Several parishioners have asked how things are going in the youth program during the pandemic. It lifts my soul to know that St. Peter’s has been thinking about its youth! I’ve heard that you miss seeing them serving as acolytes and that you really appreciate and miss our yearly youth sermons and Youth Sunday. Our community’s support of the parish youth and children keeps us all going, especially during this pandemic year when we cannot gather in person to do the important work of bonding, worshiping together, and growing our community. We have continued learning, growing in faith, spiritual practices, and biblical knowledge through weekly classes on Zoom.
Our faithful Journey to Adulthood leaders—(YAC) Mike Hoffman, Mac Meloy, Lorrell Meloy; (J2A) Harris Holt, Elsie Erneston, Josiah Daniels; (Rite 13) Mary Gotschall and John Frederick—and I are consistently amazed and heartened by the number of youth that regularly attend our Zoom classes. We are buoyed by their spirited engagement each week, especially since they spend so much time in online schooling.
As St. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9:16, our epistle reading for this Sunday, “If I proclaim the gospel, this gives me no ground for boasting, for an obligation is laid on me, and woe to me if I do not proclaim the gospel!” Each of our leaders believes in the importance of reminding our youth that the Good Shepherd loves them. We seek to support their parents’ efforts at home and build on the foundation they built in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. We are serious about proclaiming the Gospel for and with our youth.
And, as youth leaders, we look forward to the time when we can return to a full youth program with mission trips, the seminal Holy Pilgrimage, HUGS Camp, Bishop’s Ball, our worship and play at lock-ins, and our annual beach and winter retreats. These activities are a major part of this program. They give us time and place to create memories, cement friendships, share joys and sorrows, and grow closer to one another and God. So, while we continue to grow spiritually through Journey to Adulthood classes, we all cannot wait to worship together in person, serve in community with the rest of the parish, and continue to grow as members of the church and in the love of Christ.
Lyn Holt, Director of Youth Ministry