Yesterday, as part of our festivities for the last day of regular Church School, we welcomed our fifth grade class, who will be moving up until the youth ministry program this fall.
I met a lot of neat kids and their parents , heard some interesting opinions about church school classes, and most importantly, we made and shared a 12-foot banana split with the whole youth group.
I'm a firm believer in food ministry. Jesus' first miracle, his biggest (numbers-wise) and his most important (the Eucharist) all had to do with food and wine, so who am I to doubt that system?
One difficulty I'm finding, as the brand-new youth minister, is that my high school class is always "too cool for this" and has a really hard time mixing (and believing me when I tell them they should mix) with the middle schoolers. This year and next that will continue to be a problem, but after that the middle school students we're growing will start to be high school students and will be used to the things I ask of them. They will also have the example of a carefully trained group of adult leaders (who are also learning not to hang back, but get in there with the kids) to model it for them. And, of course, 12 feet of ice cream to seal the deal!