From Vicar Amanda’s Desk – February 2013

By Amanda Highben

“Love is the active outpouring of one’s whole being into the being of another.”
 – Martin Luther King, Jr.

One of the reasons why I appreciate our partnership in Downtown Churches Youth Fellowship (DCYF) is that the leaders work together to develop and implement ideas. As we brainstormed service opportunities for the new year one of our leaders volunteered to contact Christ’s Table to see if our youth might be able to serve there on Martin Luther King Day.1

The Church commemorates King in the season of Epiphany on January 15 as a renewer of society and martyr. “An American prophet of justice among races and nations, King was an eloquent preacher, a leader of the nonviolent resistance to race-segregated society, and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. Born on this date [January 15], he was assassinated on April 4, 1968” (Sundays and Seasons).

Although some of our youth had served meals before at Christ’s Table, this was the first time for most of them-and I’m sure it was an eye-opening experience, especially when they saw youth their own age coming through the line for food. Of course, it can be a little intimidating at first for youth- and adults too !-to enter an unfamiliar place, unsure of what to expect or do, but all 13 were enthusiastic, eager and kind as they followed King’s example in sharing Jesus’ love with their neighbors in need.

Research about youth involvement in the life of the church again and again shows that they are most impacted by meaningful opportunities to put their faith into practice, to know what it looks and feels like to serve others in the name of Christ. We can take them bowling and play fun group games and certainly these have their place by helping to build fellowship-but only through hands-on service will our youth learn how to be instruments of justice, compassion and peace.

With this in mind, the next time you see one of our young disciples, encourage them to continue serving- and, because we also know that youth need faithful adults to help and inspire them, I invite you to join us in future service projects. I promise you won’t regret it.

God’s Peace,
Vicar Amanda

1For those of you who might be unfamiliar with their work, “The mission of Christ’s Table is to provide warm meals for anyone who comes to our faci lity and to those who are unable to come and request meals to be delivered to their homes, regardless of race, religion or any other factor. We are helping them maintain their health and reduce anxiety by providing adequate food for themselves and their immediate families.”