Church Splits, But FUMC Frisco Youth Stick Together

FUMC Frisco Youth

Split after disaffiliation has brought youth group closer together as they maintain traditions, service

For Celia Granier, a junior at Wakeland High School and member of FUMC Frisco, the youth group has been a bright spot in the midst of a challenging year. 

FUMC Frisco serving food“What I love the most about our youth group is how close the split has made us. I think if we didn’t have to move and go through this, we would never have bonded the way we have.” 

After a failed disaffiliation vote, three church members who had been volunteering in youth ministry stepped up to serve in an even bigger way as they continued on without a youth minister or a building. Thanks to Amy Granier, Trish Whitlock and Deborah Rasband, the FUMC Frisco youth group has not only survived but maintained many annual traditions and grown closer over the past year. 

“Me and two other ladies were the volunteers on Preston Road. When the vote came through, we tried to maintain the youth group after the vote,” said Amy Granier. “We had 12 youth and their families join us, and now we’re starting to see youth that went other places come back and reconnect with our group. Last year at this time, we were meeting in a park because we didn’t have a building.”

“God has definitely brought us closer together this year through hardship,” said Celia Granier. “I have seen God through each person who decides to keep showing up to church even though things are so different now. God has kept us so close this past year, so that when we finally get our church back to normal at the building on Preston we will have a strong foundation to build from again.”

FUMC Frisco at MidwinterColeman Reed, an eighth grader at Wilkinson Middle School, noted how challenging it has been. “It’s been tough in this time away from our home church. Some have come and gone, but with the rest, we've become closer and stronger, and that's something we're proud of.”

It has been important for the youth leaders to maintain consistency and traditions, to give the students a firm foundation in the midst of change. Last summer, the group was able to continue their tradition of a semi-annual international mission trip for older students and a domestic trip for the rest of the group. The juniors and seniors served in the Dominican Republic and the underclassmen partnered with Christ UMC Plano for a mission trip to Memphis. This summer, 18 students will travel to Pikeville, Kentucky, to continue this tradition of service to the community. 

“It’s been amazing that we’ve been able to maintain,” Amy Granier said. “The kids are resilient. They're a really strong, tight group and we didn’t want to see that go away. They are a family and they really depend on each other. They stay in touch throughout the week and support each other through whatever they’re going through. We couldn’t let that go away because of adult circumstances.”

The youth consistently step up to serve in weekly worship at their home-away-from-home at Faithbridge Presbyterian Church in Frisco. Whether they’re called upon to help usher, collect the offering or even stack chairs after youth group, the youth gladly serve their community. The group also made sure to show up in force at Midwinter at Bridgeport this year, as one of their members was leading as part of the Conference Camp Youth Leadership Program.

The youth clearly take seriously their membership vows of prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness, as they have journeyed alongside two youth who have not yet been confirmed. Both young men were baptized on Easter Sunday and will be confirmed on April 14. 

FUMC Frisco youth“The fact that they’re there and participating, showing their support as they see their friends go through the journey they went through is very inspiring,” said Amy Granier. “They’re becoming leaders in their own way.”

Despite all the pain and hurt of the last year, the leaders note that this experience has helped them to more fully appreciate their church and its ministries.

“When you have to fight for it you don’t take it for granted,” said Amy Granier. “It affected the kids that way too, because they realized that this could all have gone away. And in order for it to be maintained, they have to be a part of it and keep it going and they really have done that.”

“We're all closer with each other and we're more unified,” Reed affirmed. “The youth group helps me connect with God because the original Christians were small in number, and I can connect with that.”

Published: Wednesday, April 3, 2024