceiling.
“Simon,” asked Carrie, “What do you think about him?”
Simon looked at Carrie, “I don’t know. He seems too nice. From my experience, people who are like that usually have something to hide.”
The door to the garage opened and Daniel came in carrying a red cooler. He placed it in the center of the circle. “If you want something to drink, please help yourself. I have water, tea, Gatorade, Coke, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, and Sprite.”
Liz grabbed a Dr. Pepper and gave Mary a Sprite. Zach grabbed a bottle of red Gatorade and John helped himself to a Coke. Carrie took a Pepsi. “Do you want anything Simon?” asked Daniel.
“I’m fine,” said Simon flatly.
Daniel shrugged and took a bottle of black tea and sat down with the group.
Daniel looked at everyone and smiled, “Friends, this is the Circle of Trust. Here, you can share what’s in your heart. What are the dreams that you have? What are the things you are afraid of? What is it that you believe in? In this Circle, I have one rule: When someone talks, you listen. There will be no rude comments or teasing. In the Circle, you are free to express yourself. Does everyone understand?” Everyone nodded. “Now, since this is our first meeting, I don’t expect you to share your darkest secrets. Let’s just start with the basics like what is one thing that really defines you?”