Baileyville Youth Raising Funds to Attend Episcopalian Youth Conference in Oklahoma

Photo: Sheridan Smith with daughter Sadie prepare pancakes at fundraiser dinner held on Shrove Tuesday at St. Anne's in Calais. (Photo by Jarod Farn-Guillette).

By Jarod Farn-Guillette


In a time when most church pews are left cold from lack of a people sitting on them at Sunday services, it's both refreshing and uplifting to see youths engaging in spiritual life and church functions. Baileyville youth and active parishioner at St. Anne's Episcopalian Congregation, Sadie Smith, along with another Maine youth, Mia Rollins, are raising money to attend an upcoming July conference, in Oklahoma. The conference is a gathering of high-school aged youth, adult leaders and bishops from the Episcopalian church from around the world. With only ten delegates from Maine, Sadie is one of a select group of youths active in their congregations heading west this summer. From July 10th until the 14th, at the University of Central Oklahoma, Sadie will be participating in a lively gathering, the National Episcopalian Youth Event (EYE). An incoming of church youths and leaders under a conference theme of “Path to Peace based on Mathew 5:1 – 12,” the conference aims to provide training and education for the youths “helping participants identify how they can engage peacemaking and reconciliation in their communities” [1]. It’s powerful theme with a much needed goal these days, especially in many communities in Washington County and our country at large.

Starting off her fundraising efforts was a pancake dinner held on Shrove Tuesday, at St. Anne's in Calais. With a buffet of blueberry, chocolate chip and plain pancakes, with hash-browns and finger sausages, guests were treated to a delicious fare in a local architectural gem, the church's parish hall. Sadie's interest in attending EYE started from her recent participation at the closer-to-home Maine Youth Event, recently held in Portland. With other middle and high-school aged congregants from Maine, youths participated in crafting, religious studies, developing their faiths and ultimately giving back to their communities, both denominational and at large. Sadie stated the larger benefit to her in attending was “talking about G-d and Jesus with other kids” from around the country and world, with a focus on enhancing her religious studies. Sadie mentioned the Maine event was influential in uplifting her faith and engagement in her church. When Sadie isn't busy playing basketball, softball and other sports on the Woodland teams, she also teaches Sunday school “as much as possible.”  Like many sportsmen and women, she says though she doesn't exactly pray before each and every game, she does have her own personal superstitions, maybe asking for a little extra help from above in making the shot or goal. With a needed goal of $1000, she is on her way with help from the community and definitely someplace higher. 

Sheridan Smith, Sadie's father, must be proud to have a child so engaged in doing good and building a better community. It is easy to lose faith, in community, in youth, in anything these days. With constant news reports of political division, cemeteries being desecrated simply for having a different symbol on the tomb-stones, rampant drug abuse and youth apathy, anyone can lose their foundation. Reconciliation and peace making are a much needed remediation to many of our society’s predicaments. Let's hope (or pray) Sadie and Mia make it back safe and with extra vigor in helping our community, which in turn will make a better nation and world. In the meantime maybe consider parking your posterior someplace else instead of the couch. If not on Sunday morning, doing something for the larger good, like Sadie.