The Front Page

Welcome to the Front Page, the digital cover of the Wayne Press.  Here we will share with you things that can't be captured in our newsletter--videos, music, color photographs--as well as articles that reflect on faith and life.  

 

On Young Adults and Mission

In early September I joined the staff of Wayne Presbyterian Church as the Director of Young Adult Ministries. This means I spend a lot of time building relationships with college students and other young adults over meals and coffee, and in our Christian Education gathering. Over the past month I have enjoyed conversations with these thoughtful and passionate young adults who are committed to the church of Jesus Christ.  

One month in I have a new job title. Don’t worry - my work with the young adults in our community will continue. But my position has now changed. As of September 22nd, when our congregation voted to purchase the building owned by the New Spirit Community Presbyterian Church, I became the Pastoral Associate for Young Adults and Mission. From here on out, I will work closely with Rev. Aisha Brooks-Lytle on the new initiative known as The Common Place – a faith-based educational outreach center for children in Southwest Philadelphia. I am excited to participate in the work of realizing this vision.  

Young Adults and Mission. That seems like a random combination.  

It is not as random as you might think. Young adults – like disciples in every stage of life – are called to participate in Christ’s mission in the world. That in-and-of-itself means this combination is not random. But there may be more to it than that …  

Rob Fohr, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Young Adult Catalyst, recently presented a Webinar called “Connecting with Young Adults: Equipping a Multigenerational Church.” Here’s a bit of what I learned: Most of the people we categorize as young adults are ‘Millennials’ – those born between 1981 and 1995. At the risk of painting very broad strokes, this generation tends to be a generation of pragmatic idealists who are committed to making an impact in their communities. Many Millennials find their way to the church, or back to the church, because they see communities of faith making a difference in the world.  

This portrait is certainly consistent with my own experience. I was raised in the church, but put my faith ‘on the backburner’ when I went off to college. At Miami University I engaged in many a conversation about theology and religion, but did little to practice my faith. I kept a Bible on the bookshelf by my bed, but rarely opened it. I only prayed when I was particularly stressed, and I only went to worship when I was at home with my family.   It was an experience of mission that pulled me back to the church. By participating in our denomination’s Young Adult Volunteer Program after college graduation, I saw how the church can and does make a difference in the world. Like many of my generation, this experience of the church has proven central to my faith in a God who claims us and calls us to lives of service.  

I am excited to see how the Spirit of God works through the young adults of WPC, and our whole community of faith, to participate in Christ’s work in the world!

Posted by Sudie Thompson at 5:00 PM
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