These young women have served at our church for a number of years helping shape the lives of younger children. In the process, they too, have been shaped and molded in profound ways. St. Andrew’s is home for them and they have created space for others to belong, allowing them to also call this place home and family. Here are their stories…
Casey Church, Emma Botros, and Emily Butterworth
Photo by Waverly Trotter
“Growing up in the church, I always felt confident in my faith because I was surrounded by so many like-minded people. I was baptized here, received my first communion here, and St. Andrew’s always felt like my second home. It wasn’t until I was 12 or 13 that my faith began to really feel like my own. For several years, I helped teach Sunday school to the younger grades and in the nursery. It was these experiences that were really important to my journey with God. Instead of just learning about the Bible, I was able to teach it to others, which gave it a new life for me. Youth group is another one of my most memorable experiences because it finally felt like it was my choice whether or not I attended church. Since it was directly aimed at people my age, it was easier for me to connect and enjoy the message. The unique opportunities provided here are what ultimately strengthened my faith into what it is today. I am so grateful to be a part of St. Andrew’s.”
“My journey through faith has been quite a long for only the age of 17. I grew up in a Lutheran Church called Christ Lutheran throughout most of my life. I was baptized there and had my first communion. But being in that church never felt quite right. I had actually lost my faith for quite a while as question after question arose in my head which no one seemed to answer. I then began to attend St. Andrew’s youth group on Wednesdays called Asylum! I fell in love with the atmosphere and the youth group leaders. It felt like home, I truly belonged. That’s when I began to get more involved. I attended services on Sundays and even started volunteering in the nursery. I then started working full-time in the nursery, where I am now blessed to teach toddlers and young children about God and help kids develop their own journeys of faith. For me, St. Andrew’s was my safety net, without it, I don’t know where I’d be today.”
“St. Andrew’s has always been a part of my life. My earliest memories from church were sitting in the preschool classroom on Sunday morning listening to parables. Being raised in the church, I was given the mindset that we need to have a ministry that serves God. For me, that was helping with the kids during the Sunday morning services. Not only did I get to do something that I love, but I got to serve God while doing it. Helping the kids also served me. Instead of being in the big church where it’s harder for me to apply and understand the message, I was now the one teaching the kids in a more simplistic form. All in all, St. Andrew’s has served as a second home for me, and over time throughout my ministry, it has ultimately strengthened my relationship with God.”
For info on this and other student ministries, please visit www.sapres.org/ministries/children-students-families.