Did you ever wonder what pastors do all week? The last couple weeks, your pastors have been busy engaging in ministry with children and young people! Rev. Christy has been gearing up for Vacation Bible School/Summer Sports Camp, lining up volunteers, gathering materials, planning which stories about Jesus to share with the kids in our neighborhood. Somehow, in the middle of all that preparation, she arranged for us to go over to Eisenhower Elementary to help with their summer arts camp. For an hour and a half, we got to explore drama and storytelling with eight first graders. They were lively and creative and their energy was contagious!
This last week I was also honored to be asked to participate in a youth mission experience. Each summer, around twenty teens from a Nazarene church in Illinois come to spend the week in Flint. This year they helped to build a playground and paint some houses. Each evening they gathered for a time of worship, and I was invited to give the messages at their chapel gatherings. Each night we studied the Book of Acts, and we talked about how God’s Spirit tears down walls and helps us see each other the way that God sees us. These Nazarene youth stayed in a Presbyterian church and got United Methodist preaching - it was a beautiful thing to see God’s people working together all week long!
On top of all the evening preaching, I made a trip down to Southfield: Hope United Methodist Church one morning this week. Southfield: Hope is a historically-black United Methodist Church that hosts a ten-week camp for children in the church and the neighborhood. In the morning the campers gather in a chapel for music, prayer, and storytelling, and I was honored to be one of this week’s guest storytellers! What a joy it was to share a story about the power of community with eighty enthusiastic campers!
As we prepare for another week of ministry with children, my prayer for our VBS volunteers is simple: I pray that when the week is over, you will be able to say, “I am so glad I said yes to this!” I pray that you will find your time with the children of our neighborhood invigorating. I pray that God’s love would fill Memorial Park and your hearts, and I pray that the mustard seeds of faith we plant this week would grow into towering trees of the kingdom in years and decades to come. We can never know what God will do when we agree to be in ministry with children, but we know that our time with children is never wasted, and God always, always, always does something!
Your servant in Christ,