The weekend was also attended by many local Cincinnatians, the majority of the events of the weekend took place at the Miami Township Civic Center just outside of Milford, Ohio.
The weekend kicked off Friday night with a Bible study conducted by Kyle Bornhorst and Matthew Fenchel. In this study, we discussed how to not only prove our faith to one another but how to go about it out in the world amongst people with different beliefs. Finally, the evening concluded with singing and plenty of desserts to go around!
Sabbath morning saw us back at the civic center for thought-provoking seminars based on Ephesians 4, which was also the theme for the weekend. David and Prisca Kovalchick got us thinking about what each of us can do to make a more perfect Church body. Jaclyn Wilson and Lynette Fenchel dared us to push ourselves outside our normal service box and serve in ways that might be uncomfortable or scary. Derrick Fenger challenged us to take a good look at our priorities and make sure we have time to serve in an effective way.
Later that day at Sabbath services, Jason Nitzberg and pastor Steve Myers spoke more on different aspects of service. The events of the day wrapped up with dinner, which was delivered to us in over 30 LaRosa’s pizza boxes, and a fun game of Family Feud, which let us test our knowledge of the most popular answer on a series of questions. It was hosted by none other than the home office’s very own Matthew Hernandez, complete with his 1970s green game-show host suit and wired microphone. It was a memorable night with lots of laughs and ridiculous answers.
On Sunday we all went to the David and Rebecca Barron Center for Men, a homeless shelter near downtown Cincinnati. Despite losing an hour of sleep due to daylight savings, everyone was in good spirits and ready to take on the service project. After getting a guided tour of the facility, we were all put to work.
Some of our duties included painting walls, cleaning up the sleeping quarters, mopping the floors and giving out coffee and snacks to the residents. When asked about his task at the Shelter House, ABC student Jason Lovrien said: “It seemed to lift the spirits of the residents. Not only were their windows getting cleaner, but I had several positive interactions with people staying there.” There were others who shared similar positive experiences. Alissa Davidson, from Pittsburgh, said, “One of the residents told me how he was surprised how quickly everyone was able to clean up the place.” It seemed the consensus amongst those living at the shelter was that they were grateful for the help, and we as volunteers were glad for the opportunity to serve.
The weekend wrapped up back at the Civic Center with a presentation titled “My Way or Agape,” given by Isaac and Emily Nelson. They left us thinking about the only true way to serve others, which is in godly love. Mr. Myers then gave some final thoughts and sent us off, challenging us to follow through with any service-oriented goals we may have created over the weekend. Having attended the first Cincinnati YA Weekend in 2016, I can safely say this one was even better than the first.
Thanks to the hard work of Cody Martin, David Browning, Alyssa Archer, Stella Helterbrand and Corbin Rose, the weekend was a blast! God-willing, next year’s will be even better!