“When you say ‘All are Welcome’, you’re gonna get some interesting characters.” My friend Cole Putman said this to me once, and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since. I’ve decided it’s my favorite thing about the Episcopal Church, our colorful, crazy, wonderful cast of characters. I think it’s beautiful that there is a place for everyone at our table and that our differences are celebrated rather than hidden away. For my job in particular, I think it sends an amazing message to our young people. Middle school and high school are such critical times in a person’s life for beginning to wonder who they are and who they want to become, so having a Church home that accepts whoever they choose to be is an incredible thing.
Through this past year, my greatest source of pride in the EYC is that despite the age gaps, differences in interests, and competing schools, we’ve made a harmonious group full of friends. As the year progressed, we adopted a theme song of sorts, thanks to one member playing it at least once every time we meet. The song is called “Goofy Goober Rock”, and though I’ve become all too familiar to it, you may not know that it is from the Spongebob Squarepants Movie from 2004. True to Spongebob form, it is delightfully weird and annoyingly catchy (I almost always have it stuck in my head now). It celebrates youthful spirits and being yourself and ends with the bold claim “We’re all goofy goobers.”
After the many, many times I’ve listened to the song, that statement has become more cemented in my mind as fact. We all have something that sets us apart from the crowd, something that makes us a little “goofy.” These are the things that make us who we are and that make our Church community so weird and wonderful! God made us all unique and that is a thing to be celebrated. So take it from the youth, it’s fun to be a little silly every now and then. And remember, all are welcome here, even the goofy goobers.