Episcopal Diocese of Rochester
Joy in Christ, a way of life

Youth in Mission: Missionpalooza 2016!

Submitted by the Rev. Christa Moore-Levesque

This summer fifteen youth from four different churches gathered together for a week of community service in the City of Rochester. The youth, in grades 6-12, spent time at different organizations, all with a different focus on addressing poverty in the city. We served at 540 West Main Street, St. Peter’s Soup Kitchen, St. Mark’s & St. John’s Episcopal Church, and Cameron Community Ministries.

At 540 West Main we worked with a man named Calvin Eaton who is working to spruce up the Susan B. Anthony district of the city. Groups of youth and leaders picked up trash along the streets and watered flowers planted in sidewalk boxes. We learned about the different forms of outreach that Calvin supervises — including an internship program and teaching cooking classes.

We also spent time at Cameron Community Ministries. One day a group cooked in the soup kitchen and helped clean up the space. Another day a group was able to play with children in the summer camp program. We learned about the various ways that Cameron reaches out to the surrounding community, including their feeding programs and clothing closet.

It was a busy week, filled with hard work, reflection, and lots of laughter. The youth learned a lot. One wrote, “I learned that there are hundreds of people in need of basic things, just a couple of miles from Pittsford, one of the wealthiest places in the country.” Another youth said they appreciated that they were able “to see parts of Rochester that I don’t normally see.” All of the youth commented on how they liked the feeling of being able to help, even in small ways.

In August 2016, youth from St. Thomas’, Rochester; St. Paul’s, Rochester; Christ Church, Pittsford; and Church of the Good Shepherd, Webster experienced this free-of-charge local week of service. Join us for next year’s Missionpalooza! It is open to all youth of the diocese (and friends)! Save the Date: July 31- August 4, 2017.

If you have questions, please contact Christa Moore-Levesque (curate@stthomasrochester.org), Jay Burkardt (jburkardt@stpaulsec.org), Ron Young (ronald@christchurchpittsford.com) or Keisha Stokes (youth@episcopaldioceseofrochester.org).