from Joe Thouvenel . . .
“Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back everything is different.” -Prince Caspian
I am incredibly blessed to have had the opportunity to serve and work alongside college-aged young adults for all of my professional career. I was first blessed as an admissions counselor at George Fox, guiding prospective students through the process of deciding on a college and preparing them for what Fox could offer them academically, socially, and spiritually. Then, during my 11 years on staff at Twin Rocks Friends Camp, I supervised and mentored college students from around the country who participated in the camp’s Summer Staff program. Currently, I work with students transitioning from George Fox to the world of work, coaching them to make the most of their knowledge and experiences as they pursue their callings in fields as diverse as engineering, social work, or art.
What has kept me committed to this particular age group? It’s the potential I see for transformational growth as these young women and men transition into adulthood. It’s an exciting time of clarifying values and beliefs, seeking out friendships and connections, new-found purpose, and asking important questions about who they are and where they’re heading in life. Often this time of life is full of a confusing mix of emotions: hopefulness and excitement alongside fear and uncertainty. I find a willingness in young adults to embrace authenticity in newly discovered ways that can lead to deeper connections with one another and with God. I love being a part of that journey.
This Sunday at 10am* we’ll begin talking and praying about how to provide a space for this to occur at Newberg Friends Church in the coming year. I hope students and young adults can encounter a time and place to come together, away from the pressures of everyday life, to share with one another, to listen to each other’s stories, to learn from the stories of those who have gone before them, and to be encouraged through fellowship, scripture, song, and prayer.