It seems strange, in many ways, to write this introduction, as so many members of this congregation have known me since I was just a wee wild redhead racing up and down the aisles. On the other hand, there are also so many of you whom I have yet to meet within this St. John’s community. Nevertheless, whether we’ve known each other for years, or this is our first meeting-of-sorts, I am overjoyed to be able to introduce myself as Maggie Doyle, Youth Minister.
To say that the St. John’s Youth Group played a vital role in my growing-up would be an understatement. Through my time spent in both the Junior and Senior High Youth Groups, I gained a found-family of lifelong friends, an incomparable support system, and a passion for the spiritual realm that eventually lead me to pursue a degree in Religious Studies from Kenyon College, and, later, a Masters in Religious Studies from the University of Edinburgh. It has, quite honestly, been my dream to serve as Youth Minister at St. John’s since I, myself, was a student at Redwood High School. And though I have travelled far and wide over the past seven-or-so years, St. John’s has remained my spiritual home. I feel incredibly honored to follow in the footsteps of some incredible Youth Ministers at St. John’s, who served as mentors, cheerleaders, confidants, and friends, and lit a spark in so many of us as we grew up. I cannot wait to learn from, grow with, and be inspired by the brilliant youth of St. John’s.
In many ways, this is a new chapter for all of us within the St. John’s community. The past year-and-a-half or so has been no easy feat, and it is through our common love that we are able to face the future together and embrace our creative energy as we move forward.
To quote one of my favorite mystics of all time, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, who refers to us as “collaborators in creation”: “Today, something is happening to the whole structure of human consciousness. A fresh kind of life is starting. Driven by the forces of love, the fragments of the world are seeking each other, so that the world may come into being.”