By: Reagan Anderson
Every August, I find myself reflecting on the beauty of the changed pace we enjoy throughout the summertime. Somehow during these warmer months, deadlines appear less crucial, time feels more generous, and relationships take their rightful place as a priority in our daily schedules. This year, my husband, Noah, and I have embraced summer as a chance to slow down and re-focus on the importance of relationships through the Mount Carmel Young Adults group. Relationships are core to this ministry’s purpose, which is to remind young adults that the church is a place where they can belong and contribute. Two specific ingredients to building those thriving relationships, we’ve found, are consistency and shared experiences.
Every Thursday night, friends have been gathering in one another’s backyards for s’mores, games, and late-night chats around the campfire. We affectionately refer to these as “Thursday Night Campfires.” As the summer has progressed, we’ve gladly welcomed new friends and watched them mesh into our community while existing friendships deepen. The rhythm of weekly get-togethers has provided a consistent space for friends to gather in what I like to call “good ole’ fashioned fun.” Many nights, phones are tossed aside as conversations, and another round of volleyball-four-square picks up. This has reminded Noah and I that consistency is a key foundational element for discipleship and relationships to flourish.
These campfires will continue every Thursday evening until the end of August. It’s not too late to join us!
I argue that summertime-made memories with friends are some of the most lasting. That’s why it is so important that our group finds opportunities to share experiences with one another. This past week, our young adults ventured out on our Seventh Annual Kayak Outing in Loveland, Ohio! This is always one of my favorite opportunities for our young adults to invite friends to an unintimidating environment.
Many of our young adults also participated in service opportunities this summer, such as the Ukraine Food Packing event with VBS. No experience is more bonding than serving alongside of each other, which was demonstrated by the many friendships that were built among young adults who went on the Mission Trip to Western Kentucky. We have loved watching this service mindset in our young adult group expand as we begin to see more young adults serving inside and outside the church!
What’s in store next
As we look ahead to the fall, we are excited to jump back into our Young Adult Bible Study on Thursday nights (beginning September 6th) and pull in some of our new friends to study the book of Ecclesiastes with us. While this summer could have been viewed as “time off,” we were hard at work developing connections with friends inside and outside our community. Our hope is that these relationships will continue well beyond the glow of a campfire and that this summer played a crucial role in young adults deepening their relationships with one another, as well as Jesus Christ.