One local youth group has incorporated their experience from Carolina Cross Connection closer to home after spending a week of service and faith in Albermarle.
The youth group at Emmanuel Lutheran Church plans to meet each Monday throughout the month and began this week at 7 a.m., bringing faith, fellowship and service work to members in the community.
â€œWhen we came back from Carolina Cross Connection, someone said, â€˜How can we bring this mountain top experience back into the community and try to have a positive impact here as well,â€ said Pastor Gary Dittman.
The group looked within the community and jumped at the opportunity to bring the experience back to Lincolnton.
After receiving names of people in the area, the group met at the churchâ€™s Faith Building with rakes, hammers and nails, ready to serve.
With a group of 15 youth and 4 adults, three teams were established, working until lunch while others stayed several hours later.
â€œWe did two yards, we cleaned up brush and did some yard work for two homebound members,â€ Dittman said. â€œWe also started building a wheelchair ramp.â€
After talking with youth and incorporating the Monday gathering, Dittman discovered the group might receive a grant to help with the cost of supplies through Trivent, an organization that offers financial services to Lutherans.
This year Emmanuel Lutheran sent 21 youth to CCC for their third year in a row, an increase from last yearâ€™s 10.
â€œWe did wheel chair ramps and painted houses and porches. We repaired floors and lots of yard work of course,â€ Dittman said of the youthâ€™s experience at CCC. â€œI think it is life transforming because people feel like they are putting faith into action. They are serving the lord in ways that are tangible.â€
Dittman said the youth will discuss an action plan for August when school begins.
â€œOur goal is not just to do service work, but also to have time to spend with people and get to know one another as sister and brother in Christ,â€ Dittman said. â€œWhile on the one hand there is work being done, while four people are working outside two people go inside and visit.â€
Dittman said the group will continue painting and repair work in addition to visiting and incorporating fellowship into the community.
â€œThis is just a great way to extend the ministry we experienced,â€ he said.
For more information about Emmanuel Lutheran Churchâ€™s youth contact Pastor Gary Dittman at (704) 735-9033.
by Maribeth Kiser