Southern New England Conference (SNEC) took part in Global Youth Day with about 1,400 participants strong. Global Youth Day is an annual worldwide initiative by the General Conference Youth Ministries Department that began in 2013.
“It’s an opportunity to go out in the community and be an active sermon, to be God’s hands and feet, and above all things, His heart,” explains Southern New England Conference Youth Ministries director, Danny Velez.
“Each local church designs their own outreach according to the needs in their community,” says Velez. “Some people give out literature, some people give out food or clothing to the homeless. Some people offer prayers, smiles, and hugs to the people that are passing by. By doing this they get the chance to be a witness for Christ.”
The Pathfinders at the Village Church in South Lancaster, Massachusetts, created care bags for residents of local senior housing. Another church passed out fresh, long-stemmed roses as tokens of love and caring.
The New Haven Spanish church made sandwiches to hand out, thinking they would be serving for three to four hours. The sandwiches disappeared in 15 to 20 minutes. What should they do for the remainder of the time? Their leader called Teddy Williamson, SNEC Youth Ministries associate director, and asked if they could join Omega church, the local Northeastern Conference church, in their outreach activity. “Absolutely,” said Williamson, “that’s exactly what we want to see—young adults from different churches, different conferences working together and just doing ministry.”
For both Velez and Williamson, the most important takeaway from this outreach is to keep on serving. “We do this every March,” says Williamson, “but it shouldn’t be just a once-a-year activity. Do not wait for one Sabbath of the year to make a difference in your community. Do it as often as you can. This year’s theme was ‘Love is a Verb.’ We want love to be the action word throughout the entire year.”