Adventist teens and young adults are being asked to skip church services on Sabbath, March 21, and instead engage in community service projects that allow them to “be the sermon.”
Hundreds of thousands of young people are expected to turn out for the church’s third annual Global Youth Day, which will be live-streamed online from various points around the world. The young people also will share their experiences on social media throughout the day.
“Just imagine young people leading churches that day to go out and be the hands and feet of Jesus,” said Gilbert Cangy, organizer of the initiative and director of the Adventist world church’s Youth Ministries department. “There’s nothing better than mission to bring us together as a world church.”
Cangy said the event helps bring unity to Adventist young people around the globe and is a chance to express creativity in service.
“Our ultimate goal is for Global Youth Day to be a springboard for service to become a way of life,” Cangy said.
At past Global Youth Days, young people from Namibia to Norway have visited the elderly in nursing homes, sang to prisoners, and offered health and nutrition information in city squares. Many prayed with passers-by. In all, they carried out millions of acts of kindness.
Cangy said he was impressed with the creativity and diversity of the initiatives.
In Britain, an iconic red Routemaster double-decker bus was transformed into a health center offering free health screenings and prayer on London’s Oxford Street. In Mexico City, youth prepared hundreds of meals for patients and families at hospitals, while others invited people to listen to health talks and receive health screenings in a park. In Colombia, youth set up “prayer stations” where they offered to pray with passers-by on city streets.
In the Philippines, young people distributed supplies, prayed with passers-by and demonstrated other acts of compassion before meeting for a “Compassion Walk” in central Manila.
The Youth Ministries department is coordinating the 2015 event among all 13 of the denomination’s world divisions.