May is a month of transitions. Most places in the country are going from spring into summer. Schools are quickly headed for summer break. College students are coming home and looking for jobs. Transitions are all around us- and happening all the time. Here are a few transitions I’ve been working on or thinking through the last few weeks.
- Our confirmation students were confirmed on Pentecost Sunday. While I do not teach confirmation (our youth pastor does that), I have taught the class and believe it can be a very important opportunity for a teenager to experience some transition in their faith. If you think about teens and church, confirmation is the first of many transitions that will happen over the next 10 years or so- meaning that confirmation can set the tone and foundation for a solid spiritual life. This is an important time for a seventh grader (even if they are unaware of it!)
- Our high school students graduated a week ago and are now preparing to head to college. This is such an important time as most of the major decisions about who we will be as individuals will be made during our college years. It’s when we put into practice the “theories” our parents, pastors, and mentors have taught us- or when we feel there is a better way than we’ve been taught. This is a time when we solidify our identity, our career, how we will spend our money, develop or deny our faith identity and maybe even get married.
- Our church does a senior adventure trip right after graduation. It’s a time to celebrate our graduates and all they’ve accomplished as well as transitioning them into our college age ministry. I really believe that college is a dynamic time to grow in our faith and I want to see more churches intentionally reaching out to college students.
- By the way, this year’s Senior Adventure Trip went caving, explored Baltimore, went to the National Aquarium, saw the Orioles beat the Oakland Athletics, enjoyed a day at the beach, watched the Blue Angels, camped, and saw the LOST series finale! It was an action packed four days!
I’m also in the process of transitioning in ministry as I prepare to leave Avenue Church and step into leadership at Hope UMC. It’s scary, exciting, and bittersweet all at the same time. There are so many people to thank at Avenue who have invested in me, prayed for me, and encouraged me- yet so little time to say thanks. (How about we golf everyday up to June 30th…if I have 3 other people with me each day, I might get through my list! And play some amazing golf!) There are so many amazing people at Avenue- and it’s these same people who God is going to use at the church goes through a transition as well.