This summer has been fun and eventful for our youth group. We haven’t been meeting weekly, but we’ve gathered several times to enjoy one another’s company and the freedom of summer. We kicked the summer off—and welcomed our new sixth graders—with a Thrift Shop Prom. For this event, students were asked to find a colorful and creative costume at a thrift shop. We then proceeded to play games and dance the night away! We had a lot of fun, and the students took their outfits seriously. They looked great!
Our second event of the summer was our All Nighter. We began the evening with dinner at Portillo’s and entertainment at the Sycamore Speedway. We watched lots of races, and they concluded the evening’s festivities with a demolition derby. We returned to All Souls for prayer at midnight, 3am, and 6am. Between times of communal prayer, we played games and watched a movie. It was crazy, but once again, we had a lot of fun being together. In July, we gathered to have pizza and play board games, and next week, we’re gathering to play more games (not the board kind) and eat more pizza (we’d love to see our students there! July 24, 6-9pm, at PHCC).
Some students from our youth group are headed for a mission trip in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood in early August. Josiah Hsu is still selling prayer cards! Please pray for all our students that they will have a good and safe experience and that they encounter the presence of God in the people they meet.
In my role as Youth Coordinator this year, it’s been my main goal to identify and begin to develop a unique identity for Savior’s youth ministry. I’ve spent most of my time getting to know our students and their families, adding more organization to our ministry, and developing communication and visibility for the youth ministry. Our youth ministry is growing, and we want our ministry for students and families to connect to and sync with everything we do at Savior. Our students are not the future of the church, they are an important part of the church right now, and we want to encourage them as much as we can as they grow and mature in faith. God began a good work in our youth ministry long before me, and as I prepare to pass this role back to Mary (and whoever comes after me), I am confident that God will continue to be faithful to our students and their leaders.
Andrew and I have spent the summer brainstorming new ideas for youth group in the fall, choosing new curriculum for our Saturday evening Youth Worship meeting, and dreaming about what the future of youth ministry at Savior could be. We’re hoping to spend more time in the coming ministry year helping students practice spiritual disciplines, developing a communal rule of life, and continuing to teach our students how to love Jesus with their heads, hearts, and hands. We’re also hoping to recruit a few new leaders from Savior to lead our students, so if you sense that God is calling you to a new season of serving our students, please, let Mary or me know (I promise that we only stay up all night one night a year).
Finally, as we look toward the new ministry year, I will be sad to be missing it. It’s been an honor and a joy to serve the junior high and high school students, and their families, of Church of the Savior (and All Souls). My husband, Dawson, and I will be moving to Columbus, Ohio, at the beginning of August so that Dawson can begin working on his PhD in Sociology at Ohio State University. We have absolutely loved our time at Savior, and we will miss you all greatly. Thank you so much for welcoming us enthusiastically and trusting me readily to minister to your teenagers. I know that God has a wonderful plan for the youth at Savior, and I anticipate that this ministry will continue to grow and flourish.