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December 16 – Youth Service Fund

A Moment for Mission

"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone." —Philippians 4:4-5a, NRSV

If your congregation is blessed by an energetic, committed youth group, you probably already know about the Youth Service Fund. The fund is unique because it is run completely by, with and for youth. Youth contribute the money and decide which projects will receive the money. The projects supported are youth designed, youth led and youth benefited. United Methodist youth from everywhere may apply for funding.

In the Arkansas Annual Conference, for example, money is raised at youth events by selling merchandise, food or donated items. Seventy percent of the money earned is kept in Arkansas, while 30 percent is forwarded to the national portion of the Youth Service Fund. With that portion, Young People's Ministries—related to Discipleship Ministries—supports youth-designed and youth-led projects around the world.

According to The Book of Discipline (Par. 1208.1), "The Youth Service Fund shall be a means of stewardship education and mission support by youth within The United Methodist Church. As part of the Fund's cultivation, youth shall be challenged to assume their financial responsibilities in connection with the total program and budget of the church of which they are members."

What an exciting way for youth to become involved actively in financial decision-making! The Youth Service Fund ensures that young people, ages 14 to 30, don't wait until they are older to support United Methodist ministry and mission. With that foundation, stewards are nurtured, and the church's work continues. Thank you!

 —Adapted from Arkansas Annual Conference webpage

Offertory Prayer
Loving God, may we, through our gifts, share your abundant love and Christ's gentle spirit with sisters and brothers around the world. In your name, we pray. Amen.

Newsletter Nugget
Do you know this verse from the song "Love Is Something" by Malvina Reynolds? The more love you share, she says, the more love you can give.

It's just like a magic penny,
Hold it tight and you won't have any.
Lend it, spend it, and you'll have so many
They'll roll all over the floor.

Every year, United Methodist youth from around the world join their donations together and raise thousands of dollars for the Youth Service Fund. It's not the size of the gift, but the number of people involved in giving.

In fact, did you know that if every youth attending a United Methodist church in the United States alone gave just $2, we would raise more than $1.5 million?

How do the youth in your church raise money? Auctions? Bake sales? Carwashes? The possibilities are infinite. If the youth in your congregation aren't already involved in the Youth Service Fund, encourage them to spread the spirit of generosity!

—Adapted from Youth Service Fund webpage

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