Youth Unite to Worship, Learn and Serve

Youth from across western Washington united in Seattle, Wash., for a day of worship, learning and serving in mid-January.

"Soonago [pronounced sue-NAH-go] is a Greek word meaning to come together," says David Yeagley, Washington Conference Youth director.

Worship formed the core of morning sessions with quality time for music ministry and a thought-provoking presentation on how youth can share their faith by Eddie Hypolite, keynote speaker from London, England.

"Worship is like a compass," says Simona Mills, from Andrews University Seminary, who helped lead the praise team and the music ministry breakout session. "It's upward to God, inward to us, outward to others and downward in humility."

Living Christianity

During the church service, the audience attached dollar bills and coins to duct tape to raise $583.63 for Haiti earthquake relief.

The afternoon and evening sessions focused on learning and serving as 550 youth and adult sponsors participated in community service projects or attended workshops.

Breakout sessions covered how to share your faith, effective music ministry, understanding race relations and creative expression through worship. A group of 20 students also went door to door to conduct a survey, and ended up finding five Bible study interests.

Nearly 160 youth and sponsors made more than 1,100 food sacks to distribute to shelters and to the homeless in Seattle. In production-line fashion, the young people assembled peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and filled paper sacks with juice packs, water bottles, cookies, apples and warm clothing.

"Christianity is a lived experience and Jesus wants you to grow in Him," Hypolite advised the near-capacity auditorium at Cleveland High School. "Know for yourself what the Bible teaches and what your church teaches. Don't be embarrassed about your faith or people will think that both you and Jesus are a joke. You can't apologize for being a Christian because your friends don't apologize for being unchristian."

March 01, 2010 / Washington Conference
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Heidi Martella, Washington Conference associate communication director