Connecting States in Service July 16-22
Posted on July 21, 2016 | Posted by Annie Saunders
If you’ve seen a huge gaggle of unfamiliar teenagers wandering around our church or filling Ascension’s social media, you’re most likely looking at the youth and chaperones of Lord of Life Lutheran Church from Kenosha, Wisconsin. Following the theme of Psalm 139 “Fearfully and Wonderfully Made,” Lord of Life is visiting us for a week in a sort of church exchange service trip, to which next summer our HS youth will be hosted by them in Kenosha, then together the two congregations will travel to ELCA National Youth Gathering 2018 in Houston, Texas. The hope and purpose of this trip is to connect states and remind that we are made in God’s image to love and serve Him and our neighbors–to God’s glory.
Over the course of this week, the HS youth from Lord of Life and Ascension have: cleaned and sanitized an entire preschool, beautified the front and backyards of 2 non-profit ministries, painted 2 play houses, reworked drainage space so a basement wouldn’t flood, maintained an urban education garden, cleaned and prepped a Habitat for Humanity ReStore for painting, cleaned a city park at the foot of Pike’s Peak, changed a tire for a stranded motorist, unpacked and repackaged 3000+ lbs of food for a Feeding America food pantry distribution center, sorted clothing donations at The Hanger, and cleaned and re-organized CASA’s toy room.
The group of 25 youth and 12 adults also got to take in some of the sites unique to the Springs, including: Garden of the Gods, rafting on the Arkansas River, and visiting Pikes Peak by the Cog Railway.
We are blessed to be together as brothers and sisters in Christ, serving alongside one another in Colorado Springs. And we look forward to going to Wisconsin for our 2017 HS Summer Trip!
Acknowledgements and Appreciation:
Many hands and feet make for a blessed week! Thank you to the Ascension Lutheran Youth Board and congregation for their support and coordination in this summer’s service week collaboration with the youth and adults from Lord of Life Lutheran Church. Without the numerous hours of planning, this week would not have been a reality! A special thank you to the congregation of Beth-El Mennonite Church for opening their doors as host for the week. To Brad Chewakin, Kim Knoche and Mary Stoneback (Diaconal Minister) for overseeing this effort, to Kate Campbell and Pastor Daniel Smith in their service project coordination and Kirsten Johnson for her work in coordinating meals for the week. Finally a huge round of applause to all others involved for their generous hospitality.