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Youth Sunday at Willow Grove Church Focuses on Peace


SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- The children and youth of Willow Grove Presbyterian Church invite the community to enjoy a special Youth Sunday Worship Service on Sunday, June 11, at 10:00 am. 

Willow Grove’s dynamic youth group, SIXTEEN13, will lead Sunday worship with the help of all the children in the Sunday School. The theme for the youth worship service is “Peace – Blessed are the Peacemakers.” Youth will invite the congregation to think about the people who have been peacemakers through history and how Jesus taught his followers to be peacemakers in their daily lives.

Some members of the youth group have created a special multi-media presentation. Other children and youth will share vocal and instrumental music. Highlights include Thomas Lim, freshman at J.P. Stevens High School, will play “Jesus” by Chris Tomlin on the violin.  The Children’s Bell Choir will play a special piece. 

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The enthusiastic middle and high school youth group, SIXTEEN13, who named themselves after the passage from 1 Corinthians 16:13, “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong,” have enjoyed special outings throughout the year. One special trip was to Bon Jovi’s Soul Food Café in Red Bank, a non-profit restaurant where everyone is invited to enjoy a meal. The youth group has helped set up classrooms and provide meals to homeless guests through Family Promise at the church.

Youth leaders and adults work together to shape this Christian ministry. Their programs include Sunday morning classes, Sunday afternoon lunches,  summer mission trips, musical jam sessions, Cooking Crew for all-church functions, technology workshops for adults and seniors, fundraising luncheons, community service projects, and faith-building programs. 

In July, SIXTEEN13 youth, friends, and adult advisers will depart for their annual mission trip to serve others and grow in Christian discipleship. This year the group will be going to Allentown, PA to stay at First Presbyterian Church and serve in various service projects in the area. At the The Wildlands Conservancy, they will be cleaning and mulching areas to preserve this special habitat.  At Second Harvest Food Bank, they will help sort food and load cars for distribution at local food pantries. The group will do activities with children at the Refugee Community Center  while adults are in ESL classes.  

Also, during the month of June, the SIXTEEN13 youth will be collecting food for the Everlasting Life Ministries. The agency provides food bags for Allentown School district children who during the summer months no longer have meals provided by the school district and they often go hungry. Items being collected are:  plastic jars of peanut butter, plastic jars of jelly, cereal/snack bars, squeezable apple sauce packages, and juice boxes.

On Youth Sunday, the Mini Mission group of children will celebrate their all their special service projects they have done during this past year. Children ages 4 – 6th grade have been learned about various needs and collected items to help people who facing different crises and challenges. The group collected and sent cleaning supplies for flood victims in West Virginia last summer.  In December they collected school supplies for Operation Christmas Child. They collected hats and scarves for Emily’s Hats for Hope project based in Summit, NJ. Pregnant women and new babies in Haiti received badly needed health supplies in April.

A vibrant Christian community committed to spiritual growth for all ages, meaningful programs for families, engaging worship, and serving neighbors near and far, Willow Grove Presbyterian Church is located in Scotch Plains at 1961 Raritan Road, across the street from the  Southside Firehouse and Southside Soccer Field, and near the corner of South Martine Ave. All facilities are handicap-accessible.For information about other ministries, visit or call 908-232-5678.

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