Thanks to everyone who donated and walked to support our mission partners Minute Man March this past weekend! We were thrilled to have 40+ walkers in our WCUC group.
Posted in Serving Others
If you see some brightly colored rocks in the Welcome Garden next to West Concord Union Church, you’ve just discovered WCUC Sunday School’s “Kindness Rocks Project.” This simple yet powerful way of sharing messages of hope originated in the mind and heart of Megan Murphy, a mother of three from the Cape going through a life transition.
Each day she would walk on the beach looking for signs that closing her business and going back to school was the right decision. One day in 2013, she was inspired to decorate five ordinary beach rocks with messages of encouragement and return them to the beach. The next night, knowing nothing about their origin, one of Murphy’s close friends texted her a photograph of a rock she’d found on the beach with the message, “You’ve Got This!” It was just the sign Murphy needed to continue on her path. Just four years later, there are kindness rocks being made all over the world from the Cape to New Zealand!
The WCUC Sunday School decided to adopt this Kindness Rocks Project as a way of resisting hate and spreading hope within our community. Come on by the Welcome Garden and check out the messages our children have created. Feel free to take a rock with you or add one of your own. But you might want to come over soon! Kindness rocks have a way of finding new homes quickly! For more information about the Kindness Rocks Project and how to make your own rocks go to: http://thekindessrocksproject.com
It was a very busy day on Sunday for the WCUC Youth! In just a little over two hours, they packed up for kitchen in preparation for the renovation, painted gratitude prayer flags which will become part of a larger church-wide project happening next Sunday, and hosted a bake sale that raised $276.00 for Greater Lowell’s Habitat for Humanity. Many hands do indeed make work lighter and we are so grateful to have such a helpful and committed group of young people at our church!
The youth got busy this week helping out some neighbors in need and tackling a couple of church clean up projects. Several of our teenagers met at Polly and Keith Jenkins Man home to help wth some packing and other preparations for their upcoming move. Others joined Candy Carr at the church to clean out the deacon’s kitchen and do some yard work in the Welcome Garden. In celebration of their efforts. we joyfully ended the evening in town with pizza and ice cream and then returned to church for a few rounds of the hide and seek game called Sardines which has become our youth group favorite. A fun night with some of the most thoughtful and playful teens I know!
*A note of thanks from Polly and Keith:
We are very grateful to all the youth who helped us out on Tuesday. It was a pleasure to get to know them and, as two of the more senior members of WCUC, we thank them for their generous gift of young muscles and energy.
The youth at WCUC love kicking off the holiday season with their annual pie baking with Mrs. Schummers. This year was no different. Together they baked 18 apple pies and wrote cards for people in our congregation who could use some extra cheer at Thanksgiving this year. Their baking efforts continue into December when they come together to bake up some treats for youth group graduates, in their first year at college, who are getting ready for exams. This year, Emily Barkovic was the lucky recipient!
In early November, the youth traveled to Wayland to visit the Islamic Center of Boston for a half day workshop which included a tour of their facility, education about their faith practices, a documentary film on Islam in America Today followed by a question and answer session. We were joined by youth and adults from other churches in the surrounding towns. It was a “packed house” filled with generous spirit, informative presentations, and gracious hospitality.
In December, our new friends at this mosque received a horrible, hate-filled letter from an anonymous writer who signed it from “Americans for a Better Way”. Reading about this hate crime broke our hearts. In response, the youth joined together in creating two large baskets of homemade baked goods and a banner/card that expressed our support and solidarity. Added to this, were many beautiful cards made by the Middler Class and also a card signed by others in our congregation. After church on Sunday, two of our church families drove to the mosque with our gifts and joined hands and hearts with hundreds of other people who were there for a community wide peace rally. It was so moving and powerful to witness the loud and proud conviction that “Love is Stronger than Hate”.
Sunday was a beautiful day for the CROP Walk. WCUC Youth joined others from the community on this 7K walk around town in an effort to raise awareness and funds for local and global efforts to alleviate hunger. We are more than half way to our team goal of raising $1000.00. There is still time to donate, so please consider supporting this important cause.
Spring has sprung! The warm, sunny weather may have been late this year but that didn’t dampen the spirits of our youth group. In April, we had a fun outing to Chunky’s dinner/theater in Nashua where we enjoyed tasty food and watched the suspenseful modern version of The Jungle Book. We also went to play with the kids at the Maynard Boys and Girls Club to help them out with their school vacation program. In early May, we joined the WCUC Easter in Action team to walk in the Minuteman Arc March and collectively raised over $2000.00 for this great organization. The next day, the youth learned about the Bread for the World organization and wrote letters to members of Congress advocating for increased funding to support better nutritional programs for women and children around the world. They then used what they had learned to help other members of congregation, young and old, write letters too!
Adding to all of this excitement, twelve of our older youth celebrated their year-long work in confirmation class as our younger youth are currently making plans to share their voices, gifts, and wisdom in Children and Youth Sunday which will be celebrated on June 5th.
In the midst of all of these social and service-related events, the youth have been meeting regularly to study God’s word, write in their prayer journals, and reflect together on how the Easter story of Jesus’s resurrection applies to us today.