Transformation

IMG_6771We so often hear the statistics around young people and their diminishing church affiliations. These three young women defy those numbers because they go to church every day! Their 24/7 lives embrace the gospel in their choices, how they live and how they serve! Church is not only a Sunday event for them. We celebrate Anna, Erika (my boss!) and Ellie and send a huge thank you for their leadership this past year. They are all college graduates who elected to work with Project Transformation as fellows at Aldersgate UMC, Matthews Memorial UMC and Antioch UMC…..facilitating well structured and planned after school programs, connecting children to needed resources in literacy, homework and, most importantly perhaps, relationships that value who they are, regardless of their address!  It has been an honor for many of us to learn from them, cheer them on and affirm their skills! Their most important work was non quantifiable, not only with the children, but with the children’s families, volunteers and one another.

As I hear our current news cycle and consider the ways we might live into the gospel words in ways that include, instead of exclude, that reflect love instead of hate, that value all and not just a few, I think of these young women. They example the solution we “adults” might follow. They will lead and be motivators of transformation!

Can I get an Amen?!

A poem from 2016….

Project Transformation

God whispers
through new voices.
Young and
courageous and sure
full of wonder.
Very real
open hearts
open minds
open doors.

Children are respected
Children are honored
Children are loved

Books march
words connect
smiles and laughter
a neighborhood map
becomes wider
and taller
and inclusive.
Urban streets
become visions
of hope
and change.

Children learn
Children teach
Children love

Family fun
changes perspective
molds difference
into community
smiles the same
regardless of border
joy apparent
in the faces of dancing
children
beaming families
and proud new friends.

Families learn
Families teach
Families love

Fellows and interns
live
Matthew’s verses
trust God’s call
plant seeds
of future growth
certain change.
Upturned faces
of children
full of questions
big questions!…
who trust their answers.
Old neighborhoods
become
new.

Leaders learn
Leaders teach
Leaders love

Volunteer tutors
happy
with days
of well planned
structure
that opens
lives
to God given
potential
building community
welcoming the stranger
from forgotten streets
forgotten lands.
No walls
open windows
that allow
Christ’s light to shine.

God teaches.
God loves.
God transforms.
To honor the vision
and work of
Project Transformation.

jackiejshields
03.08.16

2 thoughts on “Transformation

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