U.M. ARMY (United Methodist Action Reach-out Mission by Youth)
U.M. ARMY United Methodist Action Reach-out Mission by Youth
Exciting news for Youth and Young Adults of our church: We will be serving with U.M. ARMY (United Methodist Action Reach-out Mission by Youth) in Scranton, PA from June 25th-July 1st! Attached is a U.M. ARMY brochure and information sheet that provides their mission, vision, and overview of trip details. Below are some answers to some questions you may be asking--we provide these so that you might have a better understanding of our decision and can thoroughly discern your own.
Why do a mission trip?
- To quote one of the leading voices in Youth Ministry today: "We can't just teach them what to believe on Sunday, we've got to challenge them to serve on Monday." (Doug Fields)
- This gives our youth the opportunity to use their abilities (physical, resources, time) to tangibly further the kingdom by serving those in need. It is a huge component of our philosophy (Equip). - We want to graduate ministers of the gospels, not just learners.
- Mission trips are often "mountain-top" moments for students in their faith and connections with other youth/adults.
Why U.M. ARMY?
- They were highly recommended by the Conference Missions department. It's an organization that is directly related to our denomination, though it does not exclude those outside of the United Methodist tradition.
- A strong balance of tangible, kingdom-work and partnership with intensity. There were options on both sides of this balance that we thought either weren't substantial enough or were a little too intense for a first time mission trip.
- Christ-centered: granted all of our options were intentional about this component, but it's an essential.
- It was the most inclusive trip we found, even among the U.M ARMY trips. Any student that has finished 7th grade can attend. Young Adults under the age of 21 can also attend (those over the age of 21 serve as an adult leader). As a result, we think this aligns well with the Orange mindset of inter-generational relationships and service across age groups.
- Scranton is also a nice balance of distance for a 1st time mission trip--we looked at options 30 minutes away and 10+ hours away. Far enough to feel like a real trip, and close enough to recognize you don't need to go far to serve those in need. Also we think we need to build towards a further trip before diving-in.
- This calendar week doesn't conflict with church events or holidays. It's a nice distance time-wise (1 month) from Impact as well.
- We get to stay in this amazing, historic church (http://elmparkscranton.org/our-building/)!! Well this wasn't actually a reason, but it's pretty cool.
Questions still to be answered:
What will raising the funds for this trip look like?
- We'll be discussing and deciding as a team in the next few weeks how to best breakdown the contribution sources for raising the $300/participant cost: family, youth ministry budget, fundraising. Our budget for this event will be able to support somewhere around $75/person
for an estimated 20 participants on this trip.
- We also see this as an opportunity for our congregation to come alongside of our youth in financial and prayer partnership. There will need to be a $50 payment from the family upon individual registration by March 1st as a form of commitment to this trip. Depending on the fundraising efforts, we may ask families to provide more than that $50 payment, but we will not ask them to pay more than $100/person.
Who are the adult leaders attending the trip?
- We need 2 adults for every 5 students or young adults under the age of 21. Based on our estimate participation for this trip, that means we need about 5 adult leaders (in addition to myself).
- We have some interest from a couple of our adult leaders on the Youth Team, but we hope this is an opportunity for other adults of this congregation to step into the lives of our young people. After this announcement is made to the church as a whole, we'll ensure to recruit enough adult leaders if they aren't already stepping forward.
If you're ready to jump in with the commitment, you can follow this link to register https://www.umarmy.net/Registration/Indv/2146/ and make a check to First UMC Hershey for $50. Checks can be mailed or dropped off at the church office.
Individual registrations with a $50/person payment are due by March 19th. The balance of all our funds are due April 15th. There will be more specific details about the Scranton trip in the coming weeks--we are also bringing in the U.M. ARMY NE Director to our church to host an informational session on March 5th @ 2:30pm. Feel free to contact me with any questions.
We hope you will prayerfully consider this great opportunity for you or your child.
Director of Youth and Young Adults Ministries