Monday night, we gathered as a youth ministry community at our annual Youth Ministry Banquet to mark another year gone by. We paused to break bread together in order that we may recognize the passing of time. We paid homage to those who have walked the journey with us. We gave thanks for adults who have given of themselves to our young people. We honored our seniors who learned to walk in the nursery and those seniors who, invited by friends, became part of our community – all of whom now walk into new journeys beyond our walls. We counted our blessings for the 58 youth and their families who have been active in our community this school year.
Moments in the church year can seem insignificant or fleeting as they happen. But every May, our banquet allows us to see the big picture. We are able to see how these moments are the building blocks for the most treasured things of life – holy sacred friendships. Friendships that defy our culture’s understanding of friendships as disposable self-seeking relationships based off purely common interests. Instead, we develop friendships built upon the bonds of Christian community that reassure us that no matter where the winds of change take us, we are united and find our home together in God’s transforming Love.
The pictures offer a glimpse of the youth ministry experience. But we also recognize that they are only part of the story. So we remember what the camera could not capture.
- Our first annual meeting of Doubters Anonymous where youth were given space to name, wrestle, and offer up doubts as a spiritual act of boldly asking questions and calling upon a God who believe to be faithful and eager to engage.
- Conversations within small groups on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights where we explored the identity of Jesus, our role in our communities, the call to make an impact on our world, holy and healthy sexuality, and the radical sacrificial love made real in the cross.
- Youth Ministry Group meetings where parents, leaders, and youth came together to pray for and work towards bringing God’s transforming Love to life for young people in our community.
- Sending our love to one of our own, an 8th grade boy diagnosed with a brain tumor, who continues the slow work of coming back to life, giving our youth the opportunity to live out the calling to love and care for those in their darkest hour.
- Bread broken amongst the community each Wednesday night after a long day of school
- The smell of a campfire with youth’s faces aglow after a meaningful retreat
- The joy of a youth leader after having a powerful conversation with a youth
We sing praises to God for a youth ministry overflowing with abundance, a church seeking to invite and share God’s story of transforming love, and a world alive with the presence of God!
Check out a glimpse at our year in youth ministry video
and our beloved Class of 2012