By Hannah Rollins
The 527 Tribe is South Main's "tween" ministry. We are the fifth, sixth, and seventh graders who meet in what used to be the Activities Building. Greg Taylor, Ryan Lane, David Bernal, Cindy Hippel, Lynda McKnight, and Bobbye Kolter are our Sunday School teachers. We split our Sunday School classes into boys and girls, with the boys meeting on the recently converted stage in the gym and the girls meeting in the newly remodeled Pine Room. In addition to Sunday School, we spend time together on Wednesdays, where we simply pause and spend time with God. Over the past year, the 527 Tribe has taken ownership of this space, which has quickly become a sacred and consistent place, where we feel connected and loved. Having a space of your own where you feel comfortable and accepted is an especially big deal for our age group. If you can channel your middle school self, you might recall the need for such a place. South Main created the 527 Tribe by doing just this. We spent a lot of time thinking about what adolescent youth need and want to thrive, from the furniture to the food!
Often people like to joke about what it's like to be an adolescent, or to teach adolescent youth, but in doing that, we miss the glory that comes with this life stage. The 527 Tribe is brilliant, soaking up every bit of information that we see and hear. This year alone, we have talked intentionally about race, good changes, and challenging changes in our lives, and why God's Word is important and how we use our bibles to find scripture to guide us. The 527 Tribe is energetic, bold, constantly moving, talking, dancing, reading, and playing. We are typically weird, and consistently insecure, and the Tribe gives us a safe space to be ourselves. The Tribe is also texting our friends on Saturday night to make sure we are all matching on Sunday. The Tribe is lots and lots of Fruit Loops because we are never full, and getting way too involved with the characters from the Inheritance Cycle series. These are a only a few of the reasons why the 527 Tribe is so significant.
We have a saying in our space that is written in large letters across the wall that sums up the way we feel about the Tribe. It reads, IF YOU ARE HERE, YOU'RE AWESOME.