We are entering into my favorite time of the year: summer!! I remember summer being filled with long sunny days at the lake giving way to warm nights around the bonfire. The freedom of being able to stay up late with friends where the thought of school is no longer an issue. I’m sure when you hear the word summer, you have your own memories that flood your mind. Maybe it’s the sound of the roar from the crowd at a Twins game, or the sound of the ice cream truck going through your street, it could be the smell of sunscreen or the feeling of packing for a family vacation. For me, there was always one thing that stood out among them all as the lasting memory of summer: Youth Group.
I am lucky enough to have grown up in church. I am even more lucky to have had a group of people my age that were developing their own relationship with Jesus at the church (even if it was at first, mostly their parent's idea). These people in the youth group became my best friends, and my summer adventure companions. The older I got, the more important these relationships became to me. We had all summer to form bonds that lasted a lifetime. These summer events that were planned through the youth group were the true catalyst for the life change I needed. It was in the summer; around the fire, at the beach, playing volleyball and even in the church parking lot that we talked about life (which was mostly what girls we thought were cute) and eventually, about Jesus. It was a safe space to get real with my best friends. Had it not been for the laughter, the fun games, the friendships formed and the leaders who sacrificed, the walls I had built up would have never come down.
This is our goal for the summer in youth. Walls are going to come down. Friendships will be formed. We know that life can get heavy. The teenage years can be difficult, anxious and somewhat confusing times. But we know that God is right alongside us, every step of the way. He never leaves us, and never gives up on us. Knowing that, we can truly live in the joy and freedom God has given us. We can’t wait for all the fun games, the late-night conversations, and all the memories that will be made this season. We believe the students in Westbrook Youth will experience the presence God this summer that stays with them as they go into the Fall semester. Summer 2021 will be full of great memories for so many of these students. I hope for all of us, this summer we can experience that same joy. The future is bright. The best is yet to come.
Here are the events Youth has planned for the month of June!
6/9 - End of the School Year Beach Party
6/18 - Parent’s Night Out
6/23 - Movie Night at Church
6/30 - Zoo Day