Rochester Servant Event 2016

I am an adult.

Such a simple sentence, but such a strange concept. After all, what does it mean to be an adult?

For RSE this year, it meant I was a group leader. It meant I was in charge of paperwork, and watching kids who were almost my age, and having authority over them. It meant initiating conversation, knowing the right thing to do in any possible bad situation, and setting an example. On one hand, having all these new responsibilities is exciting.

On the other hand, being an adult is, frankly, terrifying. I’m not one of those “natural-born leaders.” I’m awkward and shy around new people. I’m 18 years old, and I still don’t have my driver’s license.

And I make mistakes. Lots of them. I forget paperwork at home. I say the wrong things. There are too many times I rely on others, to the point that I rarely rely on myself. To me, messing up is about as natural as blinking.

Which is why it was a relief that I had a familiar face as a co-group leader. I knew that with Michael Harvey in charge, both myself and the group would be in good hands.
Actually going out and working with the group the first day also helped ease nerves. Everyone worked hard, got along, and still had fun, telling jokes and having lots of interesting and fun conversations.

By about the middle of the week, I forgot I was an adult. Sure, I still had to make sure everyone was accounted for, and help lead devotions when discussion stalled, but I felt just like a part of the group. After all, weeding is weeding, no matter your age.

So it was a bit of a surprise when Josh handed out important papers for Wednesday’s worship service, especially since Michael wasn’t around so I had to be in charge of them for a bit. I was a bit flustered, forgetting them in the sanctuary at worship Tuesday evening, and accidentally leaving them at home Wednesday morning, but with Michael’s help, it all worked out in the end.

Overall, the whole week went pretty well – the group weeded, pulled trees, weeded, changed lightbulbs, weeded, planted flowers, fixed a screen door, and weeded. The girls in my group helped trim, pull, and carry so many overgrown maple saplings that Michael nicknamed us the “Lumber-Jills.” We had good, thoughtful discussions over devotions, handed out water bottles to construction workers, gave flowers to residents at Samaritan Bethany, and gave a plate of cookies to the fire station by Century High School.

In my life, God has always put people in my life exactly when I needed them, and this group was no different. They helped me gain confidence and maturity, and while I’m still not 100% prepared for being an adult, they definitely helped make the transition a lot easier.


–Carolyn Mennecke