New Youth Director!
Introducing Madelynn Skajewski
Sometimes the route seems straight and obvious. Sometimes it is circuitous and unclear. Sometimes it seems to dead-end—but somehow everyone ends up at a destination, one that often seems “meant to be.”
Spending a little time with Madelynn Skajewski prompts some reflection along those lines.
Madelynn, as you likely know by now, is Our Savior’s new Youth Director, having joined the staff in April. She hit the ground running, since there was a lot going on with OSL’s youth leading up to seniors’ confirmation, high-school graduations, and all the usual end-of-school-year activities.
You may also recognize Madelynn from her frequently singing and playing with the Celebrate Band, since late last year.
Oh, and she’s also a professional photographer. You know, in her spare time.
And so the question naturally arises: “How did you get here now?”
“I’ve been involved in ministry for a long time, ever since I went on a Youth Gathering trip years ago,” Madelynn recalls. Initially, ministry for Madelynn took the form of healthcare work. “I was inspired by my grandpa’s heart issues,” she says, “and I became a cardiac tech.”
After several years in healthcare, life circumstances changed. “That led me closer to God in a new way,” Madelynn says. “I found Our Savior’s, and I felt led into worship and into joining the worship team. And then I found out about the Youth Director position.
“I think I have a heart for ministry,” Madelynn says, “a passion for ministry.” Madelynn believes that her passion for ministry and working with kids came through in her interview process, and led to her being offered the position.
“I feel called to do this,” she says, “and I feel I can accomplish what I’m called to do.”
What does that entail? Madelynn ticks off a number of goals:
• Helping young people know they are worthy of God’s love.
• Making sure they know that nobody should ever feel like they’re “not enough.”
• Giving kids a place where they’re comfortable to be themselves.
• Creating a fun, safe, and loving environment.
Her ministry at Our Savior’s is not far removed from her first experience working with kids. “I used to teach dance,” she says. “Ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop—for kids from age two or three through middle-school age.” She expresses a longtime love of being around kids, especially her three nieces. And through her photography business, which is mainly portrait photography, she also has opportunity to spend time with newborns, young children, and families. (You can see examples of Madelynn’s work at skiphotographyllc.com.)
So we have a fairly winding path leading Madelynn from her childhood in Moorhead, Minnesota, to high-school and subsequent years in Sioux Falls, to dance instruction, healthcare, photography, worship team, and, now Our Savior’s Youth Director. And yet at the same time it’s a logical path, one that now intersects with OSL youth and the broader congregation in ways that surely will enrich everyone.