Hey! My name is Ava Darden and I attend White Plains UMC in Cary, NC. I’m serving on Resolutions Committee of the NCC Youth Ministry this year and I’m super excited for the upcoming Pilgrimage 2018!
When I was in sixth grade, my father, who is also my youth minister, extended an incredible blessing to me – the ability to attend Pilgrimage with my youth group – one year early. What I thought would be just a fun trip as a result of a pastor’s kid-perk ended up being not only that, but much more.
Through the many transitions from church to church I have experienced, Pilgrimage has remained constant. The opportunity to worship with and grow closer to my youth group and conference friends has not only been super fun but a great way to get to know people who felt the same, but also differently, about God.
I still cherish these friendships today. I went from being the kid who never fit in during middle school and who felt like everyone I once held dear was against me to being the kid who now has a great system of friends and adults and who excitedly counts down the days until Pilgrimage when I see those friends again. I know I couldn’t have done it without God.
Ava is a member of White Plains United Methodist Church in Cary, NC and serves on the NCC Youth Conference Council on Youth Ministries (CCYM).