GENNY BOOTS; Online Editor;

Pacific Lutheran University’s newest Campus Ministry project, Connect, is pretty aptly named.

Connect youth group is bringing together high schoolers from neighboring         Lutheran churches and connecting them with PLU students in faith and fellowship.

“We’re connecting various congregations from around the Parkland and Tacoma area,” organizer and junior Siobhan Flanagan said, “And we have room for everyone.”

Flanagan, junior Allie Ash and sophomore Ben Cox are leading the way, planning and organizing meetings. Connect started with Pastor John from Spanaway Lutheran Church, who realized that local Lutheran churches tend to have small youth programs. He partnered with PLU’s Campus Ministry to start a more active and robust youth group.

With their first meeting in the books, organizers are excited about what is to come.

“We had a lot of plans, but we had no idea what to expect,” Flanagan said about their first meeting. “But we stayed on schedule and I had a great time.”

The group of PLU students and local high schoolers had a scavenger hunt, Bible study, and sang.

“When we got into the small Bible study groups, I was shocked at the answers. Just people wanted to be listened to,” Ash said. “Hearing from people from Spanaway and hearing from people in Puyallup – that’s something I’m really excited about.”

For Ash, her own youth group experience informs her plans for Connect. After spending time in a youth group that was segregated by age, Ash is hoping for more unity with Connect.

“I think what’s cool about this project is that it is something I wanted to see in my youth group,” Ash said.

Cox, who is hoping to work as a youth pastor, was also inspired by his high school experience.

“I was a part of a really huge and thriving youth group, like regularly 40 to 60 people, and I really liked it,” Cox said. “So I wanted to have that as an option for      students who are here in the area but go to much smaller churches.”

As Connect continues to grow, the organizers are hoping to get more PLU   students and local high schoolers involved.

“There is room for everyone,” Flanagan said. “And there is free pizza.”

For more information contact Meetings are Monday evenings at 6 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church. ◼︎

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