Image credit: Pastor Lauren Carlson
The Calvary, Morganton, youth group received a 2022 Kaelke Grant that went toward providing the financial assistance needed to ensure that all of their youth who were eligible and interested could participate in their service-learning trip to The Dwelling, Winston-Salem, this past July. Their week was one of an immersion-type experience into the daily lives of those experiencing homelessness. Through the accompaniment model, they walked and worked alongside people from The Dwelling faith community. Whether doing a Pilgrimage Through the Margins, cleaning up a community garden, recycling bicycles, helping at the shower trailers, or running a day camp for underserved children in a mobile home park—just a few of the many experiences that week—they had the opportunity to hear the stories of our Dwelling counselors who currently experience homelessness or have recently been housed. They also joined together in worship, mealtimes, and fellowship throughout the week.
There were close to 80 youth and adults participating from North and South Carolinas, as well as Minnesota and South Dakota, which was a bonus opportunity after the cancellation of the ELCA Youth Gathering. Both youth and adults alike walked away with a better grasp of the belovedness of these siblings in Christ, and a new (or renewed) vision of what it looks like to truly see another for the wholeness of who they are and what it can look like when walking together in daily life.
Linda Kaelke served as Director of Christian Education for several congregations in the NC Synod and was the first advisor for LYO. Upon her death, she left the NC Synod with an endowment fund to support youth, used primarily to help fund mission trips. Grant awards are up to $800. Apply for a Kaelke Grant for your congregation! The 2023 deadline is Sunday, April 30. Questions? Contact Pastor Melody Simpkins, Children, Youth & Family Coordinator.