Sometimes change is hard. It can be scary – like stepping out of one’s comfort zone into a gray area filled with uncertainty. And sometimes it happens so smoothly, so easily, that it barely registers, until one morning you look around and think “hey, this is different.”
And so it was at the First United Methodist Church when Debbie Loyd passed the torch for leading the church’s youth to Matthew Potter. “Miss Debbie” had served as youth director for 27 years – since before Matthew was born.
Matthew is a native of Gilmer and a lifelong member of FUMC. He is the son of Yale and Carla Potter. HIs grandmother is Loyce Williford. Matthew is a Buckeye from the Class of 2008 and he recently graduated from The University of Texas at Tyler with a degree in History. He plans to teach History and to coach.
Matthew has great plans to grow the youth group of the First United Methodist Church. In addition to ongoing youth activities, such as regional Youth rallies and winter and summer camp, Matthew has organized several community-wide youth events, including a “pre-game” party before the last Buckeye home game and a Super Bowl Party. Planned events include trips to Longview and Impact Weekend (scheduled for May 3 - 5, 2013; watch The Mirror for more details).
Perhaps the most significant change so far is the Common Ground Coffee House which had its grand opening on Easter Sunday. Common Ground, located in the Christian Life Center serves as a gathering place for youth on Sunday mornings from 8:45 to 9:15. Coffee, hot chocolate, hot tea and more is served while the young people visit and listen to contemporary Christian music. Following this fellowship, the youth break into small goups to study topics of interest.
Also planned is the installation of a GaGa Ball Pit. Have you ever heard of GaGa Ball? GaGa Ball is like old-fashioned Dodge Ball played in an octagon- or hexagon-shaped pit. It’s a fast-paced, super fun game of skill and agility, that is quick and easy to learn. It’s fun and competitive and almost anyone can play, regardless of age. What a great way to get exercise and have fun doing it! The object is to hit, or slap, the ball (not throw it) into another player’s leg. It must hit at the knee or below to get someone out. Look for the opportunity to play GaGa Ball with us soon!
Change isn’t always bad - it can be powerful. Uncertainty can be the first step towards moving forward and growing. Gail Sheehy said “If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.” We invite you to come grow with us at the First United Methodist Church in Gilmer. We’re located at 105 N. Montgomery Street.