April 19, 2018

Jackie Lerch

Director of Youth Ministries

        Derry youth chill out at breakfast between services on Youth Sunday, April 15.


This last month has been a whirlwind. As soon as I returned from maternity leave, we hit the ground running with Youth Sunday planning.  I couldn’t be more proud of our youth and all of their hard work to put it together.  However, I cannot take the credit.  The parents of our youth are wonderful. They hosted the youth breakfast and post worship fellowship.  They made sure their kids were at Youth Group and rehearsals. Alongside the parents in the pews also beaming with pride were our adult leaders who do not have youth in the program. Many of our Sunday School teachers and youth group volunteers are a part of this youth ministry just because they love our students. I couldn’t do any of this without all of them.

I am also thankful to our nursery workers and youth group parents who are willing to scoop up my baby when I need free hands. It takes a village, right? I am so blessed because of this village! I also want to take a moment to thank everyone who helped out during my maternity leave. It was so special to have those 12 weeks to just snuggle Frankie and know that the youth ministry was in good hands. From Sunday School and Youth Group to weekly emails and even trips away from the church, thank you!

One of my favorite parts of Youth Sunday was not any part of the worship service. We had quite a bit of time to kill in between the two services. At one point, I looked around and took it all in. Everyone was doing something fun together. There were pop up games of all kinds happening all over Fellowship Hall. Today’s youth are faced with so many pressures and worries and I love that our youth group is a family and that our church is a place they can come and be themselves without judgement.

I have always said that teenagers want to be treated like adults, but they want permission to still act like kids. I think it’s incredible to be able to hand them the reigns to plan a worship service and to watch God use them in that way. I am also so glad we have a Gaga Pit on the church property.  (What is a Gaga Pit?!  It’s an octagon structure to play a dodgeball-like game. It’s crazy. Come play with us sometime!) I think there is so much we adults can learn from teenagers. Have fun. Toss aside the worries and the stress for a few moments and just play.  Step out of our comfort zones and participate in worship in creative new ways.

Our Youth Leadership Team just met and discussed our summer plans.  We’ll once again have a packed calendar of mission days and Bible study but you can bet you’ll also find us watching Disney movies on the church lawn together.  Come join us!