…sharing the love of Christ with Athens and the world!

Youth Ministry News

March Update

We had 49 youth participate in this year’s Youth Sunday, representing ten area middle and high schools. From writing liturgy, prayers and message, they worked to make personal connections to this week’s scripture for themselves and for the congregation. From the 600 friendship bracelets (thank you DeMarias!) to the banner with over 800 names to the reception, they planned a day that celebrated the friends they have found in this church family and reminded us all that we are called to be disciples in today’s world, spreading God’s message of love and hope. The full script is posted on our website, but here are a few quotes from the senior meditations: Jesus wasn’t able to do his ministry alone:

He sent out his disciples two by two to spread the word of God. It’s essential for people to rely on each other as Jesus did with his disciples, helping each other to strive to be the best we can be spiritually or in more secular endeavors. Either way, relying on each other is vital.Graham Blanks

While in Honduras, God helped me discover how lucky I have been to grow up in the supportive church community and led me to adults who I can model my faith after. When sent into the unknown, I ironically found that being away really made me appreciate how strong our church community is.Celeste Covington

After starting high school, my epiphany word was support. I remember looking at the laminated cardstock and thinking, ‘I support people. I am a really good friend. What is God going for here?’… yet God often knows what we need before we do. God picked support as my epiphany word, and this allowed me to be open to the friendship and support of these friends, which God knew I needed before I did.Maggie DeMaria


Whenever I am talking to my dad on the phone and I ask him where he is. He says “I’m here, I’m always here. Where are you?” and as irritating as that is. And let me tell you it can be irritating. Here is where I need to be. Wherever I am, whomever I’m with. That is where I need to be. I think that is where we are all called to be.Georgia Blue Simmons


Being a good friend is what Jesus wants us all to do, and he says himself that good friends are all we need. Nothing else, no money or fancy clothes or cars, or expensive houses, just the sandals or shoes on your feet and a friend. What I say to you is to go out and make new friends. You never know when you might be desperately needed, or when you might be desperately in need.Turner Trapnell


The weekend after Youth Sunday, we took 12 middle schoolers on a winter mystery retreat, starting in Montgomery, AL before driving on to Pensacola Beach, FL. From the love-filled hugs we received at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, to singing We Shall Overcome in the same sanctuary where Dr. King preached, then sitting in the same basement where the Montgomery Bus Boycott was organized, we all felt a sense of hope and responsibility. At the Civil Rights Memorial Center, we prayed for each of the 40 names of martyrs, then signed the Wall of Tolerance, stepping back to watch as our names appeared on the wall-sized screen alongside more than half a million who have also pledged to be crusaders for justice. Our day ended at the Peace and Justice Center where we walked in silence through 800 hanging six-foot monuments that symbolize thousands of racial terror lynching victims in the United States. It was a full, powerful day, and I was proud of how seriously and faithfully the youth took in the information and emotions.

Kim Ness, Director of Youth Ministries