Samuel Maston, the son of Sarah and Glenn Maston of Hudson, has been chosen as one of 12 youth from around the country to serve on the Youth Core Leadership Team of the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America). Those selected meet regularly to grow in leadership and mission to the church, and plan the Annual Youth Leadership Conference that takes place in November. Each year, six youth are added to the team for the two-year commitment, and six are sent out from the team with their enhanced leadership skills.
Sam travels to Chicago this week, for the first of three required on-site meetings, where he will meet fellow participants as well as the six outgoing members. In addition to the three meetings, team members participate in monthly video conferences.
Sam filled out an online application in January. A member of St. Stephen Lutheran Church in Marlborough, Sam was confirmed last spring and continues to be active as an acolyte, an assisting minister, and a member of the youth group, which engages in both outreach and social activities. He planned and ran the recreation/games phase of the summer Vacation Bible Camp and is currently a member of the committee that is planning an auction of goods and services to benefit the youth group’s June trip to the ELCA National Gathering in Houston.
Sam was at a tennis clinic when he got a call and a text to tell him he made the leadership team. “I said sweet! This is awesome.” He said he was “surprised, but I felt pretty good.”
He is a sophomore at Hudson High School, enrolled in honors classes. Sam is on the tennis team and plays clarinet in the band as well as for the Claflin Hill Youth Orchestra. He also plays the piano, sometimes offering a selection in church.
“Church is a fairly big part of my life,” Sam noted. “I enjoy the church family at St. Stephen and the youth group.” Commenting on the many outreach projects the group engages in, from wrapping sweatshirts for veterans to buying toys for children to going on mission trips, Sam said, “Helping other people feels good.”
“Sam is such a blessing to our congregation,” said Pastor Joseph Graumann. “We are so happy that he will be a blessing to the whole church.”
There were 33 applicants for the six available spots, noted Molly Beck Dean, Interim Program Director for Youth Ministry for the ELCA. “The six outgoing YCLT members and three adult advisors were the selection group. Everyone read all applications, did some personal praying and discerning, and then we talked about those who stood out.” She said Sam’s “speaking of adaptive leadership, acknowledging that sometimes leaders have to make the tough choices and the importance of making sure everyone feels heard,” were things that stood out in Sam’s application.
For more information about St. Stephen Lutheran Church, visit www.saintstephenlutheran.com or the church’s Facebook page. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is the nation’s largest Lutheran church, with approximately four million members split into 65 synods, or territories, across the United States and the Caribbean.