Once upon a time, my parents were born and raised in the same area of Ohio. My mother wasn’t raised by Christians, and didn’t become a Christian until she was a young teenager, I believe. She started going to Saint John’s Lutheran church in Grove City, Ohio. She loved the leaders of the youth program, Gary and Laurie Pecuch. After my parents graduated from high school, my dad joined the Army. They got married and then spent 23 years moving all over the place. They moved back to their hometown. Gary and Laurie were still at St. John’s. My mother became the youth director and worked alongside them.
Anyway, they have a great leadership training program for their teens, and every year they have camp that allows the teens to practice their “faith skills.” That includes stuff like praying over a meal, facilitating Bible studies, planning a worship service, etc. This year’s rotation includes something we call “storytalks,” which is really beginning lessons in public speaking. It is the most pain-free way I have ever seen speaking taught. The beauty of this camp is that it is a safe place, where one is surrounded by friends and encouraging mentors, where one is challenged to grow.
I have the privilege of leading worship for that week this year, along with one of the teens who plays guitar.
Anyway, I thought I would use this blog to work on an introductory talk.
The First Storytalk: Introducing Yourself
Hello! I’m Sarah Smith. And I’m a pastor. I am a small group leader. I’m a wife. I am the den mother for the Bible quizzing team. I am a baker and chef. I have a college degree. I am a child of God.
My personality type is a smoother-over, a peacekeeper, a protector, a corrector, a stick-in-the-mud, a rule-follower, a movie-quoter, and a calmer. I do like to get in the way or ride roller coasters. I do not like to hear stories about serious illnesses. I do not like coconut or pranks. I hate cleaning bath tubs. I am terrified of inclines when I am driving our stick-shift Mustang. I am not good at saying the right thing at the right time.
You may not remember these random facts about me. But you may remember me.
Me. The one who laughed at your joke. The one who prayed before she ate. The one who sings all the time. The one who thinks you are really cool. The one who totally read that book too and doesn’t get it either. The one who ate everything with chopsticks that one year. The one who said, “You can do it! I believe in you.” The one who said, “I’m so glad you came to camp!”
I am leaving a legacy. I am keeping the faith.
I am Sarah Smith.
Laurie Pecuch and I at my wedding shower.