Last week our Youth gathered for Youth Service Week to be the hands and feet of Jesus in our city. By serving organizations around Dallas like Agape Resource & Assistance Center, The Stewpot, Mi Escuelita, and more, our students got a chance to learn more about what it means to love our neighbors well. Every day was anchored in Scripture, and students were encouraged to think about what gifts God has given them and how to use them to serve our world.
Activist and SMU professor, Willie Baronet, was invited to share about his organization, We Are All Homeless. Getting a chance to dive deeper into what all is entailed when a person experiences homelessness, the students gained a fresh perspective of the realities of homelessness here in Dallas and around the country. “I learned that there is more to homelessness than just living on the street,” James, an eighth grader who participated in Youth Service Week, mentioned.
Sarah Leer, our Director of Youth + Their Families, described her prayer for the week: “At the heart of each day, we wanted to empower youth to use their gifts to serve and enact love for God and neighbor. I hope they will better understand what it means to be Christ's hands and feet in the world, their love of justice will deepen, they better understand how to dismantle oppressive systems that marginalize people in our world and they will be transformed in the process.”
Along with various service opportunities, each day of Youth Service Week included educational, faith formation, and/or recreational activities. Summer Youth Intern Liana Forss was instrumental in working with Sarah to design and direct Youth Service Week. As the week made its end, students described how much they enjoyed serving together and how they were sad to see this time end. Fortunately, they were able to wrap up this time of beloved community and faith formation with a pool party at the Morgan Family pool—thank you to all who made this week a special one for our students!