A MOMENT FOR MISSION
She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. — Matthew 1:21
During Advent, we attend to Jesus' earthly beginnings and the events leading up to his arrival. On this Advent journey, we encounter Mary, a teenage girl who bravely responded to be an agent of God's kingdom on earth in a courageous way.
This could not have been an easy decision. There must have been people that had unflattering opinions of her situation. Yet, this young woman decided that she would let God use her in a way that has had an eternal impact.
God continues to call young people to action. One of the ways we support young people in their pursuit of God's calling them in service and mission to the world is through the Youth Service Fund. Young people in The United Methodist Church contribute to this fund within their annual conferences.
Seventy percent stays within their conference for use in various projects and mission trips decided upon by the Council on Youth ministry. The remaining 30 percent collected goes toward the United Methodist Youth Organization, whose mission is to empower youth as full participants in the church, as well as provide outreach opportunities through Youth Service Fund projects.
The Youth Service Fund helps our young people learn about stewardship, as they are the ones who financially support the opportunities provided for missional activities.
God, we lift up our young people to you. Grant them courage to answer your call and generosity to give to the work that is yet to be done in the world on your behalf. Inspire us to follow their faithful example in following your call. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Fourth Sunday of Advent - God of faithfulness and encouragement, we are grateful for the hope you freely give. By Christ's birth in a lowly stable, you prepared the way for his ministry, crucifixion, and resurrection from the dead. Fill us with your Spirit to tell others the good news. As we present our offerings, we ask you to bless the youth and adults whose lives will be uplifted through the mission of this congregation. We pray through Jesus our risen Lord. Amen. (Romans 1)
Young people consistently have been called to action to accomplish the work of God. Samuel was called as a young boy in the temple. David was a boy when God chose him to be a king, and Mary was a teenager when God used her to carry Jesus into the world.
God is calling young people to action still today.
The United Methodist Church empowers our young people through the Youth Service Fund. Offerings to this fund go toward sending youth out in mission, and the youth are involved at each step. Young people are the ones contributing, deciding which projects and missions to fund, and going out in service.
The funds are collected at the annual conference level and 70 percent stays in the conference to be used for projects. The remaining 30 percent goes to the United Methodist Youth Organization, whose mission is to empower youth to become full participants of the church.