On the last day of the Youth Group for this session, we ended with a meal at Pizza Hut. There we were – 3 adult leaders – me, June Black and Lyn Ross, and 9 teenagers. During the meal, the waitress came to the table and by way of conversation asked “Is this a family day out?” After looking at one another, we said “no” and then asked her who she imagined June and Lyn were and when she said “the two mums”, I wondered who on earth she thought I was! The youngsters (and oldies!) were highly amused at this case of mistaken identity (and wrong assumptions!) and wondered which of us looked as if we had had three sets of non-identical triplets in close succession!
I remember a colleague telling me that someone who had rarely been inside a church other than at baptisms, weddings and funerals once said to him at a wedding reception that she found it hard to believe he was a “man of the cloth” because he looked so normal!!
It is always very easy to make assumptions about certain groups of people, or individuals, and very often these assumptions are not justified. It is only as we chat and get to know others that we discover that in many cases they are very like us – and, dare I say it – “normal”.
Youngsters so very often get a bad press because it is usually the ones who cause problems who make the news headlines, be it in the national media or more locally. Elsewhere in this edition of our newsletter you will read of things that young people associated with our congregation have been involved with – the three youngest members of the Bangladesh group share what the visit meant to them. For them all, in many respects, this was a trip into the unknown. Even although they had heard about Bangladesh for a number of years, nothing quite prepares you for the impact the country makes almost as soon as you arrive. And my 5 companions were all wonderful company, and despite language difficulties made a great impression on all those whom they met, of all ages, because they were willing to get involved in all that the country and people had to offer.
The young people in the Youth Group are another example. They too, have responded in a wonderful way to what was on offer on a Sunday evening. Two hours with a group of teenagers in the Panbride Hall might not be how you would want to spend a Sunday evening, but it is very rewarding – and you will read elsewhere about some of the activities they have been involved in. It is sometimes hard work, but there are many laughs.
Have you ever made a wrong assumption, and been proved wrong? Remember, three adults and nine teenagers having a meal together, may not be the “family day out” it appears!!