The span of time from your 20s into your 30s can bring significant transition. You’ve spent the majority of your life in a structured educational setting, many years living under the roof of others, and surrounded by familiarity. So…now what?
This transitionary time in young lives is transformative yet often overwhelming. Many large life events occur from getting your first full-time job to buying a house or a car, paying taxes, moving to a new place, and possibly even getting married and having kids. It can be a challenge to know how to navigate these changes but being surrounded by others, many of whom are experiencing these new shifts alongside you, helps bring comfort in the unknown.
Resident pastor Megan Eide now leads the Young Adult group. Megan is in her 20s, moved away from home for the first time last year, accepted her first call as a pastor, and is learning all about managing these new life changes.
“Up until this point in our lives meeting friends has all been set up for us. Whether through school, sharing the same love of a specific activity like soccer or choir, then you meet people in college with whom you share the same academic interests,” Megan said. “When you go out on your own into the “real world” suddenly you’re in a work environment where you’re often younger or you’re trying to do things like buy a house or pay taxes and no one taught you how to do that. It’s important to be with people that remind you you’re not alone. We all need a space to just relax and be ourselves around people who are experiencing what it’s like to navigate the world as a young adult.
Our goal with the young adult group is to provide a space for people to develop meaningful social relationships. The whole group is centered around this idea of integrity. Rather than sitting around and preaching to each other about the importance of service and generosity, we go out and be of service in our community.
We’ve had an amazing time exploring the QC together and supporting our neighbors and local businesses. We regularly serve meals at Café on Vine, we go on field trips to places around the Quad Cities like the River Bandits and the Farmer’s Market. We had a social gathering at Dead Poet’s Espresso owned by St. Paul’s own Tom and Joan Lahl. There’s been bowling, hiking, and sand volleyball. We’ve had coffee, frozen yogurt, and video game nights. We try to do things that appeal to different people’s interests.”
Connecting with people in a new area
When Josh Baez moved to the Quad Cities in December of 2019 to be with his fiancé, now wife, Maddie, he didn’t yet have a friend group of his own. The pandemic made getting to know people in a new area difficult, but Josh has since found a friend group with other members of the St. Paul young adults.
“The one big takeaway from the group is getting to feel that connection with other people around my age. I love my coworkers but they’re much older than I am. So it’s nice to connect with my peers, getting to chat with one another and learn from the perspectives of others who have gone through similar things, learning about one another and from one another helps me feel very connected on a deeper level.
I really enjoy going to events and adding service work in there. I’m passionate about volunteering and getting to do that with friends is wonderful. I do some service work on my own but being out in the community altogether is very exciting. Hanging out with everyone is just that added bonus.
Friendships have started to form outside of the group. We support each other. We’re forming a community and getting a lot more comfortable with each other. Being able to find that connection grounded in faith adds positivity to my life. The biggest thing for me is the connection. Hearing other people’s stories and strengthening my faith through their stories.”
After moving to the Quad Cities in 2018, Matt Lee, an engineer with John Deere, and Josie Lee, a teacher, soon found a church home here at St. Paul. Both Matt and Josie have found connections with shared experiences among other members of the group.
“It’s a lot of fun. I’ve met a few other teachers so that’s a good way to make connections,” Josie said. “Mostly talking about jobs and life experience. When we got fro-yo at Peachwave, KarrieAnne Burke and I shared that we’re both getting our Master’s degrees. We got to enjoy fro-yo and talk about going back to school and the challenges that come with that.”
“I made a connection with someone that was really interesting, Matt said. “Nico Palazious is going to Iowa State University next year, where I graduated from, so we talked a lot about the ISU experience. He’s going to become an architect and my grandpa was an architect so we connected by talking about architecture and buildings and also all of the places and traditions on campus.”
“I would say to anyone that’s considering the group to just try it,” Josie said. “I was nervous at first, it’s something new. A new group of people but it’s such a great group.”
“And it’s really casual and really fun too,” Matt added. “If you can get over that first step of anxiety, it’s the same welcoming atmosphere as at church. It’s a good way to do fun things.”
Need to refuel (in more ways than one)? Grab some caffeinated refreshments between services and meet in the library conference room for a relaxed, faith-based conversation with peers. Sundays in August at 10:15.
The St. Paul young adult ministry is for those in their 20s/30s looking to connect and build relationships at church. Come to one of the upcoming events in August:
Video Game Night | Aug. 11, 7-9:30 p.m.: A night of gaming, trash-talking, and snacking. Come for one, two, or all three! RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Serve a Meal | Aug. 31, 5-7 p.m.: St. Paul hosts “So All May Eat” to feed the homeless population in Davenport. Help serve the meal and get to know some of our neighbors. RSVP to email@example.com.
Coming up in September, the young adult group will host a mixer. Date and time TBD. At this event, the group can express their interests and communicate what events and activities they find meaningful.