Still Growing, Still the Same

CE@TUMC: Jacki Bogolia

In previous newsletters I have written about the growing number of youth who get up early on Sunday morning to gather in the Loft for “Quite Interesting Sundays” (aka QIS). Youth ministry at Trinity is quite interesting and quite exciting, too!

The church took a bold step a few years ago when it decided to invest in its education and youth ministries. Two part-time staff were hired and the budget was expanded. Week after week, right before our eyes, we got what we asked for: families of all shapes and sizes with children and youth.

Each year brought new ministry opportunities to the congregation. This year is no exception. I invite you take a few moments to consider your role in these ministries…

If you are a 20- or 30-something young adult, you are likely share cultural awareness and interests in music, technology, trends and issues that affect teenage youth today.

If you are the parent of college-age students, you have recently “been there, done that” with teenagers of your own. You could experience the joy of mentoring without the angst of actual parenting.

If you do not have children, or you live in an “empty nest,” your perceive teens from a different perspective. You may have time available now that you didn’t have before. You may even discover that becoming involved with the youth is an ideal way to fill a void with an interesting new relationship.

Seniors and grandparents are likely to have the most wisdom, the best stories, and the greatest ability to listen. Did you know that several children and youth who attend Trinity rarely get to see their own grandparents? What a gift your time and interest would be to these young people!

As Advent approaches we reflect on Mary, the young teenage girl who discovered she was pregnant with the Christ child. Although she probably had a good home and loving parents, she needed someone else. She was determined to visit her older cousin, Elizabeth.

Elizabeth accepted Mary and her condition without hesitation, judgment or fear. She encouraged Mary and mentored her. Mary brought the energy and freshness of youth as she supported her older, wiser cousin through her pregnancy and delivery.

At the end of the day (and each Sunday morning) teenagers’ needs in the 21st century are not very different from those in the first century. And, the needs of we “olders” may not be so very different either! I am grateful that God is the same God who continues to encourage us to be in loving relationship with each other.

Thanksgiving blessings to all.

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