One of our youth ministry core values is to love our community.  Jesus explains, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39)

At Friday Night Coffeehouse, Summer Bridge Groups, and Sunday Morning Youth Group, we love our community by participating in a safe and welcoming environment.

Additionally, we intentionally extend this “vibe” to our local community. This summer, we’re doing five “loving our community” events:

Day Camp [Jun 15-19]

Party in the Park [Fri Jun 19]

South Elgin onMission [Jun 28-Jul 2]: storiesof.us/southelgin2015
We will serve alongside Community Alliance Church in South Elgin, IL.  Our team will be putting on a Day Camp for children, Kindergarten-6th grade. Each morning our students will be leading kids in games, crafts, story-telling, skits, and songs. In the afternoon, students will be outside constructing a “jungle-gym” area, while others will be painting and touching-up walls within the church building. In the evening, we will gather as a group for worship, Bible study, and prayer to thank God for the day.

Feed My Starving Children [Wed Jul 22]: World hunger plagues much of the world. It’s astonishing to learn how little money a family lives on per day. At Feed My Starving Children, our small bit of time can help provide food for thousands of people. Feed My Starving Children provides a high energy environment where groups will put together meal packages to be shipped all across the globe. Sign up at storiesof.us/serve.

Alden Valley Nursing Home [Wed Aug 12]: The elderly are often a group that is forgotten, or that do not have many visitors. Their stories, life wisdom, and general charm are a joy to experience. We’ll get a chance to visit with these residents by talking with them, playing games, and by entering into their day-to-day lives. Sign up at storiesof.us/serve.

Here are some highlights from last summer:

  • Feed My Starving Children: We had 37 students, plus 9 adults attend this event. In our short amount of packing food for the hungry across the world, our students packed 68 boxes of food, which was able to feed almost 3,000 people. We came back to the church for a bonfire, filled up on s’mores, and ultimate frisbee.
  • Alden Valley Nursing Home:  Our 19 students jumped right in and learned that the residents of this community lived pretty normal lives. During our visit, the students escorted residents downstairs for ice cream, and then played bingo with them. Two of the highlights of the night were: 1) Seeing several of our students, who happen to be Filipino, hanging out with a Filipino resident. They even spoke Tegali with her. 2) Watching the students play bingo with the residents. Everybody got really “into” the game, which made it all the more exciting for the residents. To top things off, we took the students out for Oberweis ice cream to celebrate their hard work and love they extended to the residents.