First Youth Corps event includes service, learning, community

With “Life Together through Witness and Mercy” as their theme, 13 LCMS young people (ages 16-20) from across the United States came together in Philadelphia Aug. 11-17 for service, learning and community in the inaugural pilot event of Lutheran Youth Corps, a program of LCMS Youth Ministry.

The Rev. Steven Schave, director of Urban Ministry for the Synod, and Darrian Doederlein of Lamesa, Texas, chat as they conduct “Gospel Seeds” canvassing near Shepherd of the City Lutheran Church in Philadelphia as part of the Lutheran Youth Corps pilot project. (LCMS/Erik M. Lunsford)

The Rev. Steven Schave, director of Urban Ministry for the Synod, and Darrian Doederlein of Lamesa, Texas, chat as they conduct “Gospel Seeds” canvassing near Shepherd of the City Lutheran Church in Philadelphia as part of the Lutheran Youth Corps pilot project. (LCMS/Erik M. Lunsford)

Based at Shepherd of the City Lutheran Church on the city’s north side, they received training in “Planting Gospel Seeds While Serving Human Needs,” and then canvassed the community on behalf of the congregation. They also heard about the Synod’s theology of mercy, worshiped, worked at numerous service projects, visited ministries and agencies that serve the underserved in the city and toured Philadelphia’s historic sites.

Presenters for the week were from the LCMS Office of National Mission — the Rev. Dr. Carlos Hernandez, director of Community Engagement; the Rev. Steven Schave, director of Urban & Inner-City Mission; and the Rev. Ross Johnson, director of Disaster Response.

The Rev. Adam and Deaconess Melissa DeGroot hosted the event, for which he also was chaplain and she was the on-site coordinator. Adam DeGroot is an urban missionary with Philadelphia Lutheran Ministries — an LCMS Recognized Service Organization also based at Shepherd of the City Lutheran Church.

“Participants gained greatly in understanding their vocational role — both now in their current situations and as they look ahead toward ways they might serve in the future,” said LCMS Youth Ministry’s Rev. Mark Kiessling, who assisted with on-site support for the event.

The Philadelphia pilot was a prelude to more extended Lutheran Youth Corps service experiences planned for the future. For more information, visit lcms.org/youthcorps.

See more photos below (to view, click on photo):

Posted Sept. 3, 2014

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