Palmetto Collective Serving in NYC
This summer, two students from the current Palmetto Collective (PC) class and one former PC student served in the bustling metropolis of New York City.
A Diverse Environment
Hannah R., a graduate student pursuing a Master’s in Christian Ministry and former Palmetto Collective member, found herself in Queens, New York, serving at Journey Queens Church. She focused on children’s ministry, preparing lessons to teach kids about Jesus in a neighborhood with a significant Jewish population and a mix of anti-religious sentiments. Hannah discovered the importance of building relationships in a diverse and spiritually dynamic environment. “At my time in New York City, I’ve just realized over and over again how good God is and how worthy he is to be worshiped with everything,” Hannah said.
Charles Street, a college senior, spent his summer with Graffiti 2 Community Ministry Center in the Bronx. His responsibilities included organizing water games, enrichment programs, and teaching typing skills to children from various backgrounds, including those who recently immigrated to the United States. Charles embraced the cultural diversity of the neighborhood and recognized the unique needs of each individual.
“Through Palmetto Collective, I’ve learned that ministry is more relational-based,” Charles said. “It’s been nice to be here for ten weeks now because even the community recognizes it when you’re just a short-term person.” He explained that some of the children he worked with didn’t start to open up until three or four weeks into his stay in NYC.
Edith Dixon, also a college senior, joined Fordham Community Church in the northern part of the Bronx. She taught English as a Second Language (ESL) classes twice a week and engaged in conversations with people from all walks of life. Edith is pursuing ESL as a long-term goal, so she explained, “To be a part of that and see a small glimpse of what my long-term future could be, whether in the States or overseas, has been really encouraging.”
She was pleasantly surprised by the openness of New Yorkers to engage in meaningful conversations and the deep sense of community she discovered. “One of the biggest things I’ve learned is through genuine relationships and approaching people, everybody wants to be talked to. We’re all craving community. We all want to be known by somebody,” Edith said.
Serving with PC
These students not only served their respective communities but also grew personally and spiritually throughout their summer experiences. PC played a significant role in providing them with mentorship, spiritual support, and the opportunity to discover their calling in ministry.