100 Students Put Feet to their Faith

Post a Comment » Written on August 25th, 2008     
Filed under: News
SEATTLE, WA (August 25, 2008) – One hundred students attended the first-ever Feet to Faith gathering in the North Pacific Conference and gained a better understanding of how they can respond to poverty and other hardships faced by their neighbors and those around the world.

The students participated in activities across the city that pushed them out of their comfort zones, as well as listened to speakers. Planners hoped the teens “would begin to ponder what God is calling them to do as they gain a holistic view of Matthew 25:14-46,” says Carolyn Potorek, one of the chief organizers and pastor to high school and college students at Trinity Covenant Church in Salem, Oregon.

The event was held August 6-11 at Seattle University. Each day was devoted to a different facet of compassion and justice:

  • International Day—students walked one kilometer carrying five-gallon water jugs on their backs. The distance is only one-fifth of what many in the world must walk each morning to retrieve water. Participants also wrote letters to their state senators encouraging them to increase spending for humanitarian aid.
  • Refugee/Immigration Day—students dressed as refugees and learned how difficult it is to get through various state department, health care, and food check points.
  • Race Day—students interviewed several people around Seattle to discover where and how people perceive racism and how the church contributes to those perceptions.
  • Homeless Day—students carried their possessions for twelve hours, purchased dinner with a budget of just three dollars, and slept outside in boxes in the parking lot of Newport Covenant Church.
  • Creation Care Day—students celebrated the beauty of creation while walking through Discovery Park.

The event also featured speakers that included Jim Sundholm from Covenant World Relief; Ernie Cathcart, director of Casey Family programs and member of Emerald City Bible Fellowship in Seattle; and Edward Sumner, who spoke on homelessness.

Planning for the event began a year and a half ago. “It began when a few of us youth pastors were talking and realizing that oftentimes we take students to help others around the world. But we felt we needed to be more intentional to disciple our students to see that God is calling them to show compassion and justice right in their own neighborhoods,” Potorek says.

The North Pacific Youth Commission will meet in October to determine the future of Feet to Faith and how issues of compassion, mercy, and justice will continue to be a part the students’ discipleship.

To view a video of the event, see FEET.

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