by Catherine Altmeier, Trinity Youth Parent
For the past six years, Lisa Prasse has served as the youth director at Trinity United Methodist Church, and for the first five of those years, I was sitting on the edge of my seat with excitement, waiting for my daughter, Molly, to be old enough to be part of the youth program. I knew from experience how life-changing a thriving youth program can be for a young person, and I was confident that would certainly be the case for Molly as part of Lisa’s youth program. And for the last year, I have seen the evidence of that expectation as Molly has grown as a person and as a follower of Christ in such deep, wonderful ways, thanks to Lisa’s guidance.
Youth ministry, for Lisa, has clearly been a calling. You could see it in the excitement that she brought to every interaction with “her kids.” You could see it in the seriousness and dedication she felt as she focused on helping these youth know Christ, His love, and what being a follower of Christ means for each of us. You could see it in how much fun she clearly had spending time with her youth, whether it be part of messy games or staying out past midnight at Universal. She loved (loves!) her youth like they are one of her own children, and I have never once seen her waver in her commitment to them.
When Molly finally became old enough to attend youth group this past summer, it was following two strange and difficult years. My daughter, like many kids their age, had lots of difficult questions, and Molly knew right away that Lisa was a safe and trusted person to ask. I often rolled my eyes or tried to apologize to Lisa for the many, often complex, questions and scenarios that Molly would bring to her. But Lisa never once minded. She was there for Molly in any way they needed and always answered them with grace and love.
And that, I think, is what Lisa’s time in youth ministry has been most about: love. Her love for these kids. Her love for God. And showing these kids how much bigger and more wonderful our lives can be when we love God and love others.
That is certainly what Lisa has shown Molly (and me). And while both Molly and I are sad that Lisa’s time as the youth minister at Trinity has come to an end, we are so grateful for the time that she gave and are thrilled for her next steps because we know that, wherever she goes, she will continue to spread God’s love and her own. That’s just the person she is.