Teens gather near the stage in anticipation of the start of the concert at the 2013 Back to School bash in Light Park. This was the LYFE group’s third event of the summer. L&T file photo/Robert Pierce
By ROBERT PIERCE
• Leader & Times
For youth who have been in the classroom for two semesters, summer is a time for fun and relaxation.
Last summer, young people from local churches enjoyed some extra fun with a monthly event in June, July and August, and this year, that event is back at Liberal’s Light Park.
Activities for the youth group known as Liberal Youth Fully Empowered, or LYFE, are scheduled to kick off Saturday, June 21, and coordinator Joanne Metcalf said the fun will continue on the third Saturdays of July and August as well.
Because it takes place on the last day of the week and with the name of the group, the event has been dubbed “Saturday Night LYFE.” When asked if she wanted to use an introduction similar to the popular TV show, “Saturday Night Live,” Metcalf said the idea had not been thought of prior to now.
“But that’s a great idea,” she said in response to an e-mail interview.
Liberal’s version of SNL features great bands, a fun interactive time with the audience, prizes, refreshments and dynamic speakers.
“It’s a lot of fun, and every young person in our are from 6th-12th grade and beyond is invited to join us,” Metcalf said.
The local event is in its second year, and the coordinator described the first year as fantastic, saying it is something that is absolutely being looked at as a continuing event.
“We saw many students from all over Liberal attend the events,” Metcalf said of SNL’s first year.
LYFE is a growing group, with, the leader said, a 25 percent increase in just the last few months alone, and a total of nine youth groups from around the community.
Metcalf did not give any indication as to what June’s event, scheduled to take place from 7 to 9 p.m. on the 21st in Light Park, would involve, but she did explain July’s and August’s events, which take place at the same time and place.
“July 18-19, we will be partnering Pastor Michael Miller and Trinity Faith Church for ‘Unseen,’ a conference for youth,” she said. “The August event will be a back-to-school bash.”
Metcalf said LYFE is likewise talking about doing youth leadership training in the fall. She said the most amazing thing she has seen with LYFE is the unity created with all of the youth groups in town.
“Denominations have been bridged, and the students are more unified,” she said. “They are making more friends and enjoying their time with youth from other churches.”
Metcalf, who serves as the youth pastor at Liberal’s Church For All Nations campus, said the LYFE group has also been great for the leaders, with youth pastors getting to know each other.
“We can share ideas and have a greater impact in our community,” she said.
LYFE hosted a Pure Rebellion event in March at Liberal High School, and Metcalf said that event was a great example of the impact youth leaders can have in the community and beyond.
“Some Garden City churches have even come together to bring Pure Rebellion to Garden City this Nov. 22,” she said.
For more information about Saturday Night LYFE, contact Metcalf at CFAN at 620-624-4416 or check out the LYFE Facebook page.