Adapted from a Moment for Generosity delivered to the congregation in November 2018 by WPC member Ellen Beller
By Ellen Beller
Jim and I joined Worthington Presbyterian Church in 1986 along with our two children, Andy and Kate, then ages 4 and 2. Several years later, I was recruited by Jeannie Harsh to teach in the Choir Plus program. I was really reluctant, not having much experience with elementary age kids, but took a leap of faith and plunged in leading the 5th- and 6th- grade class. What a rewarding experience! I got to work along with a team of volunteers from this congregation helping to guide children on the beginning of their journey of faith.
Ten years later, I switched gears and began volunteering as a youth advisor with the junior and senior high students. Jim and I had always been intrigued with the work camp summer mission trips, so he became involved, too. Our children were active in the programs, and we really appreciated the opportunities that the youth activities provided for Andy and Kate to build friendships with other teens in a safe environment. It’s been 17 years, and I am still enjoying the adventure. What a blessing it’s been watching the youth of this church grow and evolve into adults. Some are now parents of their own children. I have to say that it’s truly been a joy ride!
What I have learned is that the young people of this congregation are truly amazing! I continue to be impressed with their enthusiasm, honesty and ability to care. They care not only for their own families but also for each other as well as total strangers whom they encounter when the group ventures out way beyond the doors of Worthington Presbyterian.
Almost three years ago, I was part of the search committee that brought Brian Edwards to WPC. Thanks to your generosity and support of the youth program, he is the first full-time youth director that we have had in many years.
Brian exhibits the same honesty, enthusiasm and ability to care as our youth. He can be just as goofy and fun-loving as they are. He connects with them where they are, and on their level. Inventive games and contests that he dreams up keep the youth coming back every week. You may have seen him sporting Crayola red hair and half a beard, the result of one of his contests.
The goofiness aside, Brian is an amazing leader, guiding discussions on a wide range of topics and encouraging the youth to share their worries and concerns with each other, to pray for one another, to be better together.