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Church leaders address age gap with new gathering

From the time churchgoers graduate high school until they get married, there are few programs available.

Seth Philbrick noticed there was something missing and is making a difference for that "forgotten" group of 18 to 30 year olds.

The youth minister at Thomson Presbyterian Church teamed up with his counterpart, Matt Funk of Thomson First United Methodist, to begin a Bible discussion and fellowship group that meets once a month.

"There wasn't much in town in terms of Sunday School classes or ministry really focused on college age students and early career young adults who were still in town or in the area," Mr. Philbrick said.

The Session, as it's called, met for the first time at Abigail's on Main this past Saturday night.

Both of its leaders said giving the college and career age group something positive to do was sorely needed.

"Basically, if you are not 30-something with children, then there's probably not a program in the church for you, if you've graduated high school," Mr. Funk said. "So Seth saw the need and had the desire to fill it."

The leaders said the fact that the group isn't affiliated with one particular church and meets in a neutral location should open it up for more people who normally wouldn't participate.

"If you get their minds working about their faith, then their faith will grow, and they'll have a place to belong," Mr. Funk said.

Plans now include a devotion and discussion on selected Bible verses along with a time for fellowship and food. The group will continue meeting once a month, and hopefully, organizers said, it will continue to grow.

"It's just a chance to meet new people and have something else to do other than go out to a bar or the same old movie or whatever," Mr. Philbrick said.

Anyone interested in participating in The Session can contact Mr. Funk at TFUMC (706-595-3936) or Mr. Philbrick at Thomson Presbyterian (706-595-4652).

Web posted on Thursday, October 26, 2006

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