My wife, Jen, and I are running in the 13th Annual Half Marathon in Ocean City, NJ, on September 24 to raise funds in support of developing and growing a youth ministry at our home church, First Presbyterian Church of Sparta, where I am an Elder.

We are very passionate about the importance of creating a fun, safe, and faith-filled environment and curriculum for our youth.  The funds donated will be used to 1) further create and establish a youth ministry, 2) invest in programs and events that our youth will be a part of, and 3) help offset the cost of bringing in a full-time Youth Director / Pastor.  Our previous Youth Director left around 2020 and our Youth program has unfortunately been reduced to a weekly Sunday School class for our pre-K to 3rd graders. We are very grateful for the volunteers who have stepped up to run Sunday School; however, we need to build a more impactful program with more youth involvement and activities for them, and one that also includes our older youth, whom have been largely excluded.  Given the challenging and chaotic world that tweens and teens are exposed to every day, keeping them on the path with Christ into adulthood is that much more critical to their overall well-being.

Because we are so blessed to have many Pre-K, mid-elementary and pre-high school aged children in the church, it is vital that we empower them as the future of our church and this world.  It is our responsibility to create a safe and collaborative environment which allows the next generation to develop their faith. We aspire to invest in our youth’s faith journey by helping them to build strong relationships with one another while cultivating a service-oriented mindset for giving back to their communities and other people.

Here is our church website if you want to check us out:

Please consider supporting this important initiative by donating to our run!