This is one of the hardest monthly posts I have had to write. Mostly because this will be my last one as the interim youth minister for this congregation. I knew going into this that it more than likely would be temporary; in fact, that is implied in the job title.

Throughout these past months, I have had the pleasure of getting to know the youth in this congregation on a deeper level and learn about them and their aspirations. I have learned what their faith means to them and how they see God and the church. One of the experiences that I think I will cherish the most is spending the week at Passport with them. Spending time with the youth outside of church was one of the best moments of my ministry thus far. They were able to cut loose and forget about the pressures placed on them by school and parents and friends and were able to just relax and have fun. These relationships that I have developed with the youth are ones that I am very thankful for.

I also want to say thank you to the leadership of this church and the congregation for giving me this opportunity. I am shown every week that I am a valued member of the ministerial staff. I have also been afforded opportunities to learn and grow as a pastor. Being trusted to lead worship in the absence of Dr. King has given me confidence in my preaching and ability to plan worship. I have been able to learn from experienced ministers who know what it is like to serve a congregation. I have felt nothing but support from the deacons of the church, the youth committee, and everyone who volunteers with the youth. I know just how much these young people mean to everyone in the church and you have all been nothing but a support for me and the students.

I am excited for what the future holds for this group of young people. We have a new youth minister coming in and a bunch of new students moving up soon. I am thrilled to see what new things will happen and develop from these changes. While I will be stepping down, I will not be going anywhere. I still consider Parkway my home church and will continue to be an active member in the congregation. Thank you all for such a formative experience and for trusting me, believing in me, and allowing me to get to know all of the students of Parkway.