Ahhh, the Middle.
That creamy center of the Oreo; the halfway mark of a good book; the celebrated spot of negotiation—it’s where you find the good stuff.
And this is where our story begins, at The Middle with Annie Roth. A gal who’s loaded with the good stuff! She’s a devoted volunteer to kids at BelPres in grades 6-8 who attend The Middle, a Sunday and weekday program designed to help guide their spiritual growth. This program encompasses Bible study, fun activities, and small groups.
Annie, along with her husband and two children, were faithful attenders at University Presbyterian. But as the children grew older and activities increased, the commute across the bridge led them closer to home, and they ended up at BelPres. When they made the move, Annie was checking out church programs for her kids and didn’t really intend to volunteer at The Middle. But having been involved with youth ministry for several years prior to her marriage, she was drawn to it and found the time to take part. After all, she also coordinates Walkabout (a parent volunteer program at Chinook Middle), serves on the PTA nominating committee, is treasurer for her daughter’s soccer team, organizes the school supplies at Clyde Hill Elementary, and orchestrates “Moms in Prayer” for both schools.
Annie claims that being a leader in the Middle is a blessing, but is quick to point out, “We need more leaders!” She reminds us, “For a child to be positively influenced, they need five healthy adults in their lives at any given time.”
So what does it take to be an effective leader in the Middle? Annie says, “Just show up…Just be available to come alongside these teens as they struggle through peer pressure issues, body image and clicks. No need to feel intimidated, just come try it out,” encourages Annie. She reminds us that working with middle school students makes a difference in the lives of our future leaders.
“Annie really understands what being a middle school volunteer is all about,” exclaims Nate Rice, Director of The Middle Ministries. “She lives out her faith right in front of them by building relationships and being herself. The middle school-ers begin to know Jesus because Jesus is reflected back to them through Annie›s life.”
Annie, God bless you—you’re bridging the gap to adulthood by being present in a positive way to many of our children here at BelPres. Because of you, they are experiencing deeper relationships with God and each other. Thanks for getting stuck in the Middle, even when you didn’t intend to. Be assured that whenever we have an Oreo, the good stuff in the middle will be a sweet reminder of your service.