Silver Linings of a Lock-in

How our youth have stayed connected while being physically apart.

It goes without saying that youth “lock-ins” are usually a bit more fun than the past few weeks have been. But the reality of a forced lock-in, without the usual social connection, is affecting all of us in different ways. Usually connecting with friends in-person at youth group or Sunday worship, our youth have had to get creative when it comes to being “together” amidst the stay-at-home order.
In the chaos of these uncertain times, youth like Zach Cline have been looking for the silver lining. He is enjoying this time to build new habits, try different things, and build his relationships at home. “I find myself spending time on what I usually push to the side,” Zach says. Though the youth are missing in-person facetime with their peers, our church is providing multiple opportunities to keep them connected throughout the week.

Zach hosts the high school Conversation & Coffee every Wednesday evening, where he gets the chance to interview those who are prominent in the faith community. Rev. Jimmie Hawkins, Director of PC(U.S.A.) Office of Public Witness, and Sam Burchfield, Christian singer/songwriter, are among those who have been included in the conversation. “Everyone is invited to join and we encourage people to invite their friends!,” Zach shares excitedly.

"When We Get Through"

by Sam Burchfield

The youth of MPPC also have the chance to attend virtual youth group every Sunday on Zoom. In a more relaxed setting, students are able to talk, rant, and play games with one another from their living rooms. The switch to meeting online is even drawing out previously inactive members who are seeking connection amidst isolation.

This isolation is affecting each of us in a different way, whether it be physically, emotionally, spiritually, or mentally. According to Zach, many of his friends have become tired, antsy, and bored of the “lock-in,” but have kept sane through physical activity and connecting with nature. Quarantine has given these Gen Zs a new appreciation for in-person interaction – something we all took for granted a few months ago.
When asked about the silver lining of our current situation, Zach explains, “I think there are a thousand positives that can come out of this, but people are choosing to look at it as a curse. I’m not putting down the problems of our small businesses, low-income families, and sick neighbors, as for them this is a curse. But as human beings we will never get another time where we are told to stay home and patiently wait as the entire world comes together to fight one enemy. I think as individuals we should be shooting to come out of this as the best version of ourselves, as we have nothing but time to focus on us.”
Virtual youth group on Zoom.

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