Mission Spotlight: Missionpalooza
Celebrating its inaugural year in 2016, Missionpalooza offered an opportunity for youth to get involved in service projects in the City of Rochester. Fifteen youth from four different churches (St. Thomas’, Rochester; St. Paul’s, Rochester; Christ Church, Pittsford; and Church of the Good Shepherd, Webster) 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 whose mission is 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 cooking classes.
We also spent time at Cameron Community Ministries; one group spent a day cooking in the soup kitchen and cleaning up the eating area. Another day, a group played with children in Cameron's 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.
After four days of volunteering, the group then enjoyed a Friday Fun Day at Seabreeze! Check out the pictures below to see the youths' hard work.
Because of its overwhelming success, Missionpalooza is back for 2017! The youth will follow the same schedule of four days of service work and then a recreational day on Friday.
Interested in participating in this mission project? You can register by filling out the Registration Form, then submitting it to your local clergyperson or emailing the completed form (including medical section) to Jay Burkardt at St. Paul’s.
Each church participating should plan to have at least one chaperone/driver for a portion of the week.
Fast Facts About Missionpalooza 2017
Dates: July 31-August 4
Cost: Free! (Just bring money for lunch at Seabreeze)
Ages: Finished 6th grade - Finished 12th grade