Last week Christ Church sent some youth, and a couple of chaperones, on a mission trip to Rutland Vermont through Youth Works. The programming by Youth Works was quite strong and well organized. The service sites, and relationships with various organizations, have been maintained by Youth Works for over a decade in Rutland. Christ Church was one of many churches serving with Youth Works during the week.

Our group was divided into two “service crews” for the week. Each day we would have breakfast with the entire group before going off for morning prayer using Youth Works material. Before 9am we would be off towards various sites. The two crews from Christ Church were sent to the Salvation Army, a community garden, Pine Hills Park, Kids Club, a retirement community, and a local farm. The kids were able to interact with various members of the community from all walks of life. They played piano and cards with the elderly, created new trails, created curriculum for Kids Club, and helped the local Salvation Army. The work was hard, but rest assured Christ Church has wonderful and amazing youth who took all of the bug bites, bruises, sunburns, and dirt in stride.

The evenings were spent doing a fun activity from swimming in a beautiful lake outside of Rutland, rock climbing, and having a cookout with members from the community. Youth Works led an eccumenical worship service every evening, and afterwards each group would break off into their own church groups where we would discuss the day and pose various questions. I’m still astounded by the maturity of the youth and how they handled the week.

When we left Rutland on Friday we stopped for a bit of fun at a local ropes course. The youth all cheered and supported one another through various courses before we made our way to Albany New York to stay at a local Episcopal Parish.

 The week was long and exhausting, but well worth the time. Christ Church has an incredible reach and the youth expanded that reach while building new relationships in a tiny town in Vermont. I’m incredibly grateful for the time and willingness of the youth of Christ Church to get down in the dirt and do some amazing mission work.