First UMC of Mount Holly
Saturday, December 16, 2017
You belong. You matter. You are enough.

Reflections from Last Year's Intern - Summer 2016


Below is a tidbit from our children ministry intern from last year. We look forward to year two of our art camp with Asi'ayana Russell-Jolly as our intern for the Summer of 2017. But see below for a little glimpse into last year's story and we hope you'll consider being a part of this year's story, inviting any and all others to be a part of this year's incredible summer arts camp!


“Hand’s Out, God In.”

1 Peter 4:10


As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

            Before I go into the topic I am going to speak on, I would first like to thank each and every one of you for welcoming me into your congregation and hearts. Your kindness, words of encouragement and support were not taken for granted. Secondly, I would like to talk about the camp Hands Out, God In. When I applied for the position, I did not know I was going to meet amazing people, form new friendships, and strengthen my relationship with God. As you may or may not know, the theme for the camp was connecting to God through different mediums of art. These mediums were writing, culinary arts, theatre, music, and standard art. My goal was to have kids experience religion through a non-traditional lens. In the early parts of my elementary/teen years, I always found it hard sitting through a sermon. It was not because I did not know or appreciate Jesus’ unending love for me, but rather how this love was taught did not peak my interests. By having kids discover why Jesus’ love and connection to Him is important through mediums of art they enjoy and have full creative license, allowed for a new way to praise and worship God. Throughout the days, their hands were out creating love and joy, while God was working in their hearts. Which stands true to the meaning of the camp’s title: Hands Out, God In. Not only did the kids receive this testament, but I did as well. From the time I was in middle school, I made up my mind that I was going to live a life that helped others and strived to bring light to those around me no matter what I was going through myself.  Throughout the years, helping others has become as easy as breathing; it is now second nature to me. My passion for helping others started when my family was in disarray during my mother’s illness. From my experience, I know how hard it is to “just keep swimming” and how much easier it is to accomplish that when there is someone supporting you.

With that being said, I want to talk about a characteristic that is important to me and why I encourage everyone to look towards Jesus as an example of that characteristic. During camp, I picked a bible verse for each day. The very first day was Genesis 1:27 which states, “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” As Christians, one of our main goal is to be just like our Savior. Personally, for me, I would like to be as compassionate as Christ was. Reading about Jesus’ life on earth, I could not help but be in awe of His everlasting compassion. Especially because He was both God and man. Though I am not a God by any means necessary, I am still human and Jesus very well went through many of the things I go through or experience on a daily basis. We read about times when Jesus was obviously very tired and wore down from traveling around from place to place with His disciples and often having large crowds follow Him. However, through all of that, His compassion remained intact. His compassion never faltered for the lost, the sick, or the entire world. His love had no requirements. He accepted everyone as they were and still does. This amount of compassion that knows no limit, encourages me to have compassion for others. I am constantly trying to show love in my life. And I know that love comes from a pure place because it stems from the love Jesus had for me when He died on the cross. The verse 1 Peter 4:10 says, As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” I believe my gift is my compassion. And I believe that my purpose is to engage in a work that help others. In the education field, I know how much having a compassionate heart is important in the work you do. Educators create an environment for students and that environment needs to be one of love because there are many circumstances in this world that may hinder love from reaching the child. Also, one’s compassionate heart can encourage someone else to pay it forward which in turn, makes a better world for all of us. To end, I encourage everyone to be good stewards of the manifold grace of God. Your sense of compassion may not be directly related to students in a classroom. It could be towards co-workers, family members, animals, and the environment. In whatever area of your life, compassion is a key part of spirituality. It started with God’s unending compassion for us. Even though we have sinned and will continue to sin against Him, He allowed His son to die on the cross for us. That is the purest form of compassion and we can only pray and hope to be as compassionate as He was.