Posted in Live the Bible

Living the Bible

Written by Patrick Landau, our youth director.

On Sunday, I preached a sermon in which my basic point was that sharing our faith is more about living out what Jesus teaches and sharing how that affects us than about heaven or hell.  I heard from one of the Sunday school teachers that some of the youth were interested in picking out a verse to try to live out each week.

Since the Bible is rather long and it might be hard to know where to start, I am going to write a few posts over the next month that will hopefully be helpful.  Let’s start by looking at the book of James found near the end of the New Testament.  James is a great practical book as it mostly deals with how Christians are supposed to act and treat each other.  It’s also five relatively short chapters, so it easy to read through.

Try this week to take one verse from the book of James and live it out.  It can be connected to the themes or passages below or something completely different.

Important Themes:

Watch your mouth! There are several verses that deal with how we are supposed to speak and use words.  James tells us to be quick to listen, that it is important to control what comes out of our mouths, and to follow through on the things we promise.

Rich and poor. James is pretty clear in saying that among Christians there should be no discrimination between rich and poor.  Selfish ambition is greatly criticized in the letter, and there is a specific admonition against rich people who are trying to cheat people by not paying them for their work.

Faith needs action. Probably the most well known passage in the book is James 2:17, which says that faith without works is dead.  In this passage and repeated later, James makes it clear that our faith is something to live out through our actions.  We cannot just wish people well and ignore their needs and consider ourselves to be good, religious people.

Miscellaneous. There is also some stuff about learning from hard times, praying, temptation, making plans, and some strange thing about Elijah at the end.

Popular passage:

“If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,’ and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.” -James 2:15-17 (NRSV)

Random verse I didn’t know was there:

“But the wisdom from above is first pure, and peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy.” -James 3:18 (NRSV)


Posted in Y4DCC

Y4DCC: Movie Viewing


On Thursday afternoon, we took advantage of the much needed air conditioning to watch a movie about the Montgomery Bus Boycott called Boycott. One of our church members, Erik Dellums, plays the role of Bayard Rustin.  It was a great movie, and a good introduction into the Civil Rights movement.

Posted in Y4DCC

Y4DCC: Police Station Tour

On our final day, we visited our local police station (2nd District) to get a better understanding of what police do and to begin to build relationships.  The youth received a thorough tour of the facility including the detention area, interview room, body camera shelves, a police car, and a pay phone!  Our tour was led by the wonderful Officer Anthony O’Brien, who gave us a thorough introduction to the breadth of policing in the city.


Posted in Y4DCC



We began our week this year at the General Board of Church and Society (GBCS), which is the advocacy and social justice arm of the United Methodist Church.  Headquartered in The Methodist Building adjacent to the Supreme Court, we completed a full day seminar on poverty and homelessness in DC.  This included games, like the one pictured above, as well as guest speakers from the Coalition on Homlessness and Jobs for Justice.

The youth had the opportunity to hear from two formerly homeless individuals who shared their story of going from a middle class life to homelessness and their recovery from it.  We hear about the challenges people face in our city to find housing and that the top reasons for homelessness included lack of affordable housing, lack of good wages, unemployment, abusive situations, and mental health.

We ended the day with an artist who walked the youth through writing poetry as an expression of what they are seeing, thinking, and feeling.

Posted in Y4DCC

Y4DCC: Worship and Reflection

Every evening at Y4DCC, we gather for worship and reflection.  Our worship leader, Chris Simon, leads us in contemporary renditions of songs and hymns as well as leading the kids in individual acts of reflection.  Instead of a sermon, we have had small group discussions about what we have experienced  each day as a step toward processing all that we are doing and learning.

On Wednesday night, we were joined by Elle Smiley, an American University student majoring in education.  She had a short activity and presentation that focused on education inequality throughout our city and was a brief introduction to some of the systemic problems challenging our society.

At different times throughout the week, we have been joined by a partner youth group from Ashburn, VA led by Leigh Finnegan-Hosey.  Formerly the volunteer coordinator of our Campus Kitchen, she now has a youth group of her own.  While they are doing different service projects, we gather together for worship and pizza.

Posted in Y4DCC

Y4DCC: Mt. Vernon UMC Dialogue


Today, we spent our morning engaging in dialogue with other youth and young people from the opposite side of the city.  In a joint conversation led by our youth director Patrick Landau and community organizer Rev. LaTaska Nelson, we walked through a series of questions to begin a dialogue around race.  As tensions in our country are rising around issues of race and policing, we hoped to bring youth together to learn a little about each other and how they perceive each other.

Both kids, youth, and adults posed questions to the group from how we perceive people of different races to our reaction to the police.  One of the most poignant moments was when a young girl, most likely six or seven years old, asked the group why do white people hate black people?

Out of this discussion, we took a step forward to making a commitment to address the inequality in our city.

Posted in Y4DCC

Y4DCC: Campus Kitchen


We spent Wednesday morning this week with Chef Anthony at Campus Kitchen, located in our St. Luke’s Mission Center.  The meals made here serve various communities in DC including Hughes Memorial and Mt. Vernon UMCs, which we are visiting this week.

The Campus Kitchen repurposes thousands of pounds of food each month that would have otherwise been thrown away into hundreds of meals for people who would have been hungry.  This is a continually growing program that is part of our ministry at The Metropolitan Church (Metropolitan Memorial, Wesley, St. Luke’s).

If you are interested in helping out at the kitchen, there are shifts Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday every week.