Youth have consistently been great congregational leaders for the ELCA Malaria Campaign, and this story from the Southern Ohio Synod offers a perfect example. St. Paul Lutheran Church in Westerville, Ohio recently hosted a successful fundraiser called “Nothing but Nets.” The youth of the congregation took to the basketball court and tried to shoot as many baskets as possible in one minute. All youth from gades 6 through 12 participated. People from the congregation pledged to support the youth with a donation per number of baskets earned. Pastor Aaron Layne said that it was the youth of the congregation that truly led the charge with this event. “Our youth really got the congregation fired up about this ministry. The response to this global effort of doing God’s work with our hands was truly inspiring.” The youth eagerly put together a promotional video to show the congregation. To watch their great video, please click here.
The project was rooted in an ongoing congregational emphasis on service. In the video, Pastor Layne informs us that, “Throughout this school year, our youth here at St. Paul Lutheran church have been doing many and various service projects here at the church, and in the community, and now we’re looking for our efforts to help others abroad in the name of Christ.” Pastor Layne noted that, in addition to being a fun way to raise money, the “Nothing but Nets” challenge really brought the congregation together. Everyone gathered in the gym between worship services, and onlookers were excited to see the youth shoot some hoops. The congregation rallied around a shared cause, and the enthusiasm of the youth was contagious.
We thank Pastor Aaron Layne for providing the content for this post, but we especially want to thank the youth of St. Paul Lutheran for their leadership, creativity and enthusiasm! Well done, St. Paul Lutheran of Westerville!