The Psalmist says, “God from my youth, you have taught me…” Psalm 71:17, and that is true. But it could have also said, “God from the youth, you have taught me” and stated something almost as true. With a foundation in faith built in the early years, our youth can teach us something about leading movements for change in their own communities and in the world.
Who are these young teachers?
Langley Hoyt’s faith formation was solidified as a Young Adult Volunteer (YAV). The YAV program has been heavily focused on racial reconciliation and poverty for the past 27 years. This focus, and its intersection with Matthew 25, is one of the reasons that Langley wanted to spend her YAV year working in the PC(USA)’s Office of Public Witness.
“I worked on researching the Presbyterian Church’s legacy of white supremacy, particularly its participation in enslaving hundreds of thousands of African Americans,” she said. “I believe the church body has much to do to face its complicity in white supremacy, anti-Blackness and taking some more risks to keep changing course.”
Langley is now pursuing ordained ministry in the PC(USA), with the goal of working for a more just world.
Langley is a teacher.
Sami Han helped develop, plan and lead a worship service as a member of the youth group at New Goshen, Kentucky, Presbyterian Church.
“During the worship service, instead of just reading a Scripture lesson, we would act it out as if the Scripture was a play,” Sami recalled. “This showed me how youth groups can generate ideas for more effective worship services for newer generations.”
Sami is a teacher.
Tracy Dace founded a program called DREAAM — designed to reach, teach and invest in African American boys at risk and to walk alongside them and their families from the age of 5 until they reach the age of 24. The pandemic has proven challenging for DREAAM, but offered important lessons.
“In many ways, the pandemic has opened up an opportunity for us to reprioritize what it is that we are here to do,” he said, “and that is to reach and teach boys and their families and empower them to actualize, to work, to develop their goals into reality and to affirm that they are resilient.”
Tracy is a teacher and his DREAAMERs are showing the way.
The Pentecost Offering helps us support the development of our young people through ministries of education and spiritual formation events. As we make our gifts to the Pentecost Offering, remember that 40% stays with our congregation to support local ministries with children, youth and young adults. The gifts we share will help young people learn important lessons about life and faith, and because they also teach us, we will also learn some lessons. Please give generously, for when we all do a little, it adds up to a lot.
Let us pray
Teach us, oh God, in every season of our lives, to hear your voice in the voices of all your children. May our gifts to support children, youth and young adults grow into gifts they offer back to the whole world. Amen.
Please give generously to the Offering:
- Through your congregation
- Text PENTECOST to 91999