Youth Ministry: September 2018

“That service felt a little of what I think heaven will be like”. This was a statement I heard more than once from our High Hopes team upon reflecting on their experience of the church service at The Reformed Church of Highland Park, in Highland Park New Jersey last month. This RCA church dedicates much of its resources in helping refugees resettle in their community and that love and care is reflected in a congregation that consists of over 50 nationalities. On the Sunday we were present in church, the congregation welcomed two new families from different countries. While these families do not yet speak English, the thunderous applause that greeted them during their introduction at church, transcended any words attempting to speak welcome.

It is one thing to have a yearlong “love your neighbor” theme in youth ministry but participating in a real-life Good Samaritan story for 5 days sears those lesson onto your heart. While there, we made and fed sandwiches to the homeless, helped two refugee families move into new homes and babysat their kids, painted walls, and listened to stories from individuals who lived in detention centers before beginning their hope-filled lives with the support of the Reformed Church of Highland Park. It was a gift to not only live out our faith in this context but be taught by the leadership of this church as well.

These experiences served as the perfect transition into our youth ministry theme for this coming year, “Faith in Action”. This year, we aim to learn what it means to live out our faith in our vocation and community by inviting older adults to share with us about how their faith has directed them to their passions in vocation and volunteer work. Sound intriguing and fun? Well there is good news! You get to be a part of our learning. We are looking for a number of adult volunteers this year to help in two areas. First, share your story with us! Your life story doesn’t have to be dramatic, we want to hear simple, practical stories of how you live out your faith in your work or in your areas of passion. Contact Pastor Beth to see what Sunday evenings are available and for more details.

The second way you can be a part of us is through food! This year, we would like to enlist the help of adults who like to cook to both prepare a simple Sunday night supper AND join us to eat it! Visit the website below for dates and more details on dining with our Hope Church Youth. We hope to see you on a Sunday night!

~Beth Carroll, Assistant Pastor of Discipleship