First and foremost, we must recognize the great efforts made by Patty Crunkilton, Troy Williams, and the youth (or “youts” if you’re My Cousin Vinny) on the wonderful spaghetti supper Sunday night. Some pasta and salad were the perfect setup to get everyone in the mood for something sweet. Secondly, many thanks to all the talented bakers, and even a candy maker (Shawn, way to go!), who offered up their creations to be auctioned off to the highest bidder. Thanks to Rick Butturini for being our emcee. He kept things moving and light-hearted. And of course, thanks to all the bidders and high-rollers out there who raised 3,092.50 for the youth! That’s remarkable and y’all should be proud!
That money will help send these teenagers to Passport Camp. If you don’t know, Passport is a church camp in lots of the ways that you might be thinking. There’s a lot of kids, silly songs, Bible study, cafeteria food, parties, worship, games, activities and generally structured chaos. When I was in youth ministry, I did a lot of Passport. The unique thing about the Passport that our youth attend is that they have choices of what to do in the afternoons. So everyone follows the same schedule of worship, Bible study, meals, etc. but then teens get to pick what they want to be a part of. There’s art, drama, music, sports, but the tendency in our youth is to choose missions. They go and help out with some project going on in the community where the camp is.
Think about that for a moment. These kids pay money (then the church kicks in more thanks to dessert sales and pumpkins) for them to go off for a week. When they’re there, they get to hang out, cut loose away from their parents, and on top of it all, they get a choice about how to spend their time. And for many of our teenagers, their choice is to serve others. They choose to do so. They aren’t pressed into it or mandated to serve. They choose to serve and to this Baptist, that freedom to choose to serve makes all the difference. I know it’s easy to think the next generations are <insert negative adjective here>, but remember that many teens are choosing to serve. That gives me hope.