Youth Corps Pilot
Last August 11-17, the LC-MS Office of Youth Ministry collaborated with Philadelphia Lutheran Ministries to launch its Lutheran Youth Corps pilot program on-site at Shepherd. Thirteen young adults (ages 16 to 20), along with four LC-MS pastors, spent a week in NE Philly.
Each day began with morning prayer and a pot of coffee and the week ended with Divine Service.
Rev Carlos Hernandez presented a program to systematically research a community’s needs called Gospel Seeds. The youth and pastors later went into the neighborhood to introduce themselves to residents and local businesses, asking people about community needs. Reduced crime and child supervision (after-school care) were needs repeated by many in the neighborhood.
Mercy and Service
Rev Steve Schave presented to the group an overview of the “Theology of Mercy,” and Rev Ross Johnson provided information about the synod's Disaster Relief. Then followed a property work day.
Thursday was a full day of off-site service organization visits: (a) to Eliza Shirley House, a women's shelter, to interact with residents and their children; (b) to famous Love Park to pass out food bags to the homeless; (c) to a retirement home called Paul’s Run.
The week embodied our confession of faith through Witness, Mercy and Life Together. Our son, Knox, still affectionately refers to the youth as “our friends.” We hope to work with these Youth Corps friends again.