Jackie's Blog 2017
December 11, 2017
Advent is taking on a new meaning for me this year as I wait for the arrival of Baby Lerch. Matthew and I have been overwhelmed by all of the love and support for this little guy from our church family. We are both very excited to able to take some time off together when he gets here.
I am so very thankful for my volunteer team and for their willingness to step in to help while I am away. Last year we started a new sub-committee of Christian Education for our youth ministry and they will be holding the reins in my absence.
Parents and students can still expect to receive a weekly email update. We have a lot of really fun things happening this winter that nobody will want to miss! Coming up in the next couple of months will be the annual Ski Trip, a mission opportunity of making blankets, the Souper Bowl of Caring, a Unite Youth event, and of course, weekly youth group and Sunday School.
Claudia Holtzman will be taking the lead on our weekly Youth Group meetings, as well as guest appearances by Pastor Stephen for a couple of weeks. Please reach out to Claudia if you have any questions or if you would like to help out in any way. Our Youth Leadership Team will be working together to create lessons for their peers and to lead games. I am excited for this team to have this opportunity. They are an amazing group of students who lead by example each week. I can’t wait to hear of the impact they will continue to have on our youth ministry.
I plan on my last event being our Youth Group Christmas Party on December 17. I will return to the office on March 13. Thank you to all of the volunteers and church staff who will keep this ministry running for our youth. They are a very special group to me and I am sure you will be blessed because of them. Have a wonderful Christmas and I will see you all in 2018!
November 2, 2017
I have been so thankful for the ministry of Unite Youth. A small group of youth leaders in Hershey and Hummelstown started gathering our youth groups together in the summer of 2016. I don’t think any of us knew the impact it would be having in our community and individual ministries when this began.
This past Sunday, we joined together at Fishburn United Methodist Church. We had over 100 youth in attendance from seven local churches. Each time we gather, the host church’s youth plan the event. At this event, we played games together, worked on a service project assembling 75 hygiene kits for hurricane victims, decorated paving stones to represent how we have overcome burdens in our lives, and had worship together. During the worship time, the youth carried their paving stones to the front of the church to create a giant cross. This cross will be installed on Fishburn’s property as a reminder of all the ways Jesus carries our burdens.
One of the things that really stood out to me on Sunday was when we were in worship. I was sitting in the front pew, but looked around the sanctuary to see all of our students from Derry scattered around the room. The different church groups were not sitting with the friends they arrived with: they were hanging out with friends from school, from their sports teams, and from their neighborhoods. I remember our very first event and students saying to me things like, “Oh -- that girl goes to church?!” Unite Youth has truly been uniting youth in our community. We have so many denominations represented, some youth who grew up in a church, some who are brand-new to their faith walks, and youth leaders who love teenagers.I love that we all were there because of Jesus and that we will continue to unite together because of Him.
October 17, 2017