Becka Fergusson-Lutz, Interim Coordinator of Youth Ministry
Artwork by Leah Ormaechea, based on the sermon during youth-led worship

In his book All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, Robert Fulghum wrote, “We are as different on the inside of our heads as we appear to be different on the outside of our heads.” One of the challenges for me as Interim Coordinator of Youth Ministry is to figure out how all the youth of our church are different on the inside of their heads. That also means encouraging them to develop a faith that is unique to their own minds and souls. After all, God has outlined some basic precepts for us all to follow, but the tangible, practical ways that we live out that faith can and should be as wonderfully unique as we are. 

During our youth-led worship service on February 2, Natalie Vinton and Lydia Stratton-Smith preached from their hearts, interpreting the Beatitudes and Psalm 15 through their own unique lenses. Natalie talked about the importance of the church as a safe place, not only as a refuge from threats of violence but as a psychic space in which we all feel that we can express ourselves and our faith.

Lydia said, “I believe that if you find something that you are good at or enjoy, that should be the determining factor if you are a good follower or not. If you add your own spark to the thing you love, then you have added your own love to the world . . . using the gifts that God gave you is honoring God.” 

Ceramic Birdhouse by Natalie Derthick

In our group, we have a fascinating array of talents and interests: Natalie loves pottery; Audrey loves gymnastics. Brynn loves reading and writing works of science fiction and fantasy. Maddie is a stellar organizer always looking to create a more efficient system. (I could itemize for you the myriad talents of all the youth, but I think you get the idea.) All of these wonderfully unique approaches to life are also wonderfully unique approaches to faith. The challenge for the young people of our church—and for us ALL—is to embrace our uniqueness and to carve out space to put our gifts to work for the glory of God.