Recently (July 15-20), 35 youth and adults gathered “At the Water’s Edge” in Virginia Beach for the 2018 Junior High Servant Event. Each year, rising 7th – 9th graders from across the Virginia Synod come together to experience a week of service, learning, worship and fun. Highlights from this year include:
- Packing over 11,000 meals of beans, rice and pasta through Operation Blessing.
- Working with the Food Bank of Southeastern Virginia to prepare fresh produce and donated items to be distributed in the community.
- Helping People In Need Ministry and ForKids in their mission to serve individuals and families experiencing homelessness and poverty.
- Participating in a simulation on the impact of government policies on the Racial Wealth Gap.
- Hearing about the ELCA’s Young Adults in Global Mission program from two YAGM
- Our annual Compassion Walk where participants get a small taste of what it means for the homeless who often must walk miles to access food and basic services.
Of course, it isn’t all work at the JHSE. Besides making new friends and “hanging out,” we also took a dolphin cruise and spent some time at the beach. The Junior High Servant Event is a great opportunity to grow together in faith and to build and deepen relationships with other Lutherans from across Virginia.