Faith in Focus

Moravian youth group giving a hand up

CorrespondentJuly 10, 2012 

If you walk into the Wake County men’s shelter on South Wilmington Street on the first Sunday of the month, you’ll find teens playing chess with the shelter residents while others sings songs or talk with the men.

For the past 10 years, members of the Moravian Youth Fellowship has visited the shelter each month before worship service, usually arriving with their arms full of goodies for the men, such as snacks and clothing.

“This mission has continued through the years because it is something that the youth really want to do and feel called to do,” said Dee Ann Cherveny, Youth Fellowship leader for Raleigh Moravian Church.

Though the years, the kids have seen many of the residents find jobs and move out of the shelter. One year during a youth group trip to the N.C. State Fair, one of the workers recognized the teens from when he lived at the shelter.

“They were tickled to see he had a part-time job and was doing well,” Cherveny said.

When the group hears about a resident getting his own place, the teens collect furniture and housewares from the congregation to help him get started on his new life.

“When our youth start going to the shelter in sixth grade, they are often wary of going and meeting people that they don’t know. But by the time they are in high school, they will walk right up to the men and shake their hand,” Cherveny said.

The youth group also holds a Love Feast each Christmas for the men and takes several mission trips each year. The focus on service has influenced the career choices of several of the teens, including a few who went into social work and Cherveny’s daughter, who is studying to be a doctor.

Cherveny has also seen the impact that going to the shelter has had on her own kids, who were part of the youth group while growing up.

“All three of my kids will come across someone who is homeless and are so much more likely to walk cross the street, start a conversation and shake their hands. It’s all about meeting people where they are and they are not afraid to cross that boundary,” Cherveny said.

Hope Community Church singles night

Hope Community Church is having its monthly single worship night from 7 to 9:15 p.m. Friday, July 13, at the church at 821 Buck Jones Road, Raleigh. The evening will include a potluck dinner, social time, a worship service and music. Kris Swiatocho, nationally recognized author and speaker, will speak about “Making Changes That Last.” For details, call 919-532-0620 or email singles@gethope.net.

Wake Forest Baptist outdoor movie

Wake Forest Baptist Church is showing the movie “Seven Days in Utopia” as part of its outdoor movie series at 8 p.m. Friday, July 20, at the Stephenson Campus at 20 Wake Union Church Road, Wake Forest. Bring chairs and enjoy popcorn and drinks at this free event. For more information, call 919-556-5141.

Wake Forest Baptist Church holds Slam Jam

Last month, Wake Forest Baptist Church held its annual Slam Jam Basketball Tournament at the Dubois Center in Wake Forest for local at-risk children and youth. More than 100 people came out to play basketball, have their faces painted, play games and enjoy hot dogs. The event was started several years ago to help the church build relationships with the local community.

Jazz ensemble performance

Joy of Discovery Lutheran Church is holding “An Afternoon of Worship in the ‘Key’ of Jazz” at 4 p.m. Sunday, July 22, on the worship center lawn at 750 King Richard Road, Raleigh. Bring a lawn chair and enjoy music by a jazz ensemble and light refreshments. In case of rain or excessive heat, the event will be held inside the worship center. For more information, call 919-760-5482 or visit www.joyofdiscovery.org.

Unity Baptist Church VBS

Unity Baptist Church is holding its vacation Bible school, “Rocky Point Lighthouse,” from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, July 23, to Friday, July 27, at the church at 6338 Highway 96, Youngsville. The children will hear Bible stories, play games and make crafts. Participants will also enjoy a hot dog cookout on Friday, July 27. For more information, call 919-612-4728.

Do you have some faith news to share? Send it to correspondent Jennifer Gregory at nrnews@newsobserver.com.

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