Youth Ministry: January 2018

“’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ’You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Matthew 22:37- 40

In a world of increasing divisiveness, bullying, antagonism, and “me first” attitudes, what does it mean to follow Jesus? This question and the scripture passages that help us engage it is our theme this year in High Hopes and Fish Club. The news, social media, and political climate serve to draw lines between us and our youth feel the effects just as strongly as the adults. We believe the call of Jesus to love our neighbors not only serves as a way to be “in the world but not of it”, it is also the way forward in cultivating unity.

One of the ways we are practicing this theme is through including others in our activities. Not only are youth encouraged to bring their friends to youth meetings and events, but we are also combining forces with the youth program at New Community Fourth Reformed Church. New Community Fourth is one of our neighboring churches on west 15th street, pastored by Rev. Jonathan Brownson. Our first combined event was a bowling party a couple of months ago, where we laughed, ate snacks, and threw bowling balls at the gutter, occasionally missing and hitting the pins on the lane. Oh wait. That was actually how I bowled that night.

This event was such a success that we have invited New Community Fourth to our winter retreat at Cran Hill ranch January 26-28. We look forward to not only deepening relationships with our Hope Church friends, but also getting to know new people too. For this retreat, the three Hope Church pastors will be teaching on “Sticky Atonement”, helping us gain a richer understanding on what we can learn about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Stay tuned to hear what we learn about God and each other!

~Beth Carroll, Assistant Pastor of Discipleship