“We spent our Friday night to Saturday afternoon very differently from our usual routines. On Friday night we came together with youth from 4 other congregations in the heart of Worcester to meet 6 brave people (our Guides) who have dealt with issues in their lives so very foreign to us….Their stories were tragic and fascinating and powerful. The strength they displayed in their struggle to make a different life for themselves was moving….Saturday morning we were up early and were able to offer a few things to help make the people we met more comfortable….
We learned a lot in the 20 hours we spent doing ReachOut Worcester. We opened our hearts and minds and were rewarded for it. In the end, what we learned was that no matter how bleak the outlook, there is always hope.” –The Congregational Church of Harvard’s Youth Group
ReachOut Worcester (ROW) is an overnight immersion program for youth (ages 13 and up) and their leaders that is sponsored by WAMS in partnership with Worcester Fellowship, a UCC church dedicated to ending isolation through pastoral care and nurturing community. ROW participants experience the unique opportunity to increase their awareness of the social issues and assets of urban communities like Worcester, while engaging in hands-on service with fellow community members. ROW is offered once per year, in February.
During this insightful and impacting experience participants are invited to get to know ReachOut Worcester “Guides” who share their stories of living on the margins of society. Together with these Guides participants prepare to offer a warm place to sit or sleep, lunch, toiletries and other basic necessities and most importantly a kind word and a listening ear, to people in need in Worcester.
These activities are preceded and followed by times of sharing and reflection.
After talking about next steps for them personally and/or as a group, participants also prepare to present their experiences in their home setting (worship service or other forum).
To learn more about and/or to register for our next ReachOut Worcester, please see Upcoming Events.