Taking Care of our Teens

By March 20, 2020

In the face of the ongoing, every changing COVID-19 crisis,  a big shout out goes to our Youth Ministries led by Director Kat Bair, Associate Director Matt Britt, and Assistant Brenda Kegans who have been working tirelessly to not only stay in touch with our First Church Youth, but to devise some amazingly innovative and engaging use of technology to keep them busy, thinking broadly, prayerful, and connected with one another and their extended “framily.”

“I’ve been talking to our teenagers from their desks, their unmade beds, their dining room tables,” Kat writes in her blog. “I would so much rather have them all here in the youth building, but there has been a striking silver lining to this new way of reaching them.”

Tucked into this silver lining for FUMCFW teens and tweens is an Instagram live devotional and worship on Mondays and Wednesdays at noon; “Zoom Bibles and Bagels” at noon on Tuesdays; Zoom or other gametime on Thursdays at 10:00 am (this week it was a virtual scavenger hunt!); and a weekend Service Challenge issued each Friday on Instagram (they’re invited to post pictures of carrying out this service challenge); and of course, all are encouraged to worship live online with their families at 9:30 or 11:00 or 11:11 am at kbair@myfumc.org.

Kat says that the genesis for these ideas came when she and Matt decided, with the announcement last week, that worship would be online only and all meetings and events were suspended, that regardless of how long this “social distancing” would last, innovation and focus were paramount. Organizing their ideas around the guiding principles of Healthy Plate Discipleship — and offering our Youth a balance of these six elements of a healthy Christian life — plus encouraging continuing connection and discipleship in the face of this unusual and unsettling set of circumstances would be their “new normal.”

Above and through and interwoven with all of this is the consistent message that Kat and Matt continuously pray, repeat, and encourage our Youth to cling to: “God is Good. God is Here. God Loves Us. It will be OK.”

“I wish they got to have the senior year they imagined,” Kat adds, “the school plays they practiced for, the track meets and tournaments they trained and hoped and waited for. But that is not our reality, this is, and we can be harbingers of hope — stalwart holders of that truth — for them.”

So in addition to huge kudos to Kat and Matt for being bringers of this truth to our teens — and to others of us who want to follow along — comes the open invitation to all youth, whether or not they are current members of our Youth Ministries, to become part of their uniquely built silver linings playbook. If you are a parent, a grandparent, aunt, uncle, or friend of a bored, scared, uncertain, disappointed, worried teen or tween, be sure to direct them to Instagram @fumcfwyouth or Kat Bair (kbair@myfumc.org).

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