Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘Youth ministry’

Visiting The Past

Yesterday Greg and I were on a day trip, about an hour from our home.  We went to a park, explored a rocky beach, enjoyed the nice sunshiny day, had a run-in with a VERY LARGE dog at an off-lease park and after Daisy yelped and ran under the safety fence to get away from him – we decided it was time to call it a day.

We were driving past a city where 40 years ago, my Dad had been a music/youth leader in an Assembly of God church.  Our family used to make the hour-long trek to church twice a week so he could have this job.  I was about 10, but my memories are clear.  I could see the church in my mind.  The hallways and many rooms, the nursery where I used to love to help watch the babies, the youth room, the choir room and the sanctuary where we spent much of our time.

I learned to ride a bike at that church.  Oddly enough, it was in one of its downstairs hallways.  And then outside in the parking lot, with the help of an older friend.  I spent many hours alone, as I was too young to be in the youth choir and the youth group.  My parents did make some exceptions for me and there are even a few pictures of me with that youth choir, though I did not have a matching uniform.  Too young I often entertained myself in that church, downstairs in the many rooms and making up many games and imaginary people.  In the parking lot our missionette group practiced to be in a local parade.

I asked Greg if we could try to find that church.  If was difficult, because the name has now changed.  The area looks completely different as well.  40 years is a long time.  And my memory is not very good when it comes to navigation and direction.  But eventually we found it.

I expected it to look very strange inside.  After all, when you’re a child things always appear differently and usually we remember them as large – when in fact, they are small.  I walked in what must have been the front door, but I do not remember it being there.  It looked very much as I remembered it.  The same hallways downstairs and same rooms.  I rounded a familiar corner and took a look into the sanctuary.  How small it was!  What a strange thing to be standing there 40 years later and have the memories come flooding back.

When we visit the past, things can be strangely out-of-place but sometimes it is just as we remember it.

We all have a story.  We all have those crazy memories from being a child.  And sometimes we just need to pay it a visit.  I’m glad I did.


God Bless


Guest Post For Jason – A Friend From Juneau

Juneau, Alaska

Image by markcbrennan via Flickr

A few days ago I was featured as a guest on Jason Stasyszen’s Blog. It is always an honor to be featured. To read the article he featured about “trees” from my pastor’s message last fall – you can find it here.

I know Jason because of his wonderful blog and because he is a pastor in Juneau Alaska, where Greg and I used to be in youth ministry – many years ago.  I found him when I read a guest post that featured Jason – I learned he was a pastor there.  It has brought some interesting conversation and we feel connected somehow by Alaska.  We have never met in person – but we have Christ in common with each other and  our hearts are unified.

Greg and I went to Juneau, Alaska as our first ministry position right out of college in 1983.  They were wild and scary times for us.  Greg had never been a youth pastor before – and he was also serving as the bus driver for the Christian School.  I was learning to be the bookkeeper for the school – something I had NOT been trained for and clearly did NOT do well.  But I tried.  We were young and made many mistakes – including thinking that the job would last beyond a year.  And  we bought a townhouse.  Wrong decision.  The job did not last beyond a year, the market was in recession and when we left town – we could not sell it.  We moved to Fairbanks and rented out our place.  In the end we had to give the townhouse back to the bank because we could not sell it and we couldn’t handle the payments.  Lesson learned.  We did not buy a home for 20 years after that.

We eventually moved on in ministry – living in PA, CA, TX, FL and then back to Washington.  And although we had been back to Fairbanks for the occasional visit because Greg’s parents lived there – we had not been back to Juneau in 20 years.  When my parents, sister, brother-in-law, Greg and myself went on an Alaska cruise in 2004, one of our stops was Juneau.  We rented a vehicle and drove around to all our own “haunts” including the church where we served and the Mendenhall Glacier we once saw from our street in town.  It felt like time had stood still – but strangely familiar too.  Once you live in Alaska – even for a brief amount of time – it gets inside of you and stays with you.

We go back to visit this September – as my husband and I celebrate 30 years of marriage.  I would love to show my daughter and son-in-law where we had our humble beginnings.  And I would love to meet Jason in person – because we share something.  Christ and Alaska.

God Bless


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