Posts Tagged ‘youth 1’

Story and photos by Ann Carter.

Youth 1 is a group you probably don’t hear much about here at Richmond’s First Baptist Church. Typically included in the broader category of Student Ministry, Youth 1 is a group of 6th and 7th graders who spend much of their time on the lower level of the church building forming their faith through studying scripture, building community and exploring their gifts and talents.

Acting out their faith naturally follows learning about their faith. And so they emerge from the basement and into the life of the larger congregation and community looking for ways to put faith into practice.

Walk and Roll with DannyThe most recent faith-into-practice story features Danny Taylor, a member of our church since 1985. Danny lives at the Virginia Home, a residential care facility for adults with disabilities. The only home of its kind in Virginia, it sits on the edge of Maymont Park, about a mile from FBC.

A couple years ago Danny invited Youth 1 to the Virginia Home Walk and Roll 5k. This event means a lot to Danny and the other residents of the Virginia Home. They really wanted to participate in the Monument Avenue 10k. But getting 130 wheelchair-bound folks to the starting line of a race with 40,000 participants has daunting logistics. So six years ago, the Virginia Home started The Walk and Roll 5K, which is a race with cheering crowds, balloons, bands, matching t-shirts, and medals at the finish line. It’s the Monument Avenue 10k without the hassle…and it’s half the distance!

Walk and Roll with DannySuch an event requires many volunteers. So, the Virginia Home looks for loud, loving, energy-filled people who can run or walk their residents around Swan Lake on a beautiful Saturday morning in May. And if Youth 1 is filled with anything, it is loud energy and love!

On May 16, 2015 we joined Danny and his neighbors Bill and Waynetta on their four laps around the lake. They loved it as we took turns pushing their chairs, trotting along-side them, singing songs, dancing, telling stories, stopping for water breaks and to watch geese crossing the road. And when we crossed the finish line, each resident was congratulated by name over the loudspeaker, was awarded a medal, and posed for a photo op. We all felt like rock stars!

Walk and Roll with DannyWhat a privilege to be a part of this special day. Danny, surrounded by members of his church family, got all the love and special attention he could soak up in a day. And Youth 1, surrounded by our Virginia Home neighbors, learned that joy comes not from our abilities, but from being known and loved by those around us.

The time we spend in church is important because we are filled up with love and knowledge and power and spirit. But our faith isn’t truly formed until we use it to touch the world around us.

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