First Lutheran Church to change its teen ensemblePublished 12:24pm Thursday, January 30, 2014
GLENVILLE — Like an old building getting a restoration, First Lutheran Church’s youth group is getting some renovation of its own.
The church, which is located on Third Avenue Southwest in Glenville, has had a youth group for a long time. However, Jeneane Rushton, who is the wife of the Rev. Jim Rushton, is trying to make the group more prevalent.
“Basically we are restructuring our youth group,” Rushton said. “We’re trying to get them back into gear, but actually there’s been a youth group at this church since it was built. We aren’t real active; that’s one thing that we’re struggling with in a small community.”
Rushton said that, like other religious youth groups, attendance has struggled due other activities that teenagers are busy with. That fact doesn’t diminish the importance of youth groups, however.
“It’s very important for these kids to be involved in their congregations and their church and their communities,” Rushton said. “To use the church as a backdrop and a stepping point to work out in the community is very important.”
Right now First Lutheran Youth are raising funds for a trip to the 2015 National Youth Gathering in Detroit.
“They have this national youth gathering every three years,” Rushton said. “So one of our goals when we go to it and when we come back and start reworking again for the next group of kids that could possible go.”
One fundraising event last summer was a car hop night, where people could come to the church and have a meal served to their car. Rushton said they planned to do the fundraiser again this summer. Meals can be eaten in the church’s dining room if a tidy motorist doesn’t wish to eat in the car.
“It’s really a lot of fun, and we get a good turnout,” Rushton said.
First Lutheran Youth does various dinners throughout the year, including a chili supper on Ash Wednesday. In April the group will travel to the Twin Cities to volunteer with Feed My Starving Children. They will make a stop at the Mall of America for some fun, something which is important to Rushton.
“It’s still a community service project, but you can have some fun too,” she said.
The group meets once a month, and the meetings aren’t just for young people.
“We have youth team that consists of youth in our congregation and adults,” Rushton said. “And we meet once a month and try to keep things moving and keep the activities going and help plan them.”