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Vessels: Community for Young Adults

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In this time of upheaval and uncertainty, we all need places of support and connection. For many in the 18 to 20s range, Vessels has been exactly that kind of place. Vessels is Woodland’s Young Adult Ministry, which meets for both weekly worship and learning and monthly for social gatherings to live into their vision of receiving God’s abundance so they can overflow into the lives of others.

Luke Jennen found Vessels after moving to St. Paul in the spring of 2020. It was a challenging time to find friends in a new city during lockdown, so when he heard Vessels’ vision for “community-orientation and authentic communication,” he was all in.

He says, “I really appreciated that they were meeting in person during the pandemic; it was such a relief to take a break from the computer and actually see people! It wasn’t long before I had connected individually with a few people at Vessels and hung out a few times. That quickly grew over time, and now I feel like I know almost everyone there at least a little bit.”

It wasn’t just COVID that made this past year hard; the extreme polarization of our country has been tough to navigate. For Luke, Vessels became a safe place to talk about these things.

He says, “There have been a number of controversial issues that we’ve discussed at Vessels where fairly liberal and fairly conservative members got into great conversations about the topic without even a slight hint of animosity. I think that just added volumes more to the general welcoming atmosphere; not only were they polite and willing to talk, everyone was also willing to have mature discussions about serious topics and not demonize each other when they disagreed.”

Luke thinks this kind of welcoming and engaging atmosphere is “EXACTLY what young adults need today.”

Sophie Crowell also joined Vessels after a roommate brought her along one Monday night. From the start she felt like she belonged: “Everyone is so welcoming! I instantly felt like I was a part of the group. I love that Vessels provided me with a place to go to find community even when everything else was shut down. As an extroverted person it was really good for me to have a place that I could look forward to going to every week, even if it was on Zoom! I have made so many amazing friendships.”

Like Luke, Sophie believes Vessels is the type of place young adults are looking for today. She says, “The Vessels ministry has made a great impact on my life! It’s an amazing community of young adults that is always willing to walk with you through whatever life throws your way.”

Vessels is moving into its fall programming and is open to anyone 18 to 20s looking for a place of community and growth. If that’s you, come join us! Or, if you know someone in that age group looking to connect, send them our way! To learn more, check out the Vessel’s page on our website here, social media (Instagram/Facebook), or contact Danny Churchill, our Emerging Generation Pastor, at dchurchill@whchurch.org.

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"We have been podrishioners for several months. Our daughter, son-in-law and grandkids moved back to California after living in MN for 10 years. They attended Woodland Hills for about a year before they moved. Now we all go to the beach together on Thursdays, come home and have dinner together, then we watch last Sunday’s sermon together. It is a special day for our family."

– Dale and Patricia, from California