What kind of young person?

Seventeen youth from Trinity United Methodist Church in Grand Rapids went to Clark Retirement Community to share their love of God with residents. ~photo compliments Glenys Nellist

God’s love crosses the generations when a confirmation class visits a retirement community.

GLENYS NELLIST
Grand Rapids: Trinity UMC

Let me tell you a little bit about my Sunday …

The sun was shining as we gathered at Clark Retirement Community on March 18th … seventeen amazing young people, carrying their violins and a bass, their violas and their piano music, their carnations and cards. And we were all a little nervous because, after all, we’d never done anything like this before.

We were there to fulfill a portion of our ‘Covenant’… promises that we’d written and recited every week as part of our Covenant Discipleship/Confirmation Program, based on the wonderful book by my friend, Melanie Gordon. (Growing Everyday Disciples: Covenant Discipleship with Children is available at the Upper Room.)

‘We strive to be people who have a balance between loving God and loving others,” is how our Covenant begins.

So we climbed the noisy staircase that led to the skilled nursing unit, where residents were quietly gathered, waiting for us.

And the young people, they introduced themselves, and they played their violas, and their violins, and the piano, and the bass, and they sang, and talked and listened to the residents there, and gave out their cheery carnations and the cards they’d made the week before.

And as if my heart wasn’t already full, we were just about to leave, when a young man, who just happened to turn 13 that day, he turns to me and says, “That was a great way to spend my birthday.”

Just let that sink in for a minute…

What kind of young person would want to celebrate his birthday by giving himself in service to others?

The kind we have at Trinity UMC… the kind of young people who pray out loud before we leave, “God, help us bring joy to the people at Clark today”; the kind of young people who give up their time to practice their music for hours and hours, so that they can bring some love and light to the lonely; the kind of young people who truly want to make a difference in this world.

And they are.

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