In Tempe, Arizona, a student recognized a need in her community and wanted to mobilize her church to do something about it. With 10,000 families homeless in their state and about 7,000 of them in their city, it became clear to the student ministry at Living Faith Anglican Church that they needed a practical way to help. Blake Plympton, the Director of Youth Ministry, shared, “We have been seeking ways to have a missional encounter with our community. After a student mentioned making blessing bags, God made it very clear us that this is something we needed to do.”

Students first spent time learning more about the felt needs within their community. With funding from the Champion Grant, these students then put together 36 bags to be handed out in their community. Not only did they put together the bags, students were instrumental in handing them out as a part of their daily lives. Blake noted, “I wanted to make sure that our students felt empowered to take on this task and ask their parents to be intentional with the way they drive and what exits they take off freeways and such.”

Throughout this project, students were challenged in their way of thinking about the needs around them. They were also invited to take on new initiative in serving their community. Parents were grateful, though some were surprised, that students were invited to take the initiative in seeking out people to whom they could give the bags. This was an eye-opening experience for young people at Living Faith and a practical way for them to serve and respond to the needs of their community. As we love and lead young people, how are we sending students out with the love of the Father?

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Anna Burden

Anna Burden

Coordinator for Student Leadership Network

Anna Burden grew up in the church and has felt called to student ministry since she was in seventh grade. She studied Youth Ministry at Eastern University and has experience working with churches and student ministries of various sizes. Anna and her husband, Colin, now live in Quincy, MA with their two cats. She works for the Anglican Diocese in New England as their Family Ministry Assistant. Anna is passionate about helping young people discover their identity
in Christ, their belonging in the family of God, and their gifts for Kingdom purposes.

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