This year, the Eastern Ontario and Nunavut District’s youth ministry division (EOD Youth Channel) was excited to once again host in-person youth conferences. Pursue ’22, a two-day event held in both the eastern and western regions of the district, gave student ministries the chance to come together. However, the momentum didn’t stop there.
The EOD Youth Channel encouraged youth ministries to take part in Glow Where You Go Week, a follow-up week in June for youth groups to bless their own communities. Using money raised leading up to Pursue ’22, and at the conference itself, youth groups could decide on specific ideas for “glowing” in their own neighbourhoods.
“Our chosen theme this year was ‘Glow’ and instead of just doing an event and it being over and done with after the closing session, we thought—how could we practically get students thinking and living this out even after the event is over?’” said Jeremy Albrecht, director of the EOD Youth Channel.
“We wanted them to be as creative as they could and prayerfully consider what Holy Spirit was asking them to do in their community. We had many groups participate and have heard all kinds of really neat stories of how God used students to ‘Glow’ during that week in a variety of ways.”
At Calvary Church in Peterborough, Ont., the youth group walked to nearby grocery stores and gas stations to hand out to the community over $1,250 worth of gift cards that the students raised. In addition, each student wrote thank-you letters for their teachers at school and personally delivered them. These simple acts of generosity opened doors for students to meet not just financial needs but also spiritual needs. Multiple people expressed their appreciation for the timely gifts and gave opportunity for the students to share why they were doing this initiative. Many were also open to have the students pray with them.
At Woodvale Church in Ottawa, Ont., the junior high and senior high youth groups distributed over $2,000 worth of gift cards and gifts to members of the community and local teachers. The junior high group also collected school supplies to bless a local school, as well as 150 items for a local food bank.
Following the Glow Where You Go week, Woodvale Church shared: “There truly is no age limit to generosity or being the hands and feet of Jesus. Let our students be an encouragement to you—how can God use you to bless someone today?”
Arnprior Youth, a group that meets at Glad Tidings Pentecostal Church in Arnprior, Ont., invited students to propose ideas and vote on them. The youth decided to go around the neighbourhood collecting donations for a local food bank; they ended up collecting $250 and filling a pickup truck bed full of non-perishable items.
“We are so proud of our students for hitting the streets, collecting food and money for our local food bank and even donating themselves,” reads the Arnprior Youth Facebook post. “Thank you @eodstumin for encouraging us to get out and serve our community!”
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Photos courtesy of Woodvale Church.