M.O.V.E. 2011 draws 320 students to downtown Minneapolis for weekend of service, learning

MOVE-11-thumbOn April 1-2, 320 students and youth workers from throughout the Northwest Conference converged on First Covenant Church in Minneapolis, MN, for M.O.V.E. 2011—a weekend of teaching, worship, service and experiential learning. This year’s theme was “The Price of Justice.”

The weekend kicked off with a worship service that featured praise music and a challenging message from Eugene Cho, pastor of Quest Church in Seattle, WA, and founder of One Day’s Wages. ODW promotes awareness, invites simple giving (one day’s wages), and supports sustainable relief through partnerships, especially with smaller organizations in developing regions.

“We have to act upon our convictions. We have to act upon our faith in Jesus Christ. Everyone loves the idea of justice until it involves a personal cost or sacrifice,” Cho told the students. “We do justice not only because it matters to God, but because in that process we will be changed.”

Before heading to bed Friday night, students spent time with their youth groups preparing for the next day’s experiences.

On Saturday morning, youth groups fanned out to 18 different agencies and ministry sites across the Twin Cities for three hours of service, which ranged from preparing meals for homeless, to lawn care and clean-up projects, to playing with shelter kids, to the restocking of supply shelves at thrift centers and distribution warehouses, to packaging books for Africa.

Saturday afternoon M.O.V.E. participants experienced “Face the facts: Understanding Urban Poverty,” a simulation exercise created by Urban Immersion Service Retreats and the Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches to help people step into the shoes of a family struggling with their finances. During the experience, participants were broken into families of five and given a scenario based on current statistics for people living at the poverty level here in the Twin Cities.

While “playing” the game, students found themselves having to navigate systems and make difficult decisions to secure housing, employment and transportation, among other basic needs. By keeping a ledger of their finances and reflecting on both the positive and negative consequences of their decisions and situations, participants became more acutely aware of the realities of the working poor in our society.

M.O.V.E. 2011 concluded with another powerful worship session and message from Pastor Cho. Cho reminded everyone that justice requires faith, compassion, collaboration, perseverance and creativity. As a statement of support to Cho and the efforts of One Days Wages an offering of $850 was collected to support ODW’s rebuilding efforts in Haiti.

M.O.V.E. 2011 once again lived up to our expectation of expanding the worldviews of the participants and reinforcing how every individual motivated by God’s spirit can make a profound difference in the world.

Visit the Children, Youth and Family media page to see videos and a photo gallery from the event.