On September 1st, I remembered that I’ve only been at Tabernacle for a month. One month!
The youth lived a lot of life in August. Let’s run through August:
First, we met. On Sunday, August 5, we met together for lunch after church. We awkwardly said hello and I began learning what was coming in the month ahead. Then, on the following Saturday, Emily White and Gerard Burton led us to challenge our fears at King’s Dominion. There are few better places to get to know one another. For many of us, this was the first time that we stepped onto a roller coaster and felt that tinge of panic and regret as we heard that “click……click…click..click.click” as we climbed the first hill. For some of us, it was the first time this summer that we had spent a full day with this group of people. Thanks to the hard work and generosity of Emily and Gerard, we all survived!
The next Sunday we enjoyed the hospitality of the Welsteads as we spent a day on the river. We enjoyed jet skis, canoeing, and kayaking. It was a day of conquered fears for some of us! Stepping into muddy water and controlling a kayak are no small feats.
The next weekend, the Kennedys hosted us for a weekend retreat in Fredericksburg. We ate and we swam, we canoed and we kayaked, we played games and watched a lot of Shaun the Sheep. We spent time learning about one another and thinking about what being the youth at Tabernacle means. How do we describe ourselves? In asking these questions, we started to think about who we are as individuals, and what things we bring to the table. We started asking our own questions, not to have them answered, but to have them heard.
Fall programming started in September. Our Sunday school classes were split into middle and high school groups. The middle school group is led by Cathy McGraw, and the high school group is led by Sarah Smith and Andrew Sabatini. For the last few months, we have used the Spill the Beans curriculum, which follows the Narrative Lectionary. On Wednesday nights, we have been meeting and going through two different series, one on Forgotten Saints in the Bible and one called Dismissed Faith.
In October, the youth have been thinking about and exploring their personal faith in its entirety, from their doubts and fears to their thoughts on baptism, scripture, and prayer. We are thankful for Emily White and David Gorman for being leaders on Wednesday nights!
We met for a youth game day at the home of Steve, Jennifer, Spencer, and Sam Law. About a dozen youth attended at various points for a time of community building and fun. We are thankful to the Laws for opening their home to us!
Youth Worship Arts resumed in October, under the leadership of Judy Fiske, Marty Watkin, and Ron Simmons. The youth look forward to leading us and sharing with us in worship very soon.
As I look back over the things that have happened in the last few months in the lives of our youth, I cannot help but feel that we have lived more than three months’ worth of life. Many of these youth have been journeying together for a long time, with supporters like David, Sarah, Andrew, Cathy, Emily, Gerard, the Welsteads, the Laws, and the Kennedys giving their time and energy generously. I haven’t even mentioned the Youth Team and the parents that sat down months ago to put many of these events together.