My family and I have been going to Pulpit Rock for a little over a year. When the church we had previously considered our family closed, we were more than disheartened. It can take so long to find a church home—and even longer to build close relationships.
When we came upon Pulpit Rock, we were immediately drawn in by the grace-filled and balanced teaching. In bigger churches, it can be so easy to walk in the door and then back out without meeting anyone. (Especially when we’re always late and rushing to get our kids into Sunday school!) But we joined a small group, and we’ve been enjoying getting to know the other people in our group over the past year.
When our small group decided to do a service project together, we talked through the different things each of us had to offer. (Which was really fun! A great way to get to know others better is to find out how they like to serve others.) One of the couples on our small group used to teach East Coast Swing lessons to college students. My husband and I own an ice cream store in town (Glacier Homemade Ice Cream and Gelato). We thought, ‘There must be someone out there who needs ice cream and dancing!’
Our small group also talked through whom we felt most compelled to serve. A number of us felt drawn to help youth in need in the city. And there just happened to be two new people visiting our group that night—two social workers who directed us toward the work that CASA of the Pikes Peak Region does with teenagers living in foster care.
We felt a little silly offering ice cream and dance lessons to teenagers, but the two social workers assured us that youth who are living in foster care really need enriching activities that can help them gain confidence and self-worth.
The teens learned how we make ice cream, a few things about running a business, and got to eat some ice cream, of course.
About a month later, we also held a night of swing dance lessons with an ice cream sundae bar.
Speer arranged for the event to take place at The Chapel of Our Savior, a beautiful Episcopal church in the Broadmoor area. We weren’t sure how much swing dancing would appeal to teens—especially boys—but about 20 kids decided to come, half boys.
The kids seemed to have a great time, either dancing or being entertained by the dancers. Several of the kids even asked when their next dance lesson would be! Rebekah Johnson, who offered the dance lessons along with her husband, Sam, said it was humbling to see how a skill they had could bring a new and fun experience to the teens. They’re hoping they will be able to offer more lessons and help these teens learn the valuable life lessons that come from dancing, such as humility. (There’s nothing so humbling as asking someone of the opposite gender to dance!)
Because the teens showed an interest in learning more, Speer is hoping to arrange a series of dance lessons in various genres in the fall.
We don’t know what came (or what will come) of our night of dancing. We offered our resources to God and humbly asked Him to use them. Our prayer is that God will multiply these efforts to bless these youth and help us to build even more ties with CASA in the future.
Written by Amber Van Schooneveld
If you have a heart for foster teens and could teach a particular life skill to them, contact Laura Speer. A small time commitment can make a big difference!
Stay tuned for more stories from our small group service projects coming your way in October.