The first winner of our Spotlight On…Award for October is a ministry that is so new it doesn’t have a name yet! In a world where we too often discuss an idea for years before putting it into action, FUMC Bedford has launched a new ministry to reach out to community children and youth before it even has a name!
Starting October 2012 (this week!) we will have our facilities open on Wednesday afternoons for kids and youth to come for study/homework time, then open gym play, and dinner and Bible study before going home.It is only one day a week, but for some of the kids in our neighborhood or community this might be good news: it might be the one day a week they get help on their homework, it might be the one day a week they can play in a gym instead of the apartment parking lot. It might be the one day a week that one of them gets a hot or full meal before bed, and it could be the one day a week that they learn about God (because we rarely, if ever, see the community kids on Sunday mornings still).
I was able to join them last week to share in the ministry happening each Wednesday afternoon. FUMC Bedford welcomes children and youth from the community to hang out, do their homework, eat together, and play! For the first hour, there is homework help and children can work through a packet. Some of them are reading the Bible for the first time.
Following that hour, children and youth head upstairs to the youth room to play! They play air hockey, video games, basketball, and run around. After working out some energy, they eat dinner before it’s time to go.
This simple model of opening the doors to students as a safe place is most definitely changing the lives of students in the neighborhood.
Our second winner this month is Youth Alive at FUMC Cisco!
This “Youth Alive” ministry has reached into our neighborhood, offering Worship, Bible Study, Games, Food, and Fellowship to 6 young ladies who have no church home. a majority of these young ladies come from a household where there is drug and alcohol recovery process taking place. Our church, has not had youth, which are really tweens, 5th-6th graders, on their campus for more than 8 years. We have offered them a safe haven. Our older adults connect with them trying to build the generational gap. Since our church is very small we are having struggles supplying the needs of this group, because our church did not budget for such a group in 2012. we enjoy sharing the love of Jesus with the group and growing them in their Christian Discipleship. One of the ladies asked Jesus into her heart at music camp this summer. It is wonderful to see the growth in their hearts.
This award will help grow the program and potentially incorporate a mentoring aspect with students from a nearby college.