There are two words that bring millions and zillions of memories rushing into my mind. These words are
I was lucky enough to be a member of the St. Timothy's Youth Group for many years.
I learned to be better friends with my sister at youth group. I met my husband at youth group. I went on dozens of retreats with youth group. I did my internship in high school with my youth leader. I went on 5 mission trips with youth group (one as an adult leader). I played games, I sang worship, I read scripture, I argued, I laughed, I learned a lot about God and about myself.
Behind all of these events our youth leader was a driving force, her name is Shanda, and there is nothing she will not do for the youth group.
This week, due to economic hard times, the church cut her budget. A lot. This is a painful thought. I believe that youth group helped make me the person I am today and that it keeps countless youth connected to the church, each other and their community.
When I found out the first thing I did was call three of my closest friends from those good ole' days. Pat lives in Montana now and Libby is a pastor's wife in Loveland, Colorado and my sister, Kate, is a college student in Memphis. We have our own lives and worries and issues but we all had the same reaction, "What the heck were they thinking and how can we change it?"
I am not sure that we can change it, but we can pray about it.
And so, in honor of those good times, I will share a speckling of endless youth group photos. We were so young.