Kathryn Nunnelley’s son doesn’t have a youth group. As part of a core team in a church plant, there just aren’t enough young people.
This is a common problem throughout Vermont, where the prevalence of small villages and the overwhelming spiritual lostness means that churches rarely have more than a handful of teens and a volunteer leader.
But several Vermonters want more for their youth. They’ve organized the 802 Carabiners, a team of parents and youth leaders that are working together to see Vermont youth groups connected to Christ and to one another.
“Vermont ministry in general is tough,” Nunnelley says. “I know youth that are at risk of falling away from the church because they don’t feel connected, and I don’t want to see that happen. I feel like if we can bring kids together, then they can see that they’re not alone.”
The group began meeting in March. They held their first statewide gathering in June and have planned another one for September. They hope to host a Disciple Now weekend this spring so students from locations around the state can gather in homes to dig deep into what it means to be a Christian, away from the distractions of everyday life.
“I see so many kids and hear about so many kids that are finding their identity in negative things and things that are outside of a biblical worldview. If we can connect people to an identity in Christ, I can just see this changing their lives in a positive direction,” Nunnelley says.
A portion of your gifts to the New England Mission Emphasis will help fund a Disciple Now weekend in Vermont, so teens without a lot of Christian connections can grow spiritually, develop new friendships with other believers and invite their non-Christian friends to a welcoming, Gospel-centered event.