Youth Sunday

Each day I have the privilege of working with many amazing young people.  Much of their success is a testimony to their parents and others who have cheered them on and given them positive direction.

What is the measure of success on Youth Sunday? It is tempting to say success happens as everyone shows up on time, the microphones all work, and there are few hiccups during the service. All of these things are wonderful; however, they are secondary in importance. I am reminded of these words from the scripture of the Apostle Paul to a young church leader named Timothy:

“This is why we work hard and continue to struggle, for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people and particularly of all believers.  Teach these things and insist that everyone learn them.  Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity…focus on reading the Scriptures to the church, encouraging the believers, and teaching them.” 1 Timothy Chapter 4:10-13.

Today young people will be reading scriptures, encouraging the believers, and teaching us.  They are here to help point us toward the hope we have in our living God!  Our youth are setting an example through their actions, words, faith, and love. They are living the words that call us to “let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

Another opportunity for our students to shine brightly is our annual summer missions trip. This summer 7th to12th grade students are invited to join us as we serve, worship, and go white water rafting in West Virginia. . Please sign up by March 5th at www.hydeparkchurch.org/student-missions-2017/ to secure your place. If you have questions, please contact Ken Miller at kmiller@hpcumc.org or 513-979-8179.

Thank you, students, for shining brightly today, this week at school, and the months to come.

Ken Miller

Director of Student Ministry

Youth Sunday

In Ephesians 6, Paul admonishes us to put on the full armor of God so we are prepared to take our stand for God’s kingdom. There are spiritual battles that we face each day. This fight can sometimes feel overwhelming.

Students today face so many difficult things. Gossip and judgement. Bullying and violence. Addictions to substances, images, and screens of various sorts. Uncertainty about the future. Verbal or physical abuse. Lack of trust with family and other authorities. A general overscheduled and over stressed pace of life. Although the battle can be difficult, there is so much hope!

I am privileged to also see many students who are full of joy, compassion, intelligence, leadership, and hope. Throughout the year our amazing young adults encourage me so much and give me hope. For example, our students worked diligently to serve children and families in Haiti who had so little. It warms my heart to have spiritual conversations with our confirmation students as they wrestle with what they believe.

I was encouraged when our students strongly supported our campaign to fight malaria. In fact they are helping sponsor a 5k walk/run event on April 16th to raise funds for the campaign. If you want to get more information to be a financial sponsor for the race or sign up as a participant, you can go to www.hydeparkchurch.org/imaginenomalaria. Although there is a battle, our students can stand firm, grow in their faith, and make an impact for God’s kingdom.

Today at youth Sunday we celebrate the amazing gifts and talents of our students. I know that God is still moving in His church and we have a role to play as children of God.

We can celebrate that as children of God, we are not in the fight alone. We have each other and the very presence of God is with us. We can celebrate that as children of God; we have the tools necessary to sustain us during the battles we encounter. We celebrate that as children of God, we not only can overcome, but that we will be victorious.

Take a moment to encourage a young person today. Let them know they are valued. If you have a heart for students, contact me about how you can be involved in the student ministry at Hyde Park Community UMC. We are always looking for help in encouraging, teaching, and guiding our young people. Let us be prepared, stand firm, and know that God is with us.

Ken Miller