Edgewood Presbyterian Church’s When Did We See You Community Youth Event
Event Location: Lewisburg, WV
Edgewood Presbyterian Church was given a grant to provide a youth event in our area in lieu of the Presbyterian Youth Triennium. Our youth group partnered with West Virginia Helping Hands in Ronceverte, WV to complete a bible lesson, work night, and fun night event for area youth. WV Helping Hands is in the process of turning a former hospital in Ronceverte into a 15-bed transitional unit for members of the community who are experiencing housing hardships and need a place to stay while securing new housing and new skills. Participants had a short bible lesson and introductions, worked for 2 hours, enjoyed dinner together, and then watched a movie followed by discussion of how the movie related to the study.
- Who am I game – name tags on back of each participant of stars and ask one yes/no question of a person then have to ask someone else the next question. Until you figure out who you are. First to yell out the right answer wins.
- Discuss was it easy or hard to figure out who you were? Did you know of the person you were guessing? What makes you know them?
- Popcorn read Matthew 25 31-46 (print outs and ball)
- Prayer – Lord, we live in a world full of categories and labels, in a time full of violence and division, in a place where we may feel confused and not quite good enough, but when we look at the prints of our fingers, we are reminded that you made each of unique. You took time to make each one of us different from every other person and set us each on a specific purpose. We know that you do nothing in vain so my purpose must be important. Thank you for seeing our dark places and light places and continuing to love us no matter what. Help us to do the same for others so that they may see your love through us.
- We are here tonight to focus on how we see and impact the “least of these” through our words, hands, funds, and actions. We would like to start by allowing the youth to present a donation to WV helping hands. Present money- get to work. During work, chit chat and who do you think helping hands helps at the thrift store, information on the other building, etc.
- End work at 5:50pm – thank everyone for their help and explore where we go next. We will reconvene when we arrive.
- Arrive at Hub. Someone set up tables with glue, cloth pieces, scissors, markers, little men, while we get food. Ask Kristi to say blessing and get us food, etc.
- While eating:
- Talk to a person near you – Who did you notice and pay attention to today?
- Different person near you- who was invisible to you today?
- Different person near you: In what ways were you noticed today and how did it make you feel?
- All- how do we go about seeing the invisible in our society?
- Direct to cut outs.
- In a small group or on your own create (on one side of cut out) your idea of the least of these/the invisible. Draw, right, cut/paste up to you. Put those down for a few moments and before we can dive into the ways in which we recognize and care for others, we must take some time to recognize who we are and to know ourselves.
- Person near you – what do you want people to know about you?
- Other person: when have you felt invisible or unseen?
- Other person: what do you want God to see in you?
- All: In your service work, SOS, tonight, etc. how have you assisted the least of these and how does it make you feel? How do you think it makes God feel? How do you think it makes the person receiving feel? If I saw the tent city tonight point it out.
- Now turn over your cut out and work together or alone to create you… this can be a single you, or you as a group. Either way is fine.
- Remind them that their first task was to identify the people that we refuse to really see and what is it like for those who are not seen and are considered “invisible.” Now, they are going to start working on ways they CAN really see people – all people.
- All: Think about how do you feel about making others feel invisible? Explain that this is a time for honest reflection, but not for judgment or guilt. What do you need to work on in yourself to be better at making people feel seen either in big ways like doing service work, or in small ways like noticing someone in a specific way and being nice to them. Take a moment to add some to your 1st cut out 1-2 things that you are going to do differently. Note that it doesn’t make anything negative go away on your cut out right away as those feelings of being invisible didn’t come right away, but that’s ok. Our changes start change for others. We are going to do one more big way for caring for others today. Present pay and thank the group.
Please all gather in a circle for our closing. Thank you, Lord, for our time together tonight and thank you for the big and little ways that we have been seen and we have been seen. Thank you for knowing us through and through and loving us. Please help us as we work hard to see those around us and God, please be with us as we try to… (please share ways to make change). Then You should start by turning to the person to your right, placing your hand on their arm or shoulder, and saying, “Name, I invite you to see and be seen, know and be known and bless and be blessed.” Invite that person to turn to their right and speak the same charge and so on until the charge has made it around the circle and back to you. Once the person to your left speaks the charge to you, simply end with “Amen.” and dismiss your group.