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Youth groups come together for faith and fun

By: Pastor Cheryl Nymann, Draper, Murdo, and White River UMC, and Doreen Gosmire, director of communications, Dakotas UMC


The Murdo-Draper and White River youth groups gathered for an evening together with supper and bowling. Photo courtesy of Pastor Cheryl Nymann.

There’s no reason why ‘small’ is equal to ‘less’ when it comes to healthy, thriving youth ministry. Three rural United Methodist congregations in central South Dakota are finding ways to overcome obstacles for youth to connect in faith and fun.

Youth came together for a fun evening of bowling at Jet Lanes in Presho, South Dakota. It was the joining of two youth groups—Murdo-Draper and White River. The two groups are a part of the tri-church parish Draper UMC, Murdo UMC, and White River UMC.

Pastor Cheryl Nymann serves the three-point charge. They have found success in tri-church events. When there is a month with a fifth Sunday, three congregations gather for worship and fellowship. The fifth Sunday gatherings alternate in location between Draper, Murdo, and White River. Read about the first gathering of the three congregations.

“The three churches come together for one church when there are five Sundays in the month, alternating the churches we meet at,” said Pastor Cheryl. “So, I thought, why don’t we do that with the youth groups as well.” 

Youth enjoyed  bowling, food, and a little Jesus. They gathered for supper first at the bowling alley, chatting and spending time with each other before the bowling.  It was a no cost event because of the forethought and generosity of the congregations. 

The Murdo-Draper youth paid for their outing with proceeds that they earned after their Super Bowl submarine sandwich sales. They took pre-orders of sub sandwiches, came together on the day before the Super Bowl, and assembled the sandwiches. 

“It was a great success. Our small community rallied behind the youth, purchasing over 85 sandwiches. It was a great fundraising tool for the youth,” Pastor Cheryl commented.

There was no cost to the White River Youth Group as the church’s administrative council had budgeted money for the youth ministry events.

“It was great foresight on their part,” said Pastor Cheryl. “This is the first year for the youth group in White River."

Other outings are planned this summer for the two youth groups.  

“It’s something pretty special when these youth, who are community rivals in sporting events, can come together and share their faith,” said Pastor Cheryl.  


Dakotas Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church 605.996.6552 1331 University Ave. Mitchell SD 57301-0460 US 43.69689310 -98.03291320 122 W. Franklin Avenue Ste 400 Minneapolis MN 55404 US 0.00000000 0.00000000 1331 W University Ave Mitchell SD 57301 US 0.00000000 0.00000000 1331 University Ave Mitchell SD 57301 US 0.00000000 0.00000000