Friday, September 24, 2010

Perspectives from the Field: Worship, Service, and Reflection

This past Saturday marked our first ever “One God, One Day, One Love” as we expanded youTheology to include a greater number of youth and to include Mid-High in addition to the High School students involved in the year-long program.

We had youth from AME, AME Zion, and UMC gather together in worship, service, and reflection. The Youth Choir at Metropolitan AME Zion led the music while Arionne Willliams (their Minister to Youth and Families) provided the meditation and Cole West from Avondale UMC led us in reading the scripture and in the Prayers of the People. Then, we got to know one another during Community Building which was led by Rev. Art Carter (Director of Community Formation for Saint Paul School of Theology and Onsite Coordinator for youTheology) before we jumped into our community service. Finally, we broke into small groups for a time of reflection where they learned about the Wesleyan Quadrilateral.

Our youth set an example for us as they worshiped, served, and reflected with youth from other denominations but focused on what we have in common rather than what makes us different. It’s important to have all three of these elements in our own churches and within our own youth programs.

As Arionne mentioned in her blog a couple weeks ago, if we only focus on worship we’re leaving out the work of the church. At the same time, we sometimes focus on Missions but forget why we are doing what we are doing. You need to have both elements in your church and the time of reflection is a good way to tie it all together. If you leave out any portion of this, it is an incomplete church.

So, let’s follow the example of our youth and focus on “One God, One Day, One Love” as we worship, serve, and reflect together.

youTheology: Loving God, Loving Neighbor.

by Mark Whitaker
Youth & Young Adult Director and Communications Coordinator
Avondale United Methodist Church in Kansas City MO (North of the River)
Loving God, Loving Neighbor

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