After the resurrection in the gospel of Matthew, Jesus tells us to, “go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you.”
In the gospel of John, Jesus tells us, “As the God has sent me, so I am sending you.” These commands raise two questions: what is Jesus sending us to do, and how is our congregation responding? I believe Jesus is calling us to ministry. Ministry is about people. Ministry is about serving God. Ministry is about worshiping God with our hands, feet, hearts and voices. Ministry is about caring for the people in the congregation through praying with and for one another, visiting people who are in the hospital, nursing homes, and unable to get to church. It is about listening deeply to one another and blessings one another. Ministry is also about caring for our neighbors beyond the church doors through sharing the good news, and caring for people’s needs both physical and spiritual.
One way we have engaged in ministry over the last three years is our partnership with PAL. Lynnhurst United Church of Christ has been asked to make the PAL Youth Center a ministry of our congregation. The PAL Coalition began in 2009 through a ten year grant. For the past nine years, led by a Key Leader Board PAL has built an active community coalition. A major endeavor of PAL’s mission began in 2015 when proactive community members started meeting to discuss the barriers youth face and how to best support them. After multiple community meetings and youth forums, PAL and Lynnhurst partnered together to create the PAL Youth Center, committed to serving our youth, giving students a safe place to go after school during the hours that most young people are at risk of dangerous or disruptive behavior. According to the directors, PAL youth are very fortunate for the opportunity to have a church so open to serving them as well as sharing an open gym, kitchen and classrooms to gather.
After 10 years of building an established foundation in the community, the funding for the PAL Youth Center ends in September 2019. Please take time to read the PAL Youth Center proposal and look at the financial responsibility sheet. Then prayerfully discernment how God is calling us to do ministry in this neighborhood, particularly with the youth in this neighborhood.
Blessings on the journey,