by Cassie Schutzer, director of the Young Adult Initiative
Hey, y’all! If you couldn’t tell by the greeting, I am a North Carolina girl born and bred. I attended the University of North Carolina (Go Heels) and spent seven years in a parish in Chapel Hill doing communications and young adult ministry. I am excited to be a part of Phase 2 of the Saint Meinrad Young Adult Initiative…in fact, I left my home, my church, my family, and my friends because I believe so much in the mission of this project and feel called to be here with you all.
In thinking back over my life, there are big decision moments that stand out: what college to attend, what major to declare, what job to apply for. Decisions like this can be paralyzing because there’s the pressure of choosing “correctly.” It felt like one wrong choice could lead to a lifetime of unhappiness. In order to avoid making decisions, I developed this strategy where I only gave myself one option: apply to only one college, choose a major that sounds interesting and stick with it, apply to one job after graduation. There wasn’t a lot of thought on my part; it had just never occurred to me that there was another way!
What this created in my faith life was an undercurrent of absolute trust. I simply walk through the next door that opened into a new season of my life.
What this also created was a complacency, a sense of comfort, and a lukewarm-ness to my life and my faith. Don’t get me wrong: I LOVED my life. I had a job that I genuinely enjoyed, a circle of supportive friends, and a community of faith who truly cared for me. I mean, who doesn’t like to be comfortable and happy? But I was coasting. I wasn’t growing in trust because I was too comfortable. I was taking my life — and my Lord — for granted.
In my prayer, I asked God for an opportunity to say “yes” to doing something for Him. I asked for an opportunity to move out of my comfort zone, to sacrifice for His glory and for the good of others. I didn’t expect such a clear or quick answer; it was only a few weeks later when I saw the posting for this position. (Take it from me — Be careful what you pray for. Seriously.) Fast forward a few months, and I am moving away from everything and everyone I know into an unknown future.
Why am I telling you all of this? Because I think to truly know and understand a person, we need to listen to their story. We need to ask about how God is working in their life. We need to know what their hopes and dreams and challenges and struggles are. In this five-year journey of the Young Adult Initiative, we are truly on a journey together and I want you all to know me.
I’ll be posting regular blogs and reflections from my life, as well as personal testimonies and stories from our partner parishes. Each article title will indicate what type of post you’re reading, and I’ll include the name of the author so that you can become familiar with our companions on the journey.
I am equal parts humbled, excited, nervous, hopeful, and curious about what’s in store in the Saint Meinrad Young Adult Initiative. But most of all, I’m happy to share the road with all of you! Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you connect with something that I share, or if you simply want to share your own story.
Please keep us in prayer as we strive to live out our mission to accompany parishes as they minister with young adults.