Teen Is Not a 4-Letter Word
I remain clueless as to why it is difficult to get adults to assist with youth programs for their churches. Many parents want to run and hide when the idea of working with middle and high school students is brought up. Yet, I have found working at youth events to be some of the most rewarding time in my ministry.
I just spent the weekend serving as a spiritual director for New Beginnings #32, a middle school retreat of the Diocese of Georgia. I love these weekends, especially as they are led by teens for teens with the talks given by teens and small groups led by teens. Adult participants and leaders are on hand, but their roles are in the background. The real work of ministry is done by the teen leaders.
At New Beginnings, there were three of us taking part from King of Peace. Kalyn led the games and gave a wonderful talk on friendships. Kyle was a participant attending his second New Beginnings and I served as one of two priests. I have served at several New Beginnings weekends as well as other diocesan youth events. Once again it was an amazing weekend of listening to what is going on in the lives of teens. Much of it is heartbreaking, as you hear the teenagers side of a broken home with a teen working to adjust as his or her parents' marriage falls apart. You also get to see up close the real work that goes into a teen deciding what they believe rather than just accepting all their parents' beliefs as their own.
Through it all, I enjoy watching that transition as children work their way to adulthood in the environment of Honey Creek, our camp and conference center where the teens do such a good job of providing each other with a base of love and support.
The best thing an Episcopal parent in south Georgia can do for their child is to encourage him or her to take part in Diocese of Georgia Youth Events. And for adults who are interested in assisting in ministry for and with teens, taking part in chaperoning these weekends is also highly recommmended.
Upcoming events are:
Winter Blast (grades 9-college), December 14-16 at Honey Creek
Happening #80 (grades 10-12), January 11-13 at Honey Creek
Convention Lock-In, Augusta (grades 8-12), February 8-9 in Augusta
High School Work Weekend (grades 9-college), February 29-March 2 at Honey Creek
Spring Fling (grades 6-9), March 7-9 at Honey Creek
New Beginnings #33 (grades 7-9), April 3-6 at Honey Creek
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor