On Sunday Oct. 23, the Rev. Cathy Stengel presented the 2022 UNY Conference Harry Denman Evangelism Award to one of her congregants at Pendleton Center UMC, Adrienne Demin. The Harry Denman Evangelism Award honors United Methodists who bring people into a life-transforming relationship with Jesus Christ. Each year, the Upper New York Conference works with the Foundation for Evangelism to recognize and honor one lay and clergy member for their commitment to consistently introducing others to the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Adrienne started her job at Pendleton Center UMC in 2011. People describe her as the type of person you always look up to in terms of her faith and as a person. She is always there to help others grow in their faith and grow their personal relationship with Jesus.
Since Adrienne’s first introduction as a youth leader, it was apparent that she had a very special talent to connect with the youth of the church. Adrienne has the ability to impart the importance of having a relationship with Jesus Christ, through her word, sign, and deeds.
She started working as a Sunday School teacher where she found fun stories, games, and crafts to help the children better understand the stories in the Bible. Adrienne then started a Friday night small group called, Hot Chocolate With God, where girls read devotions together. This small group helped young ladies grow in their relationship and understanding of God. This program was so successful and popular that it has now grown into a program that has 70-100 kids and 20-30 leaders. Given the size of the program, Adrienne continues to find creative ways to help everyone grow in their relationship with God and in our understanding of faith.
As the Director of Children and Youth ministries at Pendleton Center UMC, Adrienne is responsible for all the programs for the children and youth at the church. Given the responsibility and time requirements of the Friday night group and VBS, Adrienne is always available to answer any questions the children and youth may have about Jesus and the Bible. Her leadership has provided an environment for the youth enrich their faith growing closer to God.
Adrienne leads by example; she has a strong faith, is proud of that faith, and is willing to share that faith openly with everyone she encounters. Adrienne’s teachings are genuine, and heart-felt. You feel that she is departing wisdom about her relationship with Jesus, rather than lecturing you on “the proper way to have a relationship with Jesus.” Adrienne works hard to be successful. She puts in long hours to come up with new and innovative ways to share Jesus with the youth, painting Jesus in the proper light, and helping them to understand what it means to have their own relationship with Jesus.
As the youth of our church transform into young adults, they stay involved with Adrienne’s programs as volunteers and credit her as the individual who was critical to starting their life-changing faith journey.
As a testimony to the love of Jesus and people Adrienne has, one of the Friday night Hot Chocolate girls stated that she has grown up with Adrienne being one of her role models. She feels that she would not be the person she is today or be as close to God or have the relationship I have with God without Adrienne’s influence in her life.
This article was originally posted at https://www.unyumc.org.