Newfound Appreciation

Bailey Morton   -  

I have a newfound appreciation for experiencing the concept of community. Knowing that we are people called to connect, WMPC did just that on Kickoff Sunday. Sunday morning, September 11, was filled with a new gathering time for youth where middle and high school students started the morning together with conversation, prayer, and donuts! We shared stories from our summers and embraced each other as folks were full to the brim with gratitude over the opportunity to re-engage and reconnect.

In the evening, we had our kickoff youth group for parents and youth to learn about the scope of WMPC Youth ministry and share in fellowship as we started the school year. We ate, we played, we learned, and we reflected. The entire day was dripping with newness and familiarity.

So, how does a Kickoff Sunday have such success after years of hybrid operation?

As I started my time at WMPC earlier this year, I was given a glimpse into the ministries that are our Middle and High School Leadership Teams. I’m here to tell you what a blessing they have become! These leadership teams meet weekly, and they have met weekly on zoom in the face of all the variants, to discern youth ministry on behalf of their peers. Every week we check in with each other, spend extra time in scripture, and discuss the ways we might practice radical hospitality on any given day. As someone who works most closely with high schoolers, these teenagers do not take this responsibility lightly. They are intentional, engaging and teaching everyone around them what it looks like to challenge yourself to grow in faith as you journey alongside your community.

CC Chiavetta, Class of ‘23, reflects on her time on the High School Leadership Team (HSLT). She says, “HSLT for me has meant having the chance to be an active participant in the leadership of my church. It’s such a cool experience to see the ‘behind the scenes’ youth program at WMPC. The feeling of having a voice in something you’re passionate about is so important, and HSLT gives the whole team that chance.”

Sam Norman, Class of ‘23, says, “Being on HSLT has been one of my favorite experiences of youth group, and even high school as a whole. We meet weekly, and I feel closer to everyone in HSLT during the week, and even closer to God and the community by helping with leading youth activities.”

There’s that word again….community. Our leadership teams have remained committed to cultivating the experience of community. On any given Sunday, they welcome folks into the space, pointing people in the appropriate direction and praying for the groups aloud. There may be moments where they are identified as background characters in the fabric of youth events, but don’t be fooled…they are truly backbone characters of this ministry.

On behalf of our leadership teams and youth staff, I want to invite you to be a part of the WMPC community of youth. All are welcome to bring your energy, your questions and even your doubts. Let us connect once again.

Bailey Morton
Assistant Director of Youth Ministries