I have continued to lead youth group every Sunday. This past weekend I was able to schedule a fellowship activity and service project for the teens.
Our first outing was ice skating uptown. This was a free event sponsored be the local Presbytery. There were a lot of transportation logistics to iron out, but we all made it to the rink eventually.
Even though I despise all forms of skating, I promised myself I would at least try. I didn't even make it halfway around the rink before I decided to turn around. Mind you, I was clenched onto the side with both arms the entire time. Thankfully, the teens were much less reluctant.
I had a much better time taking pictures!
The following day was the first day of winter break. I scheduled the youth group to make the beds, goodie bags, and dinner for the temporary homeless shelter. Many of the local churches participate in Room in the Inn, a ministry that allows homeless individuals to stay overnight at their church when the permanent shelters are full.
I acclimated myself to the kitchen while the teens sorted linens
and made beds for the guests.
Then they filled bags with items I had purchased ahead of time (chapstick, cough drops, Lance crackers, etc) and placed them on each pillow.
When I asked the youth a few weeks ago what we should fix for dinner, they all decided pasta. Worried that spaghetti is overdone, I bought ingredients for spaghetti with meat sauce and chicken fettucini alfredo. I was very intentional about making sure I had enough tasks for the youth to do. Though they are a great group of teenagers, I did not want them to stand around talking or on their phones the whole evening. Once I had a good handle on dinner preparations, I asked the youth to come in to cut veggies for salad, butter the bread, cut the pie, dye the icing, etc.
I had made five dozen sugar cookies at home and had the youth color the icing so people could decorate cookies at their leisure. I was briefly disappointed, but then relieved, that there were no homeless children present.
We ended up feeding over 40 people.
The point of the service project was not just to provide food and shelter, but to join in fellowship with the homeless. I hope the interactions were meaningful for everyone in attendance.