Youth Ministry: May 2018

Believe it or not, summer is just around the corner! Summer is a gift to us Michiganders. The beaches, flowers, treats from Captain Sundae, and open windows are a gift after all the misery brought to us courtesy of winter and even the spring as was the case this year. Some of my favorite summer gifts are the opportunities for our youth to experience spiritual formation and personal growth through our trips.

Many of you are aware of the yearly Appalachian Trail hiking trip to which our Middle Schoolers go. This year, about 6 Middle schoolers and 6 adults will explore Virginia, where we hope to see wild horses and zero ticks. This trip proves time and time again to be one of the top experiences our youth reference as teaching them they are able to confront tough obstacles life throws our way. They learn that God is always with us in the difficult times and that God gives us each other to carry us through. I cannot wait to hear the stories of what this crew learns this year.

This year brings about a whole new kind of learning for our High Hopers. In August we will be spending a week at The Reformed Church of Highland Park in New Jersey, working with ministers Stephanie Kaper-Dale and Seth Kaper-Dale. Some of you might have seen the media coverage of this church this past year, as they have been on the front lines of assisting refugees and providing sanctuary for immigrants facing deportation. The Reformed Church of Highland Park is deeply engaged in issues of justice. They own several residential properties they rent out to low income families, lead efforts for Hurricane Sandy relief, offer church based mental health services, assist survivors of labor trafficking, work for prison reform, and much, much more. Not only will our high schoolers have the opportunity to offer tangible work that demonstrates God’s love for marginalized people, but they will also gain a wider understanding of what it means to be Christian in the parts of our world that are broken. This should prove to be a life-giving opportunity for our youths. We look forward to sharing our summer gifts with you in a few months!

~Beth Carroll, Assistant Pastor of Discipleship