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 and Gerard led us 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 that we had spent 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 table. We started asking our own questions, not to have them answered, but to have them heard.
As I look back over the things that have happened in the last month in the life of our youth, I cannot help but feel that we have lived more than a month worth of life. Many of these youth have been journeying together for a long time, with supporters like Emily, Gerard, the Welsteads, and the Kennedys giving their time and energy generously. I haven’t even mentioned the youth teams and parents that sat down months ago to put all of these events together.
I have only been a part of that journey for a month, but I feel like we’ve already traveled far together. In the church I grew up in, we called August “Awesome August,” because it was the kick-off month for all of our fall programs and a lot of families came back from vacations and summer traveling to rejoin the congregation on a weekly bases. It has been an Awesome August for the youth of Tabernacle!
Minister of Youth
Tabernacle Baptist Church