A Letter from Twyla . . .
March 1, 2016
Dear Pastors, Churches and Youth Leaders,
“Moments into Movements.” At Youth Convention 1993 on the left side of the altar at Fargo First Assembly, I was baptized in the Holy Spirit. I was 15. At Youth Convention 1994 on the right side of the sanctuary in the fifth row at Bismarck Evangel, I was called into ministry. I was 16. Late one night at camp 1995 the presence of God so filled Eckert Cabin #1 that my chaperone commissioned me to minister to my cabin-mates. For 12 high school girls, that Eckert carpet became a powerful and sacred altar. I was 17.
For the last seven years, “Turning Moments into Movements” has been my anthem and the defining purpose of North Dakota Youth Ministries. But in reality…that has been the heartbeat of youth ministry in our great District for decades. My life as a student was marked by those precious moments. And my last 20 years have been joyfully given to this movement. It has been an honor and I am forever grateful.
This has been a unique winter in North Dakota, with unusual temperatures and warmth that has taken us by surprise. The same could be said of this season in my own life. In the past several months, God has planted some unexpected dreams in my heart that were then recently matched with an unexpected opportunity. And so it is, with the sweet guidance of the Spirit and the wise counsel of my mentors, that the time has come to step into a new season. (The details of this next step will be publicly announced soon.)
In the cycle of youth ministry and our many events, it seems there is no great time for a resignation - but the hope is that by moving forward now, the District can have adequate time to select a new candidate to present at District Council and a healthy transition can happen sometime in May before the busy camp season. I have been praying for my successor since the day I started, and I have no doubt that the next leader will be full of passion, vision, anointing and will take youth ministry in North Dakota to a level beyond what any of us could have imagined!
It has been a privilege to serve the churches, pastors, youth leaders and students of this state. And it was a distinct honor to follow the heartbeat and vision of Superintendent and Dianne. Their passionate support has been a great gift.
Seven years ago our district leadership jumped off a cliff and took a risk by hiring the first single person, first female and first youth pastor for the DYD role in our state. Thanks for giving me a chance. Thanks for believing in me. Thanks for laughing and/or rolling your eyes at my sarcasm. ;) Thanks for letting me be me. Most of all, thanks for your relentless partnership in reaching a generation.
Moments of encounter will continue to fuel this movement of the Kingdom among our youth. The future is bright for the Church in North Dakota. May we keep being Samuels who give ourselves to Finding Davids in our harvest fields!
For a Generation,