COVID-19 Plan | CSUMC Youth Ministry

Youth and families,

As you know, Church Street events as well as the activities of many schools and businesses have come to a screeching halt in response to the spread of the coronavirus.  There are so many aspects of this that are challenging, and I imagine that you, like I, might be battling with fear, frustration, and fatigue.  (I didn’t mean for that alliteration to happen, but sometimes life is just works out that way.)

I want to share with you our preliminary plans and hopes for moving forward.  While our opportunities to meet together as a group in the coming days are uncertain, I am hopeful for some creative and unconventional ways for us to participate with one another as the body of Christ.  Below are some things you can look forward to from us:

  •  Digital NightLife – I am currently researching the best ways for this to happen.  We might use some software such as Zoom or Google Classroom to create a remote space to be together.  More to come!
  • Regular Blog Posts – We will have more content than usual going out in this space to provide our students & their families with resources during these trying times.  And if you are a student who would like to contribute to these posts, please let me know!
  • Resources – I will be working to share links and digital downloads of various resources for our families to use at home.  These could include links to videos, song titles, downloadable art prints, prayers, scripture reading, or liturgy.  The options are endless!
  • Service Opportunities – I am working to compile a list of local organizations who need specific support during this time.  There will be a variety of options so that you can choose an action that is most fitting for your family.

A note to graduating seniors:

I am so sorry that this has uprooted many of your plans and hopes for the end of your high school career.  We don’t know what is coming down the pike, but I do know how valuable our senior traditions are each year.  While I can’t provide you with specific dates or action plans at this time, please know that I am working diligently to ensure you get to experience your rights of passage in some way, shape, or form.  Also, you are so loved.  None of us are going to let this time of your lives pass by without adequate celebration.  Great – now I have tears in my eyes thinking about you.  I am sure no one is shocked.  Suffice to say, I am going to do everything I can to make this special and meaningful for you.

Words for Reflection

As we close, I want to provide you with some Scripture, a quote, and a prayer.  If these are at all helpful, please use them.  Start a group text with some friends or with your NightLife small group.  Talk about them around the dinner table.  Use them to do your own quiet time.  Take these words to heart and know that you are never alone.

In John chapter 10, Jesus is talking to the Pharisees after performing a miracle.  During this talk, He spends time using farming metaphors and shares one of His “I Am” sayings – I am the Good Shepherd.  In verse 10, Jesus says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.  I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”  We have the offering of abundant life in Christ. And while these days might make you feel anxious or upset, my hope is that we cling to the Promise that Jesus is with us.  I am working hard to strike a balance between appropriate precautions and unnecessary fear, and trusting in Jesus is making all the difference.

I have shared the following quote in several places over the past few days, but these are words that are giving me such comfort and encouragement.

“I am one in whom Christ dwells and delights.  I live in the strong and unshakeable kingdom of God.  The kingdom is not in trouble and neither am I.”

– James Bryan Smith

Prayer for Uncertainty

Holy God, we believe that You are in our midst even when your hearts are troubled and our minds race with anxious thoughts.  Calm our fears and remind us that You are our Refuge and Strength.  We ask You to be a source of Light and Peace.  Shine in the darkness.  Send your Spirit to offer Hope.  Teach us how to trust in You.


Friends, I want to be accessible to you during these hards days. Please let me know if there is anything I can do during this season to provide support to you.  And if you have anything you think the group might like to hear about, just let me know!

All my love,


REZ20: everything you need to know

Please note arrival time on Friday has been bumped to 5:30 to accommodate schedules and (hopefully) help everyone! 

Packing List

  • Bible
  • warm clothes (check the weather before you pack!!)
  • jacket
  • pajamas
  • shoes (good for walking)
  • towel They actually have bathtowels & washcloths provided!
  • toiletries
  • your own pillow (some of us will be on futons or air mattresses)
  • swim suit (there are hot tubs & a pool at the cabin)
  • beach towel if you plan to swim or get in the hot tub
  • rain jacket
  • water bottle
  • meal money (1 meal out)
  • spending money (for free time or a REZ19 t-shirt)
  • snack to share
    • 6th-7th Grade – sweet snack
    • 8th-9th Grade – salty snack
    • 10th-12th Grade – bottles of water (8 oz)


When you arrive at Church Street on Friday, please do the following things:

  • load your luggage on the trailer
  • keep any “carry on” items with you and take them in the vans (backpacks, purses, pillows, etc) in the 11th-12th grade room – this room is on your right BEFORE you enter the interior youth area doors – please be sure to keep all your stuff together
  • check in and turn in any forms or payments
  • put your snack or water in the worship room by the stage
  • grab dinner from the kitchen


To learn more about the Resurrection event schedule, please click here.  We are Session B (which makes for late nights).  The schedule below includes travel on Friday & Sunday.

5:30 Arrive at Church Street in the Youth Department (Chick-fil-a dinner is provided)
6:00 Meeting with students
6:15 Depart for Pigeon Forge
9:00 Session I

11:00 Session IV
1:30 Depart from Pigeon Forge (lunches on the road – packed that morning)
2:30-3:00 Arrive at Church Street

Please click here to sign up for our REZ20 group text for extra info over the weekend regarding travel and other details.


We are going to the King of the Mountain Lodge!  Your rooms have been assigned in advance.  It’s going to be so fun to all be together again!  Some folks may be on an air mattress or futon, so please bring your own pillow!

Free Time

For those of you who have been to Resurrection before, we are doing free time a little differently.  You will have two options on Saturday between the second session and dinner time.  They are:

  1. Return to the cabin.
  2. Go to The Island.
  3. Go to the Tanger Outlets.

You will sign up for which activity you would like to be apart of on Friday before bed.  I have provided links to each place to help you make your decision.  Remember, the Island & Outlets most likely require extra money.


We will talk about these more on Friday, but please keep these guidelines in mind for the weekend.

  • You will travel in the same van all weekend.  No switching around. (This excludes travel to and from free time, which might require a shift due to which activity you choose.)
  • The chaperone who checks your room at night will also be your chaperones in the Convention Center.
  • You must stay in groups of 3 at all times.  If I see you walking alone at any time, you will have to go home.  I know this sounds harsh, but we have to remain safe and remain together.
  • There is a Starbucks kiosk at the Convention Center.  We will not be using it.  The lines are too long and you miss part of the session when you get in line.  There will be coffee at the cabin if you are wanting some.
  • Your rooms in the cabin will be assigned.
  • There is a movie room in the cabin.  You can bring movies to watch remembering:
    • they must be G or PG rated
    • lights out still means lights out – even if it isn’t done
    • movies will be voted on by the majority planning to watch – democracy, people


6th-7th Grade – Unloading food at the Cabin
8th-10th Grade – Unloading luggage at the Cabin
11th-12th Grade – Loading food at Church Street, Distributing REZ18 passes at the Cabin

6th-7th Grade – Breakfast Set Up & Clean Up
10th-12th Grade – Dinner Set Up & Clean Up

8th & 9th Grade – Breakfast/Lunch Prep Set Up & Clean Up
10th-12th Grade – Loading luggage at the Cabin
6th-7th Grade – Unloading luggage at Church Street

Youth Christmas Party

Our Youth Christmas Parties will be this Sunday, December 8th from 12:30-3:30! We will be in the Youth Area following the 11:00 worship service. It will be a fun time of fellowship and festive holiday cheer.
We are adding an element of mission work to our party this year since we didn’t get to have our Annual Advent Missions Night. Here is what you need to know:
During the party we will:
– eat a pasta lunch ($5)
– decorate the Youth Area
– wrap gifts for Wesley House and Beacon of Hope kids
– have a food drive for Beacon of Hope
– have a White Elephant gift exchange ($5-$10)
Beacon of Hope Food Co-Op Needs:
– boxes of cereal
– ground coffee (no K-Cups)
– breakfast/snack bars
– condiments (salt, pepper, ketchup)
To ensure we have enough food for everyone, please use the link below to let us know you are coming!
As always, I am happy to answer any questions you may have. Looking forward to our time together on Sunday!
Grace and peace,

Intern Interview: Hadley

– Name

Hadley O’Hara

– School Info

Sophomore at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
English Major with a Minor in Secondary Education

– What you want to be “when you grow up”?

When I grow up, my dream is to be a High School English teacher and be able to pour into students. I hope to encourage them to be the best version of themselves and realize that education and a hunger for learning will open many doors and ultimately improve our society and communities.

– If you could eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

If I could eat one food for the rest of my life, it would be chick-fil-a waffle fries, with ranch of course!

– What made you want to pursue this internship?

I wanted to pursue this internship so that I could give back to the program that gave so much to me growing up as a member. I wanted to get to love on students and help them realize the enormous love and grace a relationship with Christ offers.

– What are some ways you experience God’s presence?

Some of the ways I experience God’s presence is through other people and the callings God places in my life. This could look like a friend responding or affirming something too perfectly to lack God’s presence or a nudge in a direction that places me slightly outside my comfort zone.

– What do you wish you could tell your younger self?

I wish I could tell my younger self that you will have people that will be able to walk with you through the valleys and mountaintops. I would tell her that the mountaintops will not be too steep and you will be stronger on the other side.

SLA 2019 Info

I don’t know about you, but I am to that point in the year where I could really use SLA.  It’s a beautiful time of worship and fellowship, of unplugging and pressing the reset button, of leaning into the presence of Christ and trusting that He is with us.

I hope you’re looking forward to our time together, too. I LOVE talking about SLA. So, if you have any questions, just let me know!

I CANNOT wait to spend time together with you!

  • Forms: If you have not completed your Annual Release form, please download it here and get it to me next Sunday or bring it with you the Friday of SLA.
  • Bringing a Friend:  If you are bringing a friend to SLA, please send me an email with his or her name.  I want to make sure all sleeping arrangements are correct.  And please forward any information on to them!
  • Arriving Late/Leaving Early:  If you are arriving late or leaving early, please send me an email with the details in advance.
  • Weather:  Take a look at the forecast before you pack to make sure you have all the right clothes!  It is already getting chilly, so we want to be sure to dress appropriately so we can be comfortable.
  • Medications:  If you have medications this weekend, please bring a note with any information we might need.  You have the option of keeping your medication with you or storing it with our first aid kit.
  • Snack to Share:  On the packing list, it states to bring a snack to share.  Please bring a snack that will feed about 8-10 people.

Drop Off/Pick Up Schedule


  • 5:00 – Arrive at Church Street in the Youth Area
  • 5:30 – Dinner at Church Street in the Gym (Chick-fil-a)
  • 6:00 – Brief meeting before departure
  • 6:15 – Depart for Doe River Gorge
  • 9:00 – Session I


  • 12:00 – Lunch at Doe River Gorge
  • 12:30 – Finish Clean Up
  • 1:30 – Depart for Church Street
  • 3:30 – Arrive at Church Street in the Youth Lot

Packing List

Below, you’ll find our Packing List for the retreat.  Please take a look at it so you know what to expect.  Each year, we have a “Flannel Funday” and all wear a flannel on the Saturday of SLA.  If you don’t have a flannel – no worries, we have extras to share!  Let us know and we will set one aside for you.

We want SLA to be a special and meaningful experience for everyone who is a part of it.  Our Youth Band will lead us in worship, we will have sessions with a message, and we will spend time in small group discussion.  If parents or students have any questions about the weekend, please contact me.  I am happy to discuss them with you and want this to be a fond memory for everyone involved.

Intern Interview: Marcy

– Name

Marcy Sullivan

– School Info

Sophomore, Global Studies and Leadership Studies

– What you want to be “when you grow up”?

When I grow up, I want to be a good person! That’s the first goal. Secondly, I want to research different cultures, different cool people doing cool things, and different musics and maybe publish research or articles on these findings.

– If you could eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

If I could eat one food, my brain screams QUESADILLA and my heart screams WAFFLE HOUSE.  So, I will follow my heart.

– What made you want to pursue this internship?

This internship came at an amazing time in my life where I couldn’t put my finger on what God was calling me to.  I felt like doors were closing, and I was shutting doors for other college ministry positions or being a young life leader.  When Jenny talked to me about applying, I knew all these closings had led me to this opening! It was exactly what I was supposed to do.

– What are some ways you experience God’s presence?

I experience God’s presence through the ways He gives me grace.  In my prayer, when I finally say something that holds some truth, it is a gift from the Holy Spirit.  In reading the word, the same goes.  When we serve and give our life away, walking closely with things that are unlike ourself, God shows himself there to me.

– What do you wish you could tell your younger self?

I wish I could tell my younger self thank you for being so silly! It has made growing up wonderfully funny.

Intern Interview: Ramsey

– Name

Ramsey Michael Owens

– School Info

Sophomore, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

– What you want to be “when you grow up”?

Owner of the Boston Red Sox

– If you could eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Chicken of all varieties 

– What made you want to pursue this internship?

I wanted to grow in God’s grace and help kids learn about the Agape love that surrounds us

– What are some ways you experience God’s presence?

Nature is where I hear God most clearly.

– What do you wish you could tell your younger self?

Love everyone no matter what

all about NightLife

Our writing team captain, Caroline Powell, had a conversation with one of our students, Ann Clark Bellamy, following our first NightLife together.  Here is what they said:

NightLife is honestly my favorite part of my week. I look forward to it every week because it is such a great way to step out of the hustle of my busy week and to find peace in God’s love. I love getting to spend time in fellowship and worship before I start my school week. Each week, we get to eat dinner in fellowship, play games, worship and sing together. This year, I hope that the group learns more than ever. Our youth program is so special and I really hope that we all get the most out of it. The leaders do the absolute best with leading us in worship and making it so fun! I hope this can be the best year yet!”

Ann Clark Bellamy, sophomore

“Last week the youth group had our first NightLife of the year and it was a great success! As we continue with our study of Galatians, I hope you all decide to come give NightLife a try! I promise you won’t regret it!”

Caroline Powell, junior

We will continue our study on Galatians for the next few weeks – learning about Paul’s teaching and instruction for this group of early Christians.  It has been SUCH a joy to be back together.  This time together is a great way to focus in on our walk with Christ and our fellowship with one another as we start a new week.

A note from Alex…

Hi Church Streeters,

I am writing this as a way to sum up what the youth internship at Church Street has meant to me.

When I started talking to Jenny about the youth internship she told me there was one huge thing to keep in mind: youth ministry will wreck you. I couldn’t wrap my head around what that would mean at the time, but I jumped head first into this job when Jenny had Cooper. I went into this job thinking I would get some teaching experience and go on the retreats that I had loved attending as a students. I received so much more than a line on a resume and a few weekends off campus. I expected to teach the lesson each week, maybe have some laughs with the students, then go home. I didn’t know I would go home and tell my roommates about the incredible answers youth would share at Nightlife. I didn’t know I would lay awake worrying about them. I didn’t know I would feel so proud when they came to church talking about the soccer game their team won, or the play they got that part in, or the driving test they passed. I didn’t know I would love them so much sometimes it makes me cry.

Over time, Church Street started to feel like the home it was for me as a youth again. I tried plenty of campus ministries and other churches in college, but none ever felt truly like home for me. I went into being the youth intern with a lot of assumptions about what I thought I would get out of it and what I thought I could offer.

It took me a year at this internship to know what Jenny meant about youth ministry wrecking a person. I was going thru the photos for the legacy wall being set up after the youth area renovation. I started with the oldest digital photos on file from around 2004. I saw the smiling faces of so many people I grew up with. I saw all of the braces phases and home tie-dyed shirts. I kept getting distracted thinking about how all of these people were out in the world living their lives now. Most of them were in college or working, some were getting married, a few were traveling the world. All of them started out as silly brace-faced middle schoolers learning about the love of Jesus. They sat in the same rooms for Nightlife and went on the same retreats I had. Through those pictures, I watched all of my peers grow up. I realized that the the legacy of Church Street was this opportunity in youth to offer students what home feels like. I grew up with so many incredible people at Church Street. People who went out into the world with a solid foundation of how home felt: full of love, grace, and support. Home feels like safety and people who ask about your sports and arts. Home feels like people who point you to Jesus when you feel lost. Home feels like people leaning in and loving you in your most awkward years when you don’t even know who you are. This internship gave me the gift of seeing the whole picture. I got to be a part of this legacy of people who are loved by this group. Then I got to come back and give love to new students.

I finally get what Jenny meant. Youth ministry wrecks you because it cracks open your heart and lets everyone in. It wrecks you because you feel every high and low with the youth. It wrecks you because it has to feel like the way Jesus loves us all and always


has room to love a few more. Youth ministry showed me that there is always room for another person to find out what home feels like.

I am not sure how to end this except to say thank you. Thank you to all of the people who volunteer with Church Street Youth for being so loving and supportive. Thank you to these students for welcoming a me into there lives. Thank you to Jenny for giving me a chance to be wrecked in the very best way by youth ministry.

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