in the hands of our youth

Good morning!!

Earlier this year Kaleigh had an idea for a project for the youth group – to pull together a show that would utilize the combined talents of the group; be a source of fun; and in the process raise funds for a local charity and youth programming at the church. It was a hit!! The youth were excited and began planning and practising for two shows in April.

Over the last few months I have watched this evolve and it has been an amazing experience. I saw youth come together and work as a team. I witnessed as walls of shyness came tumbling down and personalities broke forth. From the silly to the serious they were game for anything!! On Saturday, during the first show, I listened backstage as they lifted each other up, spoke words of encouragement, laughed and entered into this experience with joy.

I have been part of many conversations with people in my own congregation and in other church circles about the future of the church. Almost always it involves people bemoaning the fact that young people are not involved. They wonder how to bring young people in and, in many instances, I have watched as adults in the church have thrown up their hands believing that it is a lost cause. But youth are here and they are involved. Their involvement is not the way that we as adults might want. Sunday morning worship doesn’t necessarily speak to them at this point in their lives and so we don’t see them but they are here. They gather in our church on Sunday evenings and it is a time of fun, fellowship, learning and growing. They have explored their understanding of God and Spirit; they have conversations about identity and sexuality; they share concerns about the issues that they deal with daily; when the issue of restoration was before us, they talked about it and made their voice known through the surveys we sent out; and they support one another on the journey. This is the reality for many other churches as well.

A while ago I asked this group what First United meant to them. The answer was unanimous and simple – it is our home!

Today I celebrate the amazing young people who I have been privileged to journey with and who continue to share their lives with me. They are a source of joy, challenge and growth. They call me daily to be the best that I can be, to be open and inclusive, to rethink my understandings and so much more. They are passionate about life and faith and I have no doubt that my church is in good hands!

Blessings
Valerie

Reminders of the Week

Sunday April 10 at 3pm – Witness our youth in action!!! XTRAVAGANZA second showing! $10 at the door.

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