Pudge had made it pretty clear last year—it would be the last for pumpkins at her farm. So imagine my surprise and joy when I got an email from her in early September, asking if the youth group would like to come down to pick pumpkins in October. Heck yeah! Even better, she loved the idea of “Pumpkins with Purpose,” and donated her pumpkins for our fundraiser for Syrian refugee children through Project Amal ou Salaam. As I write this our little congregation has raised over $450, thanks to your generosity. My heart overflows. Thank you Pudge! Thank you Welcome Table!
Looking ahead, I’m rumbling around with some new ideas for our ministry with youth. Diana Butler Bass says we’re in the midst of a major Church Reformation. That rings so true to me—church today looks different from 50 years ago, and the church our children inherit will look different from today. The big question is how do we stay open to Spirit so we can let go of what is no longer working, while holding on to what is essential to our identity and call in Jesus Christ? Churches that are thriving are trying on new ways of being church together, and youth ministry is no exception. Mark Yaconelli’s book, “Contemplative Youth Ministry,” is one of the signposts for this new direction. One step I’ve taken is to begin visiting with youth and sometimes their families between Sundays. Their lives are so busy and church often comes after homework, sports, theatre, clubs, service projects, and friends, if it comes at all. I understand that! At the same time, I firmly believe in the gifts the church (i.e. YOU) can offer our youth throughout their life journeys, especially during their teen years. So this is one small step to maintain our relationships and stay connected. This is just a first step, however, and I’ll be praying and discussing some more ideas in the months ahead. Will you pray with me?
Grace and Peace,
Nov. 8—Stone Soup Sunday: Be sure to bring one vegetable and your food bank donations. We will bless all of it and the youth will make “Stone Soup” in time for coffee hour!
Nov. 29—Advent Bake Sale: Our annual fundraiser— donated baked goods gladly accepted! Bring cash or your checkbook and prepare to leave with treats.