A little over a week ago we were prepping for LYO Assembly. 492 young people and the adults who love them gathered for a weekend focused on how to Love Like Jesus. I want to take you on a journey behind the scenes.
Before these 8 young people who are the LYO Board were chosen for this position, adults had loved them and nurtured them in their faith journey. Jennifer Krushas excitedly started planning for the retreat so that Joy would have transportation. Liz Fisher had nominated Landon for synod council representative. Wendy Roberts had nurtured Grace and helped her spread her wings in both music and leadership. Kai had supported and attended games, etc. for Grace, Callie and Angela. (We had three amazing women named Grace this year) Anne lifted up Grace as an amazing young woman with many gifts for ministry including working with 3-5th graders. Holly encouraged Thea to use her gifts in this ministry.
This is just the LYO Board. Emily Norris, Matt Simpkins and Jesse Canniff-Kuhn made music possible with the youth band and those young people had another set of adults coming alongside them and encouraging them to use their gifts.
Across this synod adult advisors were also walking through the small group materials with the 78 young people who were leaders of small groups. In the week before the event Lauren Thurow was printing schedules, stacking supplies ceiling high in my office and tackling the giant task of housing.
On the Friday of the event…Kai was walking the board through the LYO Playbook; Liz Fisher and Naomi Carriker were wrestling the Embassy Suite keys into submission; Adam Fisher was setting up the sound system while mentoring Gavin who this year DJed our entire dance thanks to Adam. Pebbles Cloninger was writing stories of LYO and counting ballots for the Engage the Bible task force.
Adults were gathering participants; putting them in cars; finding them food and traveling across the state to Greensboro. Bishop Tim and Wendy traveled to Greensboro to spend the weekend with this group. Randy Youngquist-Thurow and Christa Drengler from Agape-Kure Beach Ministries drove over to spend the day talking to these young people about Outdoor Ministries and shooting a few free t-shirts into the crowd.
In a separate boardroom, Lauren Thurow was leading 9 young adults in a training around faith and science, vocation and big questions of faith. Sara Ilderton, Will Rose and Bishop Tim all participated in this event as well.
On Saturday, adults gathered with Sandra Cline to talk about the ELCA Youth Gathering. Liz Fisher, Danielle DeNise and I all shared details about this exciting event.
People of faith – thank you. You made this possible. You made LYO and all that went with it a success.