Youthworks: Teens come to serve in the QC

Mission | June 25, 2015


They come from all over the country, from small towns and big cities.

For several weeks this summer, 70 or so teenagers and their adult leaders will unpack their lives into the basement at St. Paul. They will live here for five days, serving in the Quad Cities. The program is called YouthWorks.

YouthworksWho will they serve? Kids from war-torn countries, now living in Rock Island. Senior citizens who require assistance during the day. Children who attend a day camp at an area mobile home park. People with intellectual disabilities. Residents of neighborhoods where poverty is the way of life.

Then, in the evening, they will explore what makes the Quad Cities unique. They will visit Whitey’s ice cream, have a cookout at Sister Conchetta Park, swim at Whitewater Junction, and hold a prayer walk.

Three college students and one recent college grad are leading the way. You will see their smiling faces around this summer at St. Paul. What do they hope will happen this summer?

Kailey Williams, site director, Grass Valley, California

“My hopes are that the adults and youth are challenged to see God in a new way, able to serve humbly as Jesus did, and to all come together to accomplish something greater than we could even begin to imaging on our own.”

Tim Faulkner, service coordinator, Albany, Ohio

“My hope is to see students grow in love for God and for them to have a deeper understanding of service and meeting community needs. I also hope to help them understand the importance of living in a diverse community and how that helps further God’s kingdom.”

Ellen Auer, service coordinator, Tulsa, Oklahoma

“I know firsthand that God does amazing things in our hearts and lives when we serve humbly like Jesus, and I pray that all of the participants will be challenged to continue serving when they go back home.”

Reyo Ortiz, program director, Puerto Rico

“My hope is to see how God will move with and within these groups, to serve alongside them and to learn from them. Most importantly, I hope to worship, serve, and honor God all together.”

To learn more about YouthWorks, visit

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Malachi 3:1-4

The Coming Messenger 3 See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight—indeed, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. 2 But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap; 3 he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, until they present offerings to the Lord in righteousness.[a] 4 Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years.

Hebrews 2:14-18

14 Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death. 16 For it is clear that he did not come to help angels, but the descendants of Abraham. 17 Therefore he had to become like his brothers and sisters[a] in every respect, so that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people. 18 Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.

Luke 2:22-40

Jesus Is Presented in the Temple 22 When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord”), 24 and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.” 25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon;[a] this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.[b] 27 Guided by the Spirit, Simeon[c] came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, 28 Simeon[d] took him in his arms and praised God, saying, 29 “Master, now you are dismissing your servant[e] in peace, according to your word; 30 for my eyes have seen your salvation, 31 which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.” 33 And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. 34 Then Simeon[f] blessed them and said to his mother Mary, “This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed 35 so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.” 36 There was also a prophet, Anna[g] the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped there with fasting and prayer night and day. 38 At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child[h] to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem. The Return to Nazareth 39 When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. 40 The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.