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Oct 18, 2017

A Heart for Youth Ministry: Stormie Bryant

A decade ago, when Stormie Bryant moved to Trinity Episcopal Church in Baytown, she wanted to start a women’s Bible study to connect with fellow stay-at-home moms. Little did she know, this women’s Bible study would lead to a calling to youth ministry in the diocese.

Bryant wanted to create a daytime women’s Bible study with complimentary child care so that stay-at-home mothers could attend. She reached out to Trinity’s youth minister at the time, for advice on how to get the Bible study started. He suggested a trade: if she would help him with youth, he would help her with the Bible study. The Bible study only lasted three months, but Bryant’s ministry to diocesan youth has continued for over ten years.

When the youth minister left his position at Trinity, Bryant was asked to step up into that role. Youth Minister was a natural fit for her since she already loved working with the youth as a volunteer. Shortly after accepting the position, Stormie was asked by the diocese to volunteer with either the Youth Encounter Spirit (Y.E.S.) or Happening retreat; she agreed to help with Y.E.S. Like with the women’s Bible study, she had no idea volunteering to help with that retreat would turn into her leading Y.E.S. as Lay Director for over four years.

From that very first weekend with Y.E.S., Bryant was hooked. She loved watching the transformation of the youth in just one short weekend. She loved seeing how the youth realize how much they are loved by God, their families and friends, and the retreat volunteers. She loved watching the students grow in their relationship to Jesus. She loved seeing how the retreat planted seeds in the youth that would continue to serve as they came back and staffed Y.E.S., Happening, or even summer camp at Camp Allen. Y.E.S. helped shape and form a servant’s heart in many of the youth.

Stormie retired from youth ministry at Trinity last year, but she continues to serve on both the Happening and Y.E.S. Steering Committees. As Lay Director for Y.E.S., Stormie encourages all youth ministers, parents of youth, or anyone who is interested in the youth of the diocese to come and experience Y.E.S. for themselves. She wants to share the opportunity to see how they are transformed through the event. She also wants all diocesan junior high youth to come and participate in Y.E.S. as often as they can! The next Y.E.S. weekend is November 17-19 at Camp Allen. For more information or to register to participate or staff the retreat, visit www.epicenter.org/yes.

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