Come to The River …

Come to The River …

At some point last summer, Aidan and I were driving along and I mentioned to her that  a youth group at church based loosely on the premises of the hit television show, “Glee”, might be fun. She agreed and we started brainstorming ideas for the program and for overcoming obstacles both with our church family and with middle and high school age kids.  Eventually, we managed to drag my mother into our brainstorming.  And then, finally, our pastor.

Art project revealing passages from the Book of Matthew
Pick a scripture. Sum it up in 2-3 words. Paint an abstract painting that relates to it. Then do a little artistic magic and reveal Matthew!

The result was an outline plan for a program we had nicknamed “The River”. The name was chosen for two reasons: 1) It tied into the popular Rhett Walker Band song, “Come to the River”, 2) it would be easy to say to friends, “I’m going to The River on Sunday. Would you like to come along?”, and 3) it made a great tie in to the Living Waters when we got that far into the program.

That outline went to a ministry team meeting, got an unexpected immediate and overwhelmingly unanimous “yes” vote. Followed by the news that we were going to be starting sooner than expected. In October 2014, the program went live.

The River is open to all rising middle and high school age youth who would like to attend and have an interest in one or more of the arts. It is a non-denominational program.

Bloodline of Christ Phase One installation by The River on the First Sunday of Pentecost 2015
Our pastor, David Fugatt, declared the First Sunday of Pentecost and the following two Sundays to be “youth Sundays”. In celebration, The River installed the first phase of a project done for Matthew 1, one member did the readings, and we caught the congregation up on our progress.

The River’s format takes a passage from the Bible and lets the members express their individual or collective interpretation of that message through various art forms. The choice of art form used may be individual, small group or whole group. Occasional exhibitions and performances currently take place at church services and activities. As the program grows, we hope to expand our “venue” list.

Members also choose and carry out service projects they’ve nominated and chosen. So far, they’ve done a yard work day at the home of a church member, and have planted a container garden for the “Grow a row for the hungry” campaign. Service projects are and will continue to be at the nomination and majority vote of youth members, and hands-on.

Hands and feet of Christ
Two members hard at work at their yard work service project for an elderly church member.

If you’re interested, contact information is on the poster image below.  We’d love to have your youth join ours! Meanwhile, we’ve added a gallery of what we’ve been doing to the bottom of this article.

Come to the River ...
Come to the River …

Revealing Matthew Project

We Are the Hands and Feet …

The kids asked to do a yard work service project. We spent the Saturday before Mother’s Day cleaning up the yard of Ms. Eva Graves, and planting a tree in honor of her late husband. It was a great time and we had lots of extra hands and feet thanks to the Joy Sunday School Class.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Feeding His Sheep …

We let the kids come up with their own service project idea. A second idea was to “grow a row for the hungry”.  We planted our container garden on Sunday, May 24, 2015.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.