Thursday, July 3, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Youth Group of the Month

This post originally appeared on December 9, 2009- back when 10 readers a day seemed like a lot!  Now, as we are planning a reunion of these old friend for this August, seemed like the right time to remember just how special those days were. Enjoy this vintage post!

Twenty years ago this month (1989) I received a phone call telling me that because of our new TNT program, the youth ministry at Springfield Friends Meeting was receiving an honor. YOUTH! Magazine, a publication of the UMC, was going to feature our little Quaker group in the May, 1988 edition as their Youth Group of the Month.  There would be a full page article and two pictures. This news created a great deal of buzz in our church and our community. The following is a reprint of the article, written by Mariellen Sawada of YOUTH! The pictures are from TNT, but are not the same ones that accompanied the original article. The first photo features Jennifer Simmons, Jeff Byrd, Heather Beggs, Keri Vinson, Patrick Tillman and Geoff Coltrane. The second is of Todd Farlow in one of our famous pie eating contests. The last pic is just an average night at TNT. Enjoy this piece of history!

TNT explodes each Monday night at the Springfield Friends Meeting in High Point, North Carolina. TNT or "That New Thing" is "an outreach program to the local high schools that has our group growing," wrote Carl Jones, Director of Youth and Christian Education.

Each Monday, the Springfield Young Friends Youth Fellowship hosts an evening of singing, skits, devotional time- and perhaps a little pie-throwing. "It's a time to get away from school and all the pressure," said sixteen-year-old Todd Farlow. "It helps get the books off our minds and that time together makes it easier the rest of the week."  

Sixteen-year-old Amy Simmons describes TNT as "a social outreach for other high schools students in our area. We try to get them involved. We want them to know other people care." Caring has been a big factor in the group's growth. TNT started with a core of fifteen to twenty youth. After only 6 months, the group has "exploded" to sixty or seventy participants. "It's been exciting to watch as more people have gotten involved. The kids are responsible for that," said Carl Jones. "We can advertise events, but the real publicity is from the kids."  "It's like a chain reaction," explained Amy Simmons. "Our friends that we brought in have started bringing in friends." Why do the TNT youth involve others in their fellowship? Amy Simmons responded, "We want everyone to experience the love and family-like atmosphere we have at TNT. We care about other people."

Those were some great days with some wonderful people. I can't wait to see them again soon. Have a safe and blessed 4th of July weekend!

Because of Jesus,

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