St. John’s has been my home for almost eighteen years now. I have gone from Sunday morning daycare as a baby all the way up to EYC (Episcopal Youth Community) as a senior in high school and I have loved every second of it. St. John’s, and the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama as a whole, has taken a prominent place in my life and has allowed me to grow not only in Christ, but also in the love of others. EYC and other youth activities help to foster a sense of community, love, and respect among arguably the most important part of any congregation– its youth.
When I was in sixth grade I, along with several of my friends, was confirmed into the Episcopal church and began my spiritual journey. I never really had a close relationship with God until I began attending EYC, and truly thinking for myself what God and His message meant to me: both as a Christian and as a person. I realized that I had taken God for granted for a long time and EYC became a way to further explore my faith while getting to know my friends and other Episcopalians across the state. As I grew up a little more, I began to take advantage of the numerous opportunities the Diocese and St. John’s afforded me like Camp McDowell, Sawyerville, Person2Person, and countless other missionary and community based efforts. These opportunities made me realize I have been called into a life of service, these opportunities gave me direction, and most importantly these opportunities allowed me to meet some incredible people and make some incredible memories. Without EYC and the people I met through the diocese, my life would not be the same. This is why pledging to St. John’s , now more than ever, is needed. These activities and initiatives offered to youth like myself not only improve the local community, but the world around us as a whole.
EYC has shaped my life and has taught me how to relate to others on a deep and meaningful level. Diocesan mission efforts such as Sawyerville have opened my heart and taught me how to love and serve others. These are opportunities and traditions that must be available for future St. John’s youth. I am writing this because I want others to experience the same things I have, and hopefully be changed by them just as much as I have. EYC has been and always will be an important part of my life because it has taught me to “walk in love as Christ loved us” and helps to keep me walking in love. A strong sense of community among the church’s youth is essential to any healthy parish. This sense of community and love is not possible without a well funded youth ministry program. Participation in youth activities at St. John’s is always a highlight of my weekend, and I hope that it will become that for others. Thank you for your support, in the past and now in this year’s stewardship campaign.