We are finished, exhausted, and exhilarated from our experiences at Youth Week 2017: Cohesion! This year, seven churches were involved in Youth Week. Grace UMC, First UMC Jackson, First UMC Medina, Lambuth Memorial UMC, Northside UMC, Collierville UMC, and Martin UMC came together at the University of Memphis Lambuth Campus, July 16th through July 19th, to connect and to impact the city of Jackson, Tennessee.

This is our third year to collaborate in this Youth Ministry opportunity and we had approximately 135 students and leaders participate. We had 15 students represent Grace UMC and they showed themselves to be the servants of God we know them to be. A large part of Youth Week was the mission and outreach work we did around the city of Jackson. This year we had groups go to several sites: RIFA, Dream Center, Madison Academic, Early College High, Hands Up! Preschool, Englewood East Mission, Wesley Jackson Highland, Isaac Lane Magnet School, Southwest Human Resources, and the American Red Cross were some of the sites we impacted. The students had a wide array of responsibilities and worked indoors and outdoors to serve these organizations as fully as possible. We were so proud of these students!

Members of The HUB (Grace’s Student Ministry) also led the worship and music for Youth Week 2017: Cohesion. The worship times were definitely a highlight for many of the Cohesion Students and provided even more opportunity for us to connect to God together.

Some other highlights of Youth Week 2017 were Blacklight Dodgeball, Smoke Bomb Scavenger Hunt, “Mess-tival” (imagine colorful chalk, shaving cream, syrup, and cereal covering the bodies of 135 people…eww, but yay!), Firetruck Rescue Spray, 8 foot soccer balls, Tacky Prom, and Survivor Ball.  And these were just SOME of the games and fun we participated in! Now, you can understand why we’re so tired at this moment!

We are so proud of our students and of Grace UMC. You need to know that we represented our church with confidence but with humility, hard work, and servants’ hearts. We look forward to future United Methodist collaborations and have already started getting ready for next year’s Youth Week! (We’re not kidding…evaluations and improvements are already being planned).