USA: Youth Ministry
Catch up on the April 2017 updates and highlights from Unification youth pastors nationwide. The Youth Ministry theme for the month of April was “Empower”.
We had a weekend retreat at the beginning of the month with the Seattle and Portland, OR youth groups. It was the first time that we have met up like that outside of a camp,workshop, or Il Shim program and it seems like everyone really enjoyed it. Our Seattle community drove a big 15-passenger van (which was completely packed with people and luggage) and a car down and back to Portland and it seems like the kids really enjoyed road tripping as well. – Irvin Granstrom
A highlight of this month is the weekend event from April 29-30 that we hosted as part of our Il Shim program. We talked about the Three Great Blessings and building our own relationship with God. We also had an open discussion between the participants and the young adults/youth leaders about tough topics that we all face in life, such as drugs, alcohol, dating and more.
We used the theme through the youth service given by Sarah Keating. She gave a talk about looking for the positive in your life to fight negative feelings. She talked about how we remember and hold on to the negative feelings much longer than the positive ones, and then led us through an activity to help find the positive in our lives. – Abigail Gilfillan
We had an exciting Easter Art Gallery hosted by one of our high school seniors. We collected all the youth group artists’ (we have many artists) artwork to showcase to the community. Alongside the gallery, we had activity booths, prize booths, and a bakery ran by the youth group members.
Every Sunday, we do activities to empower our youth group. We had them think about the positive in life and how they can continue empowering themselves to live a healthy, happy, and grateful life. – Sawa Suina
This month, we empowered the youth by discovering the Divine Principle! We invited Dr. Rev. Wayne Miller who gave an incredible talk focusing on the change in blood lineage. We were able to have an engaged discussion and it allowed the youth to have a shift in perspective of what it’s all about. – Karen Suzuki
Los Angeles, CA
Our Easter workshop went really well. Also, the first joint HARP (High School Association for the Research of Principles) and Junction workshop went well. Our leadership team is working together well to overcome our challenges and provide a balanced and well-rounded education for the youth in our community. – Takafumi Sasaki
This month we used our own theme of ‘Control’ to empower our youth. We worked on helping them to understand that although there are somethings in life you can’t control, you can control how you choose to react in every situation and how you treat others. This was really inspiring to the youth.
We also held a Divine Principle workshop during Easter Weekend with Uncle Gerry Servito. The kids really felt empowered to work on understanding their faith and applying the Divine Principle in their daily lives. – Melissa Manor
We used the monthly theme through our weekly lectures that we give to our kids. We talked about empowering ourselves through God, prayer, environment, and through gratitude, repentance, and re-determination. We were really repetitive about the definition of empowerment that they were able to grasp it by the end of the month. – Rena Kanazawa
This month’s theme for our youth ministry was “Service”. We stared off with the kids going out on a small group outing, and during their outing they had to do a mini service project, or do an act of kindness as a group. During the last two weeks of April, all of youth ministry took part in a service project of painting a mural for the city of Clifton, NJ. – Yasutaka Ozawa
For the theme of “Empower” we defined it as building a life of faith through traditions. So in these past weeks we had several activities involving prayer, finding out where our passions lie, and recognizing our (spiritual) habits. We also had a special Easter Egg hunt for all of the kids. -Norikuni Nishikawa
We encouraged the youth to share their talents and gifts God gave them through our annual talent show, Mushi Night. It was so much fun and we as a community are so grateful to our district for making the long trek out, providing such amazing entertainment, and supporting us throughout the entire month. I can’t say it enough, my heart is so grateful to their ministry team and their youth for keeping us all stuck together. – James Jenkins
Kansas City, KS
A highlight this month was going to Omaha. It was so great to bond with another community, and to see everyone genuinely enjoying themselves. We had a Divine Principle reading about God’s dual characteristics, and did an activity to help identify our own yang and yin qualities. – Kristin Anthonis
April was all about empowering our kids to learn how to love one another like family. Our first gathering focused on each of our love languages and how that can impact the people around us. We had a second gathering that was all about family and how each one of us are one important piece of one big family. -Hirokuni Ashino
A highlight during April was our service project to clean up Belvedere. It was based on the theme of Contribute and divided the participants to separate tasks and the result was a very effective cleanup for us to appreciate our home. Another highlight was our Middle School Workshop which we held on the theme of “I am Valuable”, seeking to delve into what makes us unique and valuable sons and daughters of God. -Toyomichi Hagiwara
This month’s theme was Empower. We incorporated the theme by having the high school kids organize their own event for this month. They chose what to do, picked the time and date, organized food situation, etc. Maybe this idea was better for next month of Contribute, but we also thought that it is very empowering for the kids to take ownership over youth ministry. -Kosuke Enami