Girls’ small group celebrates ‘sweet 16’ by blessing others

At first UMC Russellville, youth in 8th through 12th grades meet weekly in “Impact” small groups, divided by age and gender. The sophomore girls’ Impact group recently began thinking of all the things they didn’t need for their approaching 16th birthdays. They decided that as they spent this year celebrating, they would use it as a time to give, sharing 16 blessings with their community.

The girls planned to share blessings with staff members at their schools, firefighters, police officers, nursing home residents and random strangers. Stocked with goodie bags, money and handmade cards, they set out Dec. 4 for an evening of blessing others.

“They thanked a fireman for his service and left a goodie bag with him,” said Melissa Jones, director of youth ministries and an Impact group leader. “They surprised a stranger in a parking lot with a goodie bag and were energized by her joyous reaction. One lady at a nursing home held her card as a precious gift and said she couldn’t wait to show it to her children.”

Each of their blessings included  the same note:

In honor of our Sweet 16 birthdays, we are sharing 16 random “blessings” with those around us. Enjoy! – The FUMC 10th grade girls Impact group

“It was one of those nights where love is shared and ministry happened,” Jones said, “and it won’t soon be forgotten.”  
Students of First UMC Russellville’s 10th grade girls’ Impact group celebrated their birthdays by sharing random blessings with their community, including leaving money for the next person who uses this vending machine.