If you would have told me 10 years ago that I’d be a youth director at a Christian church, progressive or not, I think I’d look a little horrified.  The thought of teaching anyone any form of Christianity would have seemed the furthest thing from where I wanted to be.  But if we look just a few years before this, I was studying to be a missionary at a Christian university!  Obviously something shifted for me so much so that I wasn’t able to look at Christianity the same way.  You see, I was just starting to climb out of a hole from where I hit a spiritual rock bottom.  I was still trying to heal the areas that were burnt from my past and some of it still seemed on fire.  I still believed in God, but it all was different.

Close to this time, I was on a road trip with Nathan and he asked me some questions about what I believed in or what my views of God and religion were.  At that time, it was like a spiritual/emotional battlefield, where old beliefs laid broken all around and I held in my hands the one thing that had survived, the one thing I knew was true…and I told him all I could scrape up and know for sure was Love.  I quoted the famous verse that Jesus spoke, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.”  “I believe in this and I’m just not sure about anything else,” I said.  It’s what I held on to and because I did, it created a space for me to grow into a new Christianity.  About 2 years ago, Nathan and I were moving and checking out possible churches in Tucson on-line (yep we are those cute nerdy researcher types!)  He told me to check out this one (which was Aldea).  So I did.  I saw fun pictures, one favorite being a cute one of Kleighrayne with a zany expression on her face!  And then I started reading the content of what the church was about, especially the focus on love period.  I was like, “Whoa, did someone crawl up in my mind and make a church out of my thoughts!  . . .Spooky! :)”  And now this church has asked me to share in the vision and be the youth director.  I am honored and thankful.  I am blessed, because I’ve always loved working with children and youth.  Not only are they fun, but they are also so real and authentic, bringing to light brilliantly wise insights when you least expect it.  It’s magical!  I have a lot of great ideas and am excited to implement them.  Last week our young people showed me that they have a lot of fantastic ideas too!  Together, we are working towards becoming a growing and fun aspect of Aldea, with activities supporting social justice, community building, youth events, etc…  I am thrilled about what is to come in this next year!  And I encourage our congregation to check us out and join in the fun!

Thanks for all the encouragement and support!!

Debbie

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