Tell us about your experience with CYMT so far:
I joined the Center for Youth Ministry Training because I wanted to work in youth ministry, but had little experience actually running a youth program. I really enjoy the support of the other students in the program and the fellowship that happens when we have lunch between classes or stay up late studying for exams. The things I have learned … have given me a strong foundation for teaching biblical lessons to my youth.
So what’s happening at your church since you arrived?:
At Loretto United Methodist Church, I have been learning small town youth ministry from the ground up. When I came in August 2007, the church essentially had no youth program, and it has been a challenge to get the few parents and youth at the church to commit to the youth program. Despite low numbers, we have had a number of successful events. In January we converted one of the Sunday School classrooms into a youth room, complete with futons, coffee tables, and a Nintendo Wii. We did a lock-in at the church in January and had 8 youth from the community. We also had a video game night with 14 youth in attendance. In late March in conjunction with the local Fellowship of Christian Athletes we hosted a movie night at the church.
Tell us about something you’re proud of at Loretto UMC:
In March I started a ministry at the high school called Breakfast Club. We meet every Tuesday morning before school for donuts and juice and have a short devotion. We have consistently had an average of 7 youth, even after moving to a classroom because the administration said we could not give away donuts in the cafeteria. Breakfast Club has been a great way for me to get more involved in the lives of the softball girls that I coach at the local high school, and it has also been an opportunity for me to meet some of the youth at the high school who do not attend our church.
Any parting thoughts?:
Doing youth ministry in Loretto has been full of challenges, but it has also given me a lot of opportunities to learn and to grow. I may never have 100 youth, or 50, or even 20, but I am learning what it means to be present in the lives of youth and my youth are learning that Mountain Dew is “pop not Coke”, and hopefully they are learning to become more like Christ too.
CYMT’s new partnership with CSM, City Service Mission, opens doors to impact more students across the country, and this is only the beginning. Continuing to believe that we are better together, CYMT has partnered with CSM to bring a “Collide-like” experience to cities across the nation. This partnership allows CYMT to live into our gifts of developing a theologically rich curriculum that enables students to reflect using the WOW Theological Method, ultimately creating a mission trip experience that is much more than a week of community service.
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Meet Hannah Cooley. Hannah Cooley is a 2nd-year Graduate Resident at CYMT who serves at University Presbyterian Church in San Antonio, TX. Hannah recently took her […]