Reflecting on This Year’s Senior Sneak With the Class of 2012

Well, I’m probably writing this post too soon but I’m ok with that.

I’ll play it off as best I can but I was really excited when it was decided that the Sr. High graduates from my previous church were coming to Boston for their “Senior Sneak.” For those that don’t know, the “Senior Sneak” is this elaborate celebration for the graduating class of senior highers and it has become a long tradition at the Montvale Church started by … well we don’t know its exact origins but it could have been King David (because he liked to party).

The reasoning is multi-fold, one, we’re sorry for all the generic soda and lame snacks we’ve given them over the years, two, everyone else in society makes a big deal of their graduation, it’s an even bigger deal to us, and three, these graduates are worth it. And while we honor each graduationing class in our worship service, the Sneak hopes to bring the youth group journey to a sense of closure. And we do this with a time of reflection during the sneak.

But we party too. So previous years have included events like Bryan Regan, Seinfeld, The Fray, Owl City, been in different places like NYC, Philly, Boston, the Jersey Shore, and staying and eating at cool places. It also always involve a great deal of secrecy and deception, and if you have been around the Church long enough, you know generally Christians aren’t good at secrecy and only some are good at deception. I happen to be stellar at both (we all have our gifts :) so over the years, we’ve used false itineraries, misleading packing lists, we’ve leaked bad information and told many lies (we’ve confessed most of them). Last year, we told our seniors that due to budget cuts, the Sneak was cancelled. Later, one senior told me, “At first I was mad and disappointed but this seems to be the right decision – I’m ok with it.” Didn’t know whether to be proud, sad, embarrassed but because I can be generally heartless, I was really excited for the surprise.

This year, we assumed that they would figure out that I was involved once they knew they were nearing Massachusetts so we tried a simple lie saying, “That was the plan but I think Tim has to go to a wedding.” My Facebook status reflected that (although I didn’t actually say I was going to a wedding, only that it was a nice day for one. One less lie, see?). It was cool to hear that most of them checked our my Facebook/Twitter feed to figure out where I was. Some were thrown off but still not convinced, others saw through the deception (we’ve trained them well).

Of course, this year was even trickier because I resigned from that position at the end of last summer and now serve in a church in Metro West Boston. Keeping this a surprise could backfire but our leaders like Jim and Val were confident this was going to work out. I’m glad it did because I certainly missed them and it was nice to hear their kind words again. I knew things were ok during our walk when they talked about how awesome youth group was this year and how the Bible finally made sense and there was sucha a warmth to youth group now and so on. It’s this sarcasm and teasing that has allowed us to survive van rides to New Orleans together.

We did the Boston stuff, though our schedule was thrown off by the Gay Pride parade on Boyleston St. (“Umm Tim, we know the Sneak is supposed to be a surprise but where are you going with this?”). We did some of the Freedom Trail, did the Duck Tour, ate in the North End, got cannolies at Mike’s Pastries and had our late night chat by the piers in Columbus Park. That’s where we shared our hearts, where we expressed our care for one another and what God had been showing us over the years, especially this last one. It was emotional, cleansing and I believe, needed for all of us. Our late night conversation by the piers showed the character the Class of 2012 reflected throughout the year. They were truthful and gracious and understanding and centered.

It sucks when your youth pastor leaves right before your senior year of high school, it sucks to be that youth pastor, and at times it sucks to be the youth leaders, youth commission, parents and pastors to help keep it all together until a suitable successor can be found. I was glad to hear the good news that a new youth pastor was voted in, everyone says he’s a great guy and I’m excited for him, his family and MEFC.

For me, it’s great to see the Spirit of God working in so many different ways. I’ve known many of these students since they were in 7th grade, we’ve had some incredible times together, some tough times too. If they were too apathetic or even too stoic towards me, I tell you, it would have hurt; honestly, I hoped they miss me, I missed them and we definitely made that clear to each other. It was great to have them worship at Grace the next day and Susan and I loved that they came to our new home, saw the boys again and met Janelle for the first time.

One of the great things about the Christian life is the relationships you get to make on the journey. While it’s true about life in general, I find a particular uniqueness about the relationships made in the Church. May the Lord be with the Class of 2012.

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  1. Thank you Tim for sharing. It was a great idea to take the senior sneak up to see you. The Kruegles have to make it up there one of these days. Love to you, Susan and the kids.

  2. Roseann Daly says:

    Tim, I am so glad Ryan got to be with you this past weekend! He has really missed you and most of all you have been a Godly mentor to him over the years! Thanks for sharing your faith, teaching the truth, helping him to understand his faith and making it his own! Most of all for showing Jesus love!
    You have been such a blessing to all the Daly’s!
    Thanks to you and Susan for opening your home and making this weekend, an awesome end to youth group and celebrating his graduation! love to Susan and your adorable children!
    Roseann & Pete xo
    So Happy you live close to Gordon College! :)

  3. Hey Inger, thanks – I’m glad it worked out. We would love to have the Kruegles come up and visit some time. Say hey to everyone for us.

    Roseann! I’ve really missed Ryan and Zach and your family (and the MEFC crew). We have had some pretty incredible experiences together and of course, we have bonded through our faith. I was so excited when Ryan said he was attending Gordon. Please, make us a required stop for visits – would love to see you this August.

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