Youth Ministry Update

On December 6 the youth turned the labyrinth into a socially distanced assembly line packing blankets, scarves, hot coco, masks, hand sanitizer, and Christmas stockings into 359 bags. The youth elves were energetic and excited as they went about their work knowing that Tri-Valley Haven would give these bags out to seniors in need of Christmas cheer during their Holiday program this year. The work, as everything was changed by our pandemic reality. The youth all happily wore masks, stayed 6 feet apart, and best of all, they figured out new and efficient ways to go about their work while maintaining safety procedures. In any other year, this would be just one of many Sunday activities, but this year these once a month service projects have become the heartbeat of youth ministry at Asbury. They are opportunities for the youth to gather safely in person, to laugh and have silly conversations together. They are opportunities for the youth to be empowered to make a difference in their community and in the world, times when the youth get to live out their faith by service others. Best of all, they are times when the youth get to experience the incarnational presence of God here with us in the gift of community around us—a gift we no longer take for granted. Throughout the pandemic the youth have gathered safely to volunteer twice in the garden, build a playhouse for Habitat for Humanity, make blankets for Tri-Valley Haven, and pack the bags for seniors. I see God at work in the way the youth have adapted to this time not by focusing inward but by continuing to focus outward and love others. As our pandemic situation changes it’s hard to plan exactly what we will do in the months ahead and know what youth service opportunities will look like, but I have confidence that whether in person or online, our youth will continue to find ways to love God, love themselves, and love others through fun and service!

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