December 6, 2018
Galilee Youth Group started December off with a bang—or perhaps a jingle—when they traveled to Frederick, Maryland on the first of the month for a day of service and caroling.
Three parental vehicles followed Galilee’s van on the journey, each filled with bags of shoes from the hundreds of shoes donated by our congregation for this event. They also carried dozens of hygiene kits assembled from the proceeds of the Fall Festival Bake Sale.
These were gifts for the guests at Centennial Memorial United Methodist Church’s Saturday night mission. Twice a week, Pastor Deb Linton and her team at CMUMC feed and minister to Frederick’s homeless population.
Centennial Memorial’s Pastor Deb Linton re-visits with Galilee’s teens, many of whom she met this summer.
The Youth Group kids first met Pastor Deb this summer. Centennial was Galilee’s reBoot mission site. Their mission in June was to stock a food pantry and remove old carpet from Centennial’s massive fellowship hall.
“How many of you did I meet this summer at reBoot?” asked Pastor Deb on Saturday. “Do you remember me asking you to come back and telling you how much we needed shoes for our friends? Oh my, you were listening! Thank you, thank you!”
Clean and dry shoes…delivered as promised.
Galilee’s teens had plenty of work sorting shoes by women’s and men’s, dress and athletic, winter boots and summer flip-flops. They also delivered the hygiene kits they assembled at a Youth Group evening, which contained tissues, toothbrushes, and other necessities of daily living that are hard to come by on the street.
After the shoes and kits were sorted, Pastor Deb took the teens on a tour of the church to see the results of their work this summer. Gone was the dusty and under-utilized fellowship hall they had known. The space was transformed and is now home to two new congregations. The church has also been licensed to provide daycare in rooms nearby.
The team gets a view from the balcony. Many of them worked hard in this room in June.
While she led the the youth on a tour of Centennial, a downtown church with a history dating back to the Civil War, Pastor Deb also spoke about the homeless men, women, and families who come to the church for a hot meal.
She asked our kids what they thought might be going on in the lives of people who find themselves homeless. The youth gave great answers, talking about drugs and alcohol, joblessness, mental and emotional problems, health and financial crises, and domestic abuse. It was a great discussion that went back to many of the issues raised weekly at Galilee’s Sunday night Youth Group.
Learning about the church, God, and about homelessness.
There was just enough time after the discussion to rehearse for a bit of Christmas caroling. As the church kitchen prepared a meal of soup, rolls, and brownies, hungry individuals and families began to arrive. With Abby Beckelhimer on piano, the group ran through an array of carols led by Pam Bentley.
Their voices in fine form, our Galilee teenagers were happy to perform at the dinner for the good folks of Frederick. It was a wonderful way to kick off Christmas.