River of Life be­gins camp to­day

The Standard Journal - - FRONT PAGE - From Staff Re­ports

River of Life, a youth mis­sion ex­pe­ri­ence, will be hosted by the Rockmart First United Methodist Church July 8 – 12.

The event pro­vides an op­por­tu­nity for youth to be­come in­volved in planned ac­tiv­i­ties where they share spir­i­tual growth and fel­low­ship while serv­ing the needs of the el­derly, hand­i­capped and eco­nom­i­cally dis­ad­van­taged cit­i­zens of Polk County.

“River of Life is a camp like no other most have ex­pe­ri­enced,” said Pas­tor Jeanette Dick­ens. “Young peo­ple and adults from var­i­ous churches will come to­gether for five days ded­i­cated to serv­ing oth­ers in a new and ex­cit­ing way.”

She said the church hosted the first River of Life event in 2014. “Dur­ing the past year, we part­nered with churches from Rockmart, Cedartown, Rome and

oth­ers in the area to give youth an op­por­tu­nity to par­tic­i­pate in an ex­pe­ri­ence of serv­ing oth­ers.”

The River of Life event be­gins on Wed­nes­day, July 8 with reg­is­tra­tion, supper and ori­en­ta­tion. Youth and adults are as­signed to work teams and safety mea­sures are dis­cussed. Trans­porta­tion and meal de­tails are fi­nal­ized for the week. A wor­ship ses­sion ends open­ing day.

More than 100 youth and adult vol­un­teers will par­tic­i­pate in three days of ac­tiv­i­ties, which be­gin at 7 a.m. with break­fast and de­vo­tional time. There­after, par­tic­i­pants will leave for work sites un­der the su­per­vi­sion of ca­pa­ble and ded­i­cated team lead­ers. Dur­ing these three days of phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity, par­tic­i­pants can take time to get to know the peo­ple they are serv­ing.

In 2015, youth will help com­plete 10 projects through­out Polk County. These in­clude the Sil­ver Comet Trail, re­pair­ing and re­paint­ing work at var­ied homes and other as­sign­ments.

Each day, they are trans­ported back to the high school for showers and then to the church for leisure time, din­ner and wor­ship. Var­i­ous recre­ational down time ac­tiv­i­ties are of­fered dur­ing the week, in­clud­ing tour­na­ments in vol­ley­ball, dodge ball or broom hockey. A prayer labyrinth was re­ported to be an en­rich­ing op­tion dur­ing the past year.

On Sun­day, the event cul­mi­nates with a 10:30 a.m. River of Life wor­ship ser­vice, which is open to the public. Tes­ti­monies and ex­pe­ri­ences are shared about life-chang­ing events at the camp. Singing and an in­spir­ing mes­sage sum up the week. A cov- ered dish lunch fol­lows the event with mem­o­ries shared through awards and a video.

Host­ing River of Life takes months of plan­ning and part­ner­ship from var­ied churches. This year, this list in­cludes Due West United Methodist Church, West Ridge, Dal­las UMC, Rockmart First Bap­tist, Cedartown First Bap­tist, Abun­dant Life and Rockmart UMC.

This year, Va­ca­tion Bi­ble School at Rockmart UMC will co­in­cide with River of Life ac­tiv­i­ties.

The ex­tended day will give the chil­dren an op­por­tu­nity to share spe­cial time in group set­tings that in­clude art, story, mu­sic and more.

For more in­for­ma­tion about River of Life, call the church at 770-6846251. First Methodist UMC is lo­cated at 135 West Church Street in Rockmart.

Con­trib­uted photo

Sev­eral par­tic­i­pants in the 2014 River of Life event were in­volved in a re­pair project at a Polk County home.

Con­trib­uted

A group par­tic­i­pat­ing in the River of Life event at Rock­mart First United Methodist Church in 2014 was ready to work on day’s assignment.

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