Our Mission trip is designed to bring our youth community together by showing God’s love through service to others. We begin building our relationships with each other in three ways: fun fellowship events, like going to the Escape Room, pizza parties and movie nights; fundraising activities to help defray our cost, like Souper Bowl Sunday, Shrove Tuesday pancake dinner, bake sales and our annual carwash; and local service to others, like participating in Common Cathedral’s City Reach program, sorting food at the Interfaith Council food drive, and helping at our church’s big events, like the Harvest Homecoming and the Christmas Pageant.
Our Youth Mission trip takes place the last week of June. In 2018, we went to NYC and “did God’s work” all over Brooklyn: We worked with SBP to help restore a home that was severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy. We did some organic gardening at a Buddhist retreat center, while learning about Buddhism and meditation. We helped with maintenance work at an Evangelical Church in Bensonhurst. We also devoted time to two different food pantries in Brooklyn, one through a Christian church and the other through a Hasidic Jewish community. We also got to experience the best of NYC – Coney Island, the 9-11 Memorial, seeing the Statue of Liberty from the Staten Island Ferry and a worship service at Trinity Church! Through all our experiences, we shared and observed what it means to show and experience God’s love to all.
In 2019, we went to Washington DC and participated in the Youth Services Opportunity Project (YSOP) for one week. Our group of 25 youth and 5 adults were divided into 4 smaller groups. Each day, we headed to a different part of DC to serve the community. We prepared and served food in soup kitchens, helped beautify a public park space, organized furniture and clothes for low-income new homeowners, and shared time and love with residents of a nursing home. On Wednesday night, we prepared a meal in the YSOP kitchen, then served and dined with our guests facing food insecurity. Our final “free” day was spent at the Arlington National Cemetery and the Holocaust Museum.
We were unable to go on our Mission Trip in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID, but were thrilled to finally be able to head to Farmington, Maine in 2022 and work through Mission at the Eastward, (M.A.T.E.) rehabbing homes for those in dire need. You can read an in-depth account of what we did here.
One thing is for sure, it’s always a life changing and rewarding experience for both youth and chaperones. The camaraderie, the hard work, and the acquiring of new skills bring epiphanies around inner strength and joy that come from serving others. If you ask any past participants about the trip, there is one particular sentiment that seems to resonate among all – the amazement at how people can rise from tragedy and find happiness and love in community.
We are enormously grateful to the Duxbury Interfaith Council who makes it possible for some kids to join the trip where it would otherwise be cost prohibitive. It is our goal to include all who wish to join in on the trip. Money should never stop anyone from participating in our trips.
Thank you to the entire Pilgrim Church of Duxbury community for supporting our efforts. We couldn’t do it without you.