As a Youth Director, I often find solace in reflecting on my deep roots in the church and my extensive involvement in the youth group—a tradition passed down from my parents and grandparents, who themselves served as youth leaders. Presently, our youth at FUMC are immersed in a series exploring the complexities of relationships.
My formative years at Smyrna Presbyterian, a church much like ours in size, were characterized by the vibrant camaraderie of our youth group. Together, we embarked on meaningful missions, reveled in spirited games, and shared in both laughter and tears, unwittingly forging bonds that have endured over time. During my senior year, the arrival of a new pastor brought his son, Miles, whose passion for the outdoors mirrored my own. What began as friendship soon blossomed into romance, culminating in our marriage sixteen years ago.
However, Miles was not the only relationship I formed within our youth group. Since our relocation to Rutledge eight years ago, five other cherished members of our youth group have also made this community their home, enriching our lives in countless ways. Most recently, a dear friend from New Mexico joined our ranks, further reinforcing the enduring bonds of fellowship that have united us since our early church days. He joined us as a volunteer for our indoor rock climbing day.
While the demands of raising families and pursuing careers may have led to periods of less frequent communication, our friendships remained steadfast. Each reunion transported us back to our high school youth group, united by shared experiences and unwavering faith in Christ.
“Put your outdoor work in order and get your fields ready; after that, build your house.” (Proverbs 24:27)
Now, I have the privilege of witnessing our youth at FUMC build similar relationships with each other. As you know relationships and teenage years often can be difficult But These teens are putting in the work they are showing up to youth engaged and recently our group is getting even bigger. They are laying the groundwork for strong foundations in Christ, forging lasting friendships and creating unforgettable memories here at FUMC. It is such an honor to watch them laugh and have fun together all while worshiping Jesus.