Taking Pictures… It’s What I Do

Being a photographer at the Rochester Servant Event could be viewed as both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, the photographer misses the opportunity of being in a group and experiencing the bond of teamwork. On the other hand, well… on the other hand, there are a lot of great things about being a photographer.

I was one of three photographers at RSE this year: myself, Heather, and Joann. One of the coolest things about being given that particular task is that I was basically on my own. My mom acted as my chauffeur (shoutout to my mom!) since I don’t have my license yet, but even with an adult getting me to each worksite, I had the freedom and ability to see all of the inner workings of such a big event. From the organizers to the group leaders to the youth, I had the third person perspective where I could be a part of any of the aforementioned groups of people and would fit in, despite being singularly a youth. So, being a photographer granted me this kind of special status of youth and adult, and there was no problem in my being both. (Thank the Lord- more often than not, we’re stuck in an either-or situation where teenagers are EITHER kids OR adults. Few people understand that we’re both.)

Being a photographer at RSE also gave me the unique opportunity to get to know more people. Because I was the photographer and had to wander here and there to get pictures, I had the ability to strike up conversations with anyone. (Which, by the way, is awesome!)

Also, I don’t think I’ve mentioned this so I’m going to go right ahead and say it: I love photography. With all of my time in the school year dedicated to work and honors/AP classes (as well as a couple clubs), I had little time to do the things I love, and as I revved up my camera equipment and battery, I joked about my camera being a little dusty. RSE gave my sisters and I the opportunity to be placed where our hearts would be, and I’m glad it’s put me both in photography and my love of writing- which is why I’m right here. Right now. On this computer screen or phone screen or wherever you’re reading this.  

I could go on for hours about how great RSE is, but there’s one last thing that I feel is worth mentioning from my perspective and that is the Rochester Servant Event’s ability to draw people in. My sister invited a friend from school. People invited their friends to the concert. This event is the joining of young and old, Christian and non-Christian, and people of all types, and it is so, so beautiful. In this way, we worship Jesus Christ in a way that shows our love instead of just talking about it.

And let me tell you, that makes for a beautiful picture.
-Rebecca “Becca” Mennecke



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


It’s a strange thing to look out into a sea of people and know so few. It’s even stranger to be sitting in the back of the crowd, monitoring instead of letting it engulf you. Being an adult instead of a youth.

I am 20. Too old to be a youth, but not old enough to have full adult responsibilities. I used to be good at being a youth. Despite my dislike of crowds, I used to be good at giving myself over to them. Being one with the people around me, whether I knew them or not.

But I can’t do that anymore. I am not an silly tween nor am I a carefree teenager. I have responsibilities, anxieties and prejudices that hold me back from trusting just anyone.  I can’t go back to that carefreeness of being a youth but I’m not yet ready to be selfless enough to become an adult leader. This puts me in an interesting position.

So, here I am. On the outskirts. But that’s ok. I’ve always enjoyed the outskirts.

I sit watching people let themselves go, give themselves up but I’m somehow out of the moment. Which sounds crazy because I’m right there with them. I’m doing everything they’re doing.

In order to find my place in these events again after graduation, I had to remove myself from them. In the beginning I thought it was necessary. In order to get respect from the people who have seen me grow up, I thought that my only choice was to remove myself and it worked.

However, I now know that removing myself doesn’t mean rejoicing or believing any less. It’s just where I fit. It’s where I’m comfortable. I know that these things are always about “pushing your boundaries” or  whatever but the truth is there’s nothing I hate the most than pushing my social boundaries.

If what we’re supposed to do it give up our baggage than here’s mine: I’m  a workaholic, whether it’s running a social media campaign, writing VBS scripts or taking painfully long shifts at my real job, I am a workaholic. I’m a control freak. Everything has to be planned to the minute or I WILL have a fit. I’m an introvert, which is why I’d rather snap and post pictures of other people having fun than actually engage in it myself. That sentence sounded sad, but it’s not. Too much interaction makes me physically tired.

My biggest bag is that I love my baggage. It’s what keeps me going. How do I give it up? Especially since I’ve gained so much more since the last time I let go.

Attention Redeemer Youth and Alumni!!

The redeemer youth blog is looking for youth alumni writers to share their college tips, experiences and memories! We know you’re all busy people, so you would only be required to do one or two posts over the entire summer. However, if you have more ideas you are welcome to exceed that number! We already have a few alumni interested in writing so you wouldn’t be alone.

We are also still looking for writers that are still in the youth group and or are just graduating out of it! Youth writers would be welcome to write about youth events during the summer and regular year. For the youth we would only ask you to do as many posts as you want, so whether it’s just one or ten we are open to having you as a writer!

If you choose to be a writer, the Redeemer Youth’s Social Media Manager, Abby Kuisle, would be posting along with you this summer. That way you can look at her posts for ideas or format questions. If you are interested please message Abby through her Facebook and she can get you set up to write on the blog!

Taken from Google Images


Transition Time

As we move from Spring to Summer we have some changes to our weekly schedule:

  • Thursday services resume on May 5 (6:00 p.m.)
  • Youth and Adult softball has started (play games every Wednesday @ Slatterly Park)
  • Summer Worship service times begin: May 29
    • 8:00a.m. and 9:30 a.m.
  • Summer coffee in between services begins
  • Graduate Recognition: June 5
  • Rochester Servant Event: June 12-15, 2016
  • Vacation Bible School: June 27-July 1

For more information about Youth events visit the “Schedule” page!


The Unspoken are a diverse band made up of four members from all over the world; Chad Mattson, Mike Gomez, John Lowry, and Ariel Munoz. The Unspoken is a Christian rock band that prides themselves on instilling “bold encouragement” upon their audience through their music. Their main goal is to “live lives that are Unspoken testimonies to God’s love and power, and to speak what oftentimes goes unspoken.”

Catch the FREE Unspoken concert after the Rochester Servant Event on June 15th at 8:00 (doors open at 7:30). This event will also serve as a food drive for Channel One, so please bring a food donation!