By Amy Richards
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.’”All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.
This is what the middle school Grace youth call the Jesus Creed. The Grace 7th and 8th graders are learning what I think is the most vital part of our faith: loving God and loving others.
Youth Group is such wonderful time, especially for Jenny and Matt Stadtmiller and me, their leaders. We begin group time by sharing our highs of the week and prayer requests. We try out new activities, like a snowball fight with paper, Bible Scattagory, gingerbread house making party, and then we talk about our relationship with God. Right now we are exploring prayer by looking more in depth at The Lord’s Prayer which Jesus gave us. Lastly, we close our time together in prayer, and once in a while someone other than me will volunteer!
I think about the kids throughout the week and pray for a hurt foot, an upcoming game, school and peer concerns, safety for travel (especially on snowmobiles and horses); and I am connected in a way I never imagined.
One of the most wonderful and rewarding gifts of being involved in this ministry is getting to know some Grace family members who are so cool! It is a privilege to have the opportunity to encourage, teach,
and pray for these kids to realize who they are in Christ and what they are called to in their world. These kids have an opportunity you and I may never have: they are part of a world we are on the fringes of, and they can make a difference.