Have you taken the time to familiarize yourself with the church’s mission statement? I like our statement because of its inclusiveness. It makes no difference if you are a young person, fresh on your faith journey, or a member who’s been worshipping in this church for decades, the mission statement is clear. We are all called because of how we’ve been changed in Jesus Christ. As a collective body “we are called to worship God, to share the Good News, to foster spiritual growth and to meet the needs of hurting people.”

Much prayer goes into the planning of the college ministry and youth ministry programs. This year I sensed God was calling our groups to go out and serve. A ministry that I value and have experience with is Metro Baptist Church in New York City. This small congregation actively serves the poor in their community year-round. They serve by feeding and clothing people in their community with their food pantry and clothes closet. They offer fresh food and food education through their rooftop garden, named the Hell’s Kitchen Farm Project. They provide a safe place for children and youth at their after-school program. They do all of these ministries and more, but they do not do it alone. They can’t do it alone. They are a small congregation that offers opportunities for other churches to walk alongside them in their ministry. First Baptist Church, Jefferson City, will walk alongside them this March with our college students and again this summer with our youth group.

I will travel with 7 college students to Metro Baptist Church from March 5-12, during the Carson-Newman Spring Break. As a group, we will participate in the church’s Urban Immersion experience. This experience offers our group the opportunity to serve and learn, and to reflect on mission and ministry in an urban city. This trip will be eye-opening for our college students who mostly come from rural to mid-size towns. This mission trip will also offer our students the opportunity to grow closer to understanding their own sense of calling and response to God's mission. We cannot go on this trip without some expenses. Our college students are only required to pay $200 for their trip. This will pay for some of the necessary expenses like transportation, lodging, the coordination by Metro Baptist, as well as some food expenses. We are asking for more assistance from the church to help pay for the meals and expenses that aren't covered. Donations can be turned into the church office labeled "College Mission Trip." We thank our church and covet your prayers as we serve in New York City.

Eric Hasha

Minister of Youth and College Students