By Bryan Malley
MINNEAPOLIS, MN (April 15, 2014) — Nearly 270 students and youth workers from throughout the Northwest Conference converged on First Covenant Church for MOVE 2014, a weekend of teaching, worship, service, and experiential learning.
This year’s theme was “Lose Yourself,” based on Matthew 16:24-25: “Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.’ ”
The event, which was held April 4-5, kicked off with a worship service that featured a performance by hip-hop artists Urban Jerusalem, praise music by Dan Rodriguez and his band, and a message from Tim King, chief strategy officer at Sojourners.
King described his experiences at North Park University, first spending a night on the street with homeless people in Chicago and then going back to bring home-cooked meals as well as other food and to spend time with them sharing stories.
That experience challenged his assumptions about homeless people.
“It’s when you begin to get to know Jesus, and when you begin to lose your life, that you begin to find it again in some unexpected places,” King told students during the Friday night session. “What is it that is so hard, back in your town or back in your school, that Jesus might be calling you to do?”
On Saturday morning, youth groups fanned out to 12 different organizations and ministry sites across the Twin Cities for three hours of service, which included painting walls at churches, bundling up old clothes for thrift stores, cleaning storage spaces, and more.
After students painted a high profile wall at Crosstown Covenant Church in Minneapolis, Pastor John Jacobi said, “This was an incredible gift of the Holy Spirit at the right time. They did high quality work.”
When one of the Crosstown parishioners asked, “Why did they do this for us?” Jacobi responded, “This is one of the many advantages of being part of a larger church body.”
Saturday afternoon students and leaders returned to First Covenant for three different learning experiences. One experience concentrated on identifying issues in students’ home communities and helping them learn how to advocate for change. Another was a video that focused on what it means to live on minimum wage for 30 days. And the third was an interactive worship experience designed by worship curator Lilly Lewin.
Click here to see photos from the event.