D.J. Reflects on One Year at Gloria Dei

Dear Gloria Dei Community,


It’s been a year! I’ve been privileged to get to know many of you in our community through my role as Youth Coordinator. Coming to Gloria Dei fresh out of college, I’ve learned much from youth, parents and those I’ve interacted with throughout these past twelve months. I’ve often compared my first year in ministry to driving stick: it takes some time to get used to learning how to get started. And once you do, you then learn the right times to drive in the right gear, just like how to manage the natural ebbing and flowing of the church world.


Kicking things off with a memorable trip to the Youth Gathering in Houston where our bus broke down both ways (duct tape really is the handyman's secret weapon), I went straight into 6th gear, starting to build relationships with our high schoolers and the adult chaperones. Returning to Gloria Dei, things slowed down a bit, as they do with limited summer programming, and it felt like I was back trying to get started again--sometimes stalling at the intersection. September came and I shifted back into 5th gear, riding in that range through the beginning of programming, our fall retreat to Valley Scare and doing contact work at fall sports and musicals. Christmas brought things back to 6th, then the New Year came and with it came learning how to get started again. After trying things like a Bake Off, a rock climbing night at ROCA and a homework study night, the Auction came (after being rescheduled a couple times--thanks snow!) and I was back into 6th gear through Easter to our end of the school year picnic.


My first year at Gloria Dei has been a great learning experience as I continue to grow into this role and find out more who God has called me to be in this community, on this staff. Little did I know when I started here after graduating college that I’d be where I am now--beginning year two, having experienced all that happens inside and outside of these walls, within and without my role as Youth Coordinator. Preaching, joining our Synod’s AMMPARO team, sharing some of my experiences with y’all (“y’all” being a lingo I acquired in North Carolina) and even getting engaged have all been blessings in my life. Thank you for your continued support of Gloria Dei, our CYF program and my ministry with our high school youth!


With much joy,

D.J.