Over the past few weeks, I have found myself in several conversations around the history of First United Methodist Church of Hurst. Some of the conversations have been a learning opportunity for me. Others have been a chance for me to share my own history with the church and my experience with youth ministry, both as a student and as a leader.
My mom was in 6th grade when her family moved to Texas. She went through confirmation and stayed active in the youth group until she left for college. Along the way she met an awesome group of people. This group stuck together through high school, through college, through celebrations, through grief, and through the growth of their families.
I also had the incredible privilege of growing up with a pretty solid, consistent age group. Many of us started at the Day School together, were confirmed together, and celebrated our high school graduation together. New friends joined throughout these milestones, adding to the large support group we had created. When my mom passed away, these were some of the first people to be at my side. When college acceptances started rolling in, we cheered each other on.
This trend continues with our younger generation. Today’s students are still forming the bonds that past generations have created. The level of excitement the students express when they are together is incredible. I see how they cheer each other on as they thrive in each of their areas of interest. I see how they support each other when they might be feeling down.
Hearing or seeing God, at least in my experience, is not always obvious in the moment. But as I look back, I see how God has been moving through all of this. God was (and is) in every youth leader and every adult volunteer as they created a space for youth to be themselves no matter what. God was (and is) in every student as they learned what it means to be a follower of Jesus. God is always on the move and I think that should be celebrated as often as possible.