With the holiday’s over and a new year beginning, there are so many things that I look forward to for both our youth group and our young adult ministries! One thing I’ve learned in the past 5 months or so that I’ve been here at ECC is that the future of these ministry initiatives is full of potential, but requires a posture of patience, an openness to feedback, and a willingness to change course as we try new things. Thus, what I want to share with you is a quick highlight of a few things we’ve tried and a look ahead a few things that we’re going to try.
For our 1935 Young Adult ministry, I’m very thankful that we were able to get in an initial gathering before the busyness of November and December got into full swing. As I’ve mentioned before, one of the pieces of feedback we got from that gathering is that our young adults would like to have fairly regular opportunities to gather, connect, and grow together. Thus, we have planned to begin having monthly 1935 activities that will start this month with lunch and games after church on Sunday, January 29. My hope and prayer is that these events will be regular enough to create and grow this community, while also providing easy onboarding for new young adults to jump in and join us as they are able.
For our youth ministry, we ended the year with a big Christmas Party for Jr. High and High School students that was a lot of fun. After getting some feedback from students that wish we could meet with more regularity, I decided that we’re going to try to start meeting every week on Wednesday, starting in February. My prayer is that this ministry and this community of students will thrive with the increased opportunities to gather, have fun, and grow together.
Another big step forward happened VERY recently (this past weekend in fact), as we had the opportunity to bring 10 middle and high school students to Winter Camp at Covenant Harbor Bible Camp in Lake Geneva Wisconsin. The theme for the weekend was “Audible”, focusing on 1 Samuel 3 and the time that Samuel heard God calling out to him and had to figure out how to receive and respond to God’s voice and call in his life. The students connected with the theme very well and it led to great conversations and opportunities to share with one another. On top of all that, we had a great time with the many activities, games, and even just down-times filled with laughter and fun group games. What a blessing to come together and share in such a life-giving weekend together! We are thankful to this church for all the prayers over the course of the weekend.
Looking forward for our youth ministry, I am making many plans for our regular youth gatherings that will focus around building relationships and community. All of this will be leading us towards our big summer trip experience that I am planning for July 2023. I’ve briefly mentioned the “Community Live-In” already, and while there is a LOT of work to go into planning and preparing for the trip still, there is not a lot I can share about what the experience will be like exactly yet BECAUSE the trip will be formed and shaped by the community of students and leaders that will be attending. What I CAN say is that we are praying hard for all the students and leaders God will call to be a part of this discipleship trip. AND, we also know there will be a considerable amount that we need to fundraise to cover the financial needs of the core service and discipleship areas of this experience. If you are willing to give towards this adventure, please consider participating in the fundraisers as we announce them OR feel free to contact me with any designated offerings.
As always, please continue praying for me as I seek God’s wisdom and plans for these ministry initiatives. Please pray for our students and young adults, that they find a sense of encouragement, inspiration, community, and hope as they draw closer to God through these ministries. And pray for those students and young adults that we do not yet know, but that God knows and may be leading to us and these ministries in the future!
--Pastor Chuck Potts