Teen lounge to stick around with summer hours on Tuesdays | Worship

By Laura Crawford | volunteer minister and member of Pointe of Grace Lutheran Church | Jun 20, 2017
Laura Crawford

The Mukilteo Youth Coalition – a group of parents, counselors, teachers and others concerned about teens in Mukilteo – had the really good idea of creating a safe place where teens could just hang out one day a week after school.

In our busy, over-programmed world – both for teens and adults – it’s amazing that the idea became a reality.

The Mukilteo Teen Lounge, or MTL, is a place with literally no agenda. It’s a place to hang out, study or talk with friends; play a board game, toss a ball or throw a Frisbee –even in the rain; make music on the keyboard, catch a few zzz’s or, of course, eat food, thanks to generous sponsors in Mukilteo, including Starbucks, Jersey Mike’s, Taco del Mar, Papa Murphy’s, QFC and Harbour Pointe Orthodontics.

It all happens on Wednesdays from 2-5 p.m. Pointe of Grace Lutheran Church is the venue, staffed by wonderful volunteers from the community. Everyone is welcome – all creeds, LBGTQ, and it’s nonsectarian. There is no agenda, including no religious one.

And yet it feels like church for me. Like the real Kingdom of God, where everyone is welcome and everyone is loved. It’s the God I believe in.

It’s the God who loves without any conditions; the God of second, third, fourth and infinite chances; the God who became human out of His incredible love for us, and walked and cried and laughed and taught as Jesus, the Son of God, on this earth. And Jesus said send me the children.

Jesus really knew how to be a friend. In John 15, verses 12-13, Jesus said, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

This summer, MTL will take a short break until the school year starts in the fall. In the meantime, it will morph into “MTL–Summer,” from 9:30-11:30 a.m. on Tuesdays. We hope many MTL kids will keep coming, along with many new teens.

We will hang out in the Pointe of Grace Teaching Garden – adjacent to the church – with Master Gardener Cherrie Wallace, her daughter Margaret and some volunteers. There will also be Pointe of Grace volunteers around and in the church until 2 p.m. each Tuesday to be a friendly presence, playing games inside or out, teaching knitting or crocheting and maybe other crafts.

Teens can bring a lunch or snack, and there may be some food from the garden or volunteers’ donations. MTL-Summer starts June 27 and continues until the end of the summer, except for the 4th of July.

I love watching the garden grow, and watching the people grow around me. Please, come and be a part of the growth, too. It’s the way God loves us. God gives us gardens and one another.

An example: One young teen, who had sat alone for many weeks, is a friend to all of us now. He turned around the other day as he was leaving and said, “Hey, Laura, I like that summer idea. It gives me a place to come.” He’s right. It does. I like that, too.

 

Laura Crawford is a volunteer minister at Pointe of Grace, a Mukilteo worship site of Trinity Lutheran Church. For more information about the Lutheran church, go to www.pointeofgrace.org.

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