Instead of spending summer afternoons relaxing at the pool or hanging out with friends, Soapstone United Methodist Youth will be giving back to the community. Each week over the summer months, they will gather to help out a different local organization and learn about how their efforts benefit the community. The project kicked off last week with a work day spent painting and installing trim at the church’s chapel.
Serving others is a high priority for the church’s youth group, which goes on two weeklong mission trips each summer. This summer the high school students are headed to Montana to work at the Crow Reservation, while the middle school group is traveling to western North Carolina to assist with home repair projects. The youths who travel on these trips are often transformed by the experience and want to continue giving back when they return home.
“When you take the youth on a mission trip, they experience things they otherwise wouldn’t have because they are removed from daily life,” said Gretchen Shea, Youth Leader at Soapstone UMC. “But when we returned, we kept hearing from our teens that they wanted to make a difference at home as well.”
Several years ago, the youth group had weekly service projects in the summer but took a break from the weekly events in recent years. Last year, the youths participated in several projects during a single week. The teens on the Student Action Leadership team at the church decided that they wanted the weekly outreach projects to return, and the youth leaders have organized projects throughout the summer.
“If teens don’t have the opportunity to put what they are learning in worship and Sunday school in practice, it doesn’t always connect,” Shea said.
“These projects really give them a chance to live out the things they have learned and practice their Christian faith.”
Shea said the church welcomes middle and high school youths from the community to attend the projects as well as members of its group.
Upcoming projects include cooking dinner for the church’s Wake Interfaith Hospitality Network guests on Wednesday, July 10; preparing membership care meals on Thursday, July 25; volunteering at Stop Hunger Now on Sunday, July 30; and working the garden at Camp Chestnut Ridge in Efland. Shea expects additional projects to also be added throughout the summer as well.
To learn more or register for the service projects, call Gretchen at 919-846-2212.
Fourth Saturday Breakfast book club
Unity Church of Raleigh is having its Fourth Saturday Breakfast Book Club from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 29, at the church, 11101 Creedmoor Road, Raleigh. The book club will discuss “Christian Healing” by Charles Fillmore, which offers readers basic principles of healing. Books are $14.95 with a 10 percent discount for attendees, and a love offering will be collected. For more information, email email@example.com or visit www.unitychurchofraleigh.org.
Summer Scholars Series
Millbrook Baptist Church is holding a Summer Scholar Series from 9:30 to 10:30 am each Sunday through Sunday, Aug. 25, at the church, 1519 E. Millbrook Road, Raleigh. This series features Christian scholars from area universities including Duke, North Carolina State University, Wake Forest University, Elon University and Meredith College. For a listing of the scholars each week, visit www.millbrookbaptistchurch.org.
Afternoon Jazz & Jesus
The community is invited to an afternoon concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, June 30, at the Joy of Discovery Mission, 750 King Richard Road, Raleigh.
The Ron Baxter Jazz quartet will be performing. Admission is free, and informal summer attire is suggested. For more information, call 919-760-5482.
Festive Fourth fun
Hayes Barton United Methodist Church is celebrating the Fourth of July with a traditional celebration at 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 2, at the church, 2209 Fairview Road, Raleigh. Festivities include food trucks, music, games, apple pie, ice cream and sparkles. The NorthWest Boys Choir from Seattle will perform a free Americana concert at 7:30 p.m. For more information, visit www.hbumc.org or call 919- 832-6435.
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