Monday, January 6, 2014

The UMYF Enquirer

I began doing a monthly newsletter for students and parents in the late 1970's while serving New Garden Friends Meeting in Greensboro, NC. It felt like the more information families had about what we were doing in our youth ministry the more likely they were to be involved. I always tried to make the newsletters informative and funny, and include things like contests and bizarre stories, because the idea was to get the students to read it. It was constantly frustrating that despite my best efforts, the kids never seemed to know what was going on. I had been at FUMC-K for over a year when I received a revelation while standing in line at the grocery store. I was laughing at the headlines on the gossip rags like the National Enquirer when it hit me- what if I used headlines to draw readers into my newsletter? They could be wild, crazy, and have nothing to do with the article, but if they were crazy and funny enough they might just draw the youth in and get them to read the stories. That month I changed the name of our monthly newsletter to The UMYF Enquirer and began writing outrageous headlines and inserting random weird stories. It worked, at least in the beginning;  parents and students buzzed every month about the silliness. And I had a BLAST writing them. 

Today, I want to share some of the headlines that struck me as funny as I went back through some the Enquirers I still have in my files. Just for kicks (and to keep the spirit of those old newsletters alive) we'll have a contest, too!  If anyone can tell me what V.I.T.R.S. (as seen in the first headline) is short for, you could be a winner! Leave your guess in a comment (just click comment at the bottom of this post). If you are correct, I'll buy you a Slurpee next time you are in Tampa! Here are some of my favorite headlines - and no, I cannot explain all of them!

Spicy Foods Cause VITRS In Lab Rats

Nate Hill Says, "Country Music is my life!"

Sumahama, Cathy Thacker!

Call Brain Watson's Beeper At 1-800-FLUSH

Pope To Visit U.N. in March- UMYF To BE There!

The Good, the Bad and the Methodist...

2nd Heziciah Made Easy!!!

The Figaro School of Moonlight Tubing

Sheep Cloned At UMYF- It Could Be Ewe!

Moose Bites Can Be Really Nasty

4 Square Found To Cause Rare Disease!

Ben Thacker- "I'm Dating a Martian!"

Attack of the Killer Christians

Scientists Discover Evil In Kissimmee

Lisa Kraus Speaks Out- "I'm Not an Alien!"

Elvis To Lead Bible Study

Jacob Lupfer Says "I'll Kill Again!"

Communication is a key to student ministry. So is creativity. There are so many ways to sty in touch these days, but I still love the old methods too.Good luck making sense out of most of those headlines, and have a blessed weekend, everyone!

Because of Jesus,


  1. Anonymous7/15/2010

    there was a quote that appeared from time to time in the inquirer, that i still remember to this day... "always remember not to forget what it was you were not supposed to forget to remember" and it's still one of my favorites. :) <3 colleen

  2. It is kind of like a famous Steve Martin line, Colleen. He said to always carry a trash bag in your car. It does not take up too much room and if it gets full you can just throw it out the window. Hope you are well!


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