Thursday, February 25, 2010

Faith journeys

On Wednesday, Olivia was ordained as a junior deacon at our church.   Now stay with me….this train won’t be making any unscheduled stops.  I grew up Quaker so even praying out loud makes me nervous.  Furthermore, I have no idea what being a junior deacon means other than serving coffee between services because as usual, anything organizational makes my eyes roll back into my head and I tune out.  What I do know is that we might never have become members of our church except for Liv’s involvement in the youth group.  Now Chip and I both sit on church committees and somewhat regularly attend church.  I would not have predicted that even 10 years ago.  As for Ally, she continues to firmly rail against all organized religion, on her path to hell. But I digress.

I grew up a drop-in Methodist youth grouper on and off during my childhood and teens for the usual reason girls attend youth groups….to see boys.  In retrospect, I imagine the youth ministers weren’t dummies and knew they were working with a hormonally charged type of Christian Fellowship.  They helped us toward our faith journeys through ping pong and snacks interspliced with bible verse and Christian teachings.  Youth group is that missing element of church for teenagers not appropriate for Sunday mornings…and that is cruising.   
Buddy Jesus.  The Junior Deacon told me to post it

I don’t really know Liv’s motivation for attending youth group at first but she has become a serious minded and active member of our congregation and has worked hard on her own faith journey including baptism, confirmation and mission trips including one this summer to a South Dakota Indian reservation.  I admire and am inspired by her confidence in her own faith as such a young person.  She’s the Alex P. Keaton to my hesitant hippie parenting in regard to faith and religion.  It’s a purposeful rebellion and stake in individualism from the family that I can live with even when there’s disagreement over the politics that often follow doctrine.   She still thinks Sarah Palin’s an idiot so for now, we’re all good.

So does anyone have a good youth group story to share?  I was going to say keep it clean but that wouldn’t be any fun.  Other than scamming boys, my experiences were actually just fun and tame.  Surely somebody’s got something better.


  1. Thank you for the Buddy Jesus picture, Mom!

  2. I never belonged to a youth group (maybe explains alot) but I did go to "lockins" with my Catholic friends in high school. All I remember about them was lying on the gym floor staring into the eyes of a cute boy across the room.

  3. Yeah, I was rebelling from church during youth group years, so nothing from me.

    But lock-ins! When I went to college in Texas, I started hearing about those. I remember thinking, what sort of awful idea was that?! Who the hell thought locking teenage boys & girls in a space overnight was going to have a happy ending?

    Well, as I think back on the stories, for some of the kids, it left some fond memories. But prolly not the kind the youth group leaders had in mind. :)