Plymouth's Global Youth Day Call to Adopt
20th March 2019
When faced with the theme of 'adopt' for Global Youth Day, our immediate thoughts turn to children being looked after by those that are not their birth parents. They have been sent for adoption for many reasons such as the death of their birth parents, or parents who are unable to care for them anymore. However, the word 'adopt' can be given to anything we choose to take up, follow, or use. We may choose to adopt a friend in need, courage in the face of adversity or an unwanted table that we can lovingly restore and make it new again.
Like previous years, on Sabbath 16 March Plymouth church rose to the challenge to 'be the sermon'. We organised and ran the church morning service which included a special musical item from Evi Costin. For the children's story, I shared what it means to sponsor a child showing the children photos a child in Thailand whom I sponsor through Compassion, a leading Christian charity. I then encouraged them to be mindful of those in school that may not have any friends and to 'adopt' them into their circle of friends.
Our very own Alex Baron was our speaker for the morning. He delivered a very thought-provoking message entitled 'The Weirdest Adoption' which emphasised just how much God loves us. He highlighted that often our relationship with Christ is one-sided; God is constantly telling us that He loves us and far too often He hears the heart-crushing response of 'thank you' from us rather than 'I love you too'. Barron shared the valuable points that God doesn't disown but adopts and calls us His children granting us a share of His inheritance despite our lineage. He died for us with no assurance that we would turn away from sin.
After our busy morning service and fellowship lunch a group of 16 drove to Hillside Court, a retirement flat complex in Plympton, Plymouth. We arrived early to set up and already the enthusiastic residents were gathering in the communal room in anticipation of our arrival. We were warmly greeted and quickly set up with the aid of the site manager, Jane. We started with a prayer and sang some well-known hymns accompanied by Matthew Herman on the piano, Daniel Costin on his saxophone and Evi on her flute. Next Pastor Clifford Herman led a general knowledge quiz with round one on the local area and round two more global. The group of 18 or more residents enthusiastically joined in, forming groups of three or four, easily outscoring the youth teams. After a quick break for homemade refreshments of cupcakes, scones and drinks everyone settled down to hand paint terracotta pots. Once finished they were filled with soil and summer bulbs for them to keep and nurture.
The residents were looked thrilled and everyone expressed they had a great time, thanking us profusely and urging us to return again soon. It was an eventful afternoon and it was great to chat and get to know the residents. In the evening the youth headed over to Pastor Herman's house to share food and play board games together. Last year the youth of Plymouth church got together and produced a hoodie with the words STRONGER TOGETHER on the reverse and it's a motto we continue to live by and promote in every event, activity or meeting we have. Spending time together and unwinding with like-minded friends is the perfect end to a busy day.