Youth Sunday Filled with Gratitude

Youth Sunday Filled with Gratitude

Church Youth Group Showers Congregation with Gratitude and Hope on Super Bowl Sunday

by the Rev. Andrea Baker, Associate Rector at Faith Episcopal Church, Cameron Park                            

At their annual youth-led service at Faith Episcopal Church, the JCrew (Jesus Crew) youth celebrated “The Feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple” by presenting the congregation with a liturgy overflowing with gratitude and hope. As always, before and after the 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. services on Super Bowl Sunday, the youth collected approximately 2,000 pounds of nonperishable items for the Food Bank of El Dorado County. As always, the youth read the lessons, and wrote and led the Prayers of the People for both services. As always, the JCrew Band led the music, and the youth shared a Response to the Word.

Inspired by the video Grateful: A Love Song to the World, the youth decided at their first planning session that the JCrew Band should play the video’s theme song for the Offertory. “The kids just blew us away,” reported leader youth Kimberly Furnari, who had shared the video with the youth after watching it in a yoga class. “We thought the video might give the group some ideas,” Furnari said, “but we never anticipated they would want to play such a complicated song with so little time to prepare.” When sophomore Alec Mattos showed up at youth group the next week saying he had learned the lead rap part by watching the video on YouTube, the youth leaders looked at each other and said, “Okay… I guess we’re doing it.”

JCrew Band leader Ken Shepard had already gone to work writing out the chords by listening to the song. 
With the help of parish administrator Barbara Gillsepy who tracked down songwriters Namesh “Nimo” Patel and Daniel Nahmod on Facebook, Shepard received permission to perform Grateful and a request from the artists to share a video of the JCrew Band playing the song, which Nimo Patel shared on his Facebook page with a shout out to the JCrew youth.

At the third and final meeting to prepare for Youth Sunday, 8th grader Emma Harvey showed up having taught herself the piano part. Seniors Cynthia Arocan and Lauren Olson stepped up that same night with powerful personal testimonies about “Gratefulness” and “Hope” that they had written for the sermon. Another crew of youth constructed a “Tree of Hope and Gratitude” on a wall in the narthex. At each service on February 2nd parishioners wrote messages of gratitude and hope on paper hearts and stars that were blessed at the Offertory and hung on the tree.

On Monday, February 3rd, youth leader Matthew Batkin best expressed the sentiments shared by so many of the more than 300 parishioners who attended Faith Church on Super Bowl Sunday, “I’m still on a Youth Sunday high!”

Click here
(or here) to view the original video, Grateful: A Love Song to the World, by N. Patel and D. Nahmod

Click here to view a video of JCrew Band performing Grateful

Click here to hear the Youth Sermon

Click here to see more photos of Youth Sunday 2014 at Faith Episcopal Church

Click here to view a video of KCRA Channel 3 TV News coverage of the Food Drive

All photos reprinted with permission of photographer, Barbara Gillespy.

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