|During a pantomime of biblical stories, participants at Youth Service Day portray Daniel in the lion’s den.
Many observers have noted that this generation of young persons finds great fulfillment in serving others. They learn about their faith by putting it into action. That theory was on display on March 6 when young United Methodists from across the state came to the Oklahoma City University campus for Youth Service Day, a day of fun, food, and service.
A host of students and university staff pitched in to welcome 127 young people and adults, who represented 15 churches. Some volunteers conducted tours of the campus, and others led games on the lawn in the center of the campus. For the second year in a row, OCU senior Tasha Sargent, a religion major and Bishop’s Scholar, coordinated the event for the Wesley Center, the UM campus ministry at OCU.
Groups also were deployed to service sites around Oklahoma City. They engaged in a wide variety of tasks, including cleaning at OKC-Crown Heights United Methodist Church, washing vans used by OKC-Penn Avenue Redemption UMC, painting at Linwood Elementary school, and filling plastic Easter eggs for the Circle of Care.
Upon their return from the project sites, the groups were invited to enjoy a meal in the OCU cafeteria. Everyone then gathered in the chapel for worship, featuring a praise band. Adam Shahan delivered a challenging sermon. He is the pastor of Lexington UMC and an OCU senior majoring in religion. Officiating for Holy Communion was clergywoman Jennifer Long, OCU director of Religious Life.
All the planning and behind-the-scenes work provided a great opportunity for spiritual refreshment and community, planners agreed. "The day was a big success," Sargent noted. "We got a lot of good work done and helped out a lot of schools, churches, and nonprofits in Oklahoma City. I’m incredibly grateful for all the OCU student volunteers and for all the youth groups who came."