Youngtown United Methodist Church, over the last 15 years, and the partnering community has become very diverse with an increasing number of Hispanic and African American families living close by. Bringing new ministries, energy and vitality to Youngtown UMC has been a challenge. The goal of the local congregation is to determine the needs of the surrounding community and then invite them into newly created ministries that meet their needs.
Last February and March, our congregation met in 2-3 sessions to develop a Strategic Plan for the church. One of the new ministries suggested was to contact the local Girl Scout liaison in the hopes of starting a girl scout troop for this area and at the Youngtown Church.
Contact in April with Cynthia Sanders, the Support Executive for Girl Scouts-Arizona Cactus-Pine was made and the planning began. Cynthia suggested that we host a Summer Camp at the church from July 24-28, 2017, and then offer a troop start-up in the fall.
What a great success, as we hosted 20 plus girls and the Girl Scout staff from 9 AM-3 PM daily for one week. Activities included science tech projects, outdoor activities, life skills and community service with a celebration of music and song on the final day. Parents were invited and we learned that almost one half of the attendees lived in Youngtown.
Our church members planned, purchased and served lunch with clean up following. What an incredible opportunity for us with a real challenge to encourage those in attendance to learn more about our church and come to visit.
Our first leap of faith will be on September 11 when the interested girls attend the first Girl Scout meeting?
Watch for what comes next!
Pastor Patricia Magyar