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First United Methodist to offer Friday youth concert

Area youth are being invited to catch The Flame — not just this Friday but Fridays to come.

First United Methodist Church in Ironton will present its first-ever The Flame event Friday in the church fellowship hall.

The Flame is the name for the church’s recreational center. It is also the name for a new weekly youth event that is open to the public.

It is one of many changes and activities at the church aimed at bringing community and congregation closer together.

Dr. Wayne Young, pastor of First UMC said the new changes are meant to dovetail with a new emphasis in the Methodist Church of reaching out to the community and being more of a witness for Christ to those who may have little or no church previous involvement.

“By far and away, a person’s encounter with God and Jesus Christ is through church,” Young said.

“The more folks we can introduce to the church, the more we can introduce to Christ and his saving grace.”

New people

Three new youth ministers have been brought on board to spearhead the outreach to young people.

Emily and Jason Sharp have joined the church as youth pastors and will focus on young children through the middle school years.

Chad Leach has joined the church as the high school and young adult pastor.

In the past, one person has spearheaded the ministry for all youths from early years up through young adulthood.

But when church leaders met the Sharps and Leach and liked them all, the decision was made to extend an invitation to all three and split the duties among them.

“They have a mix of talents and gifts,” Young said of the Sharps and Leach. “We’ve never done this before but it seemed like the right time to do it.”

New activities

The Flame, geared toward kids through middle school age, will feature a variety of fun activities.

“It will be every Friday,” Jason Sharp said. “We’ll have some kind of event.”

“This weekend we’re having a concert but we might have fooseball and board games and concerts every once in a while.” Emily Sharp agreed.

“We really want to provide an opportunity for not only kids and teens but their families.

We want them to have the opportunity to grow with each other and grow in knowing the love God has for them,” Emily Sharp explained.

Doors will open at 7. Three groups will perform: The Turn Around, Out of Asher and GFAC Praise Band.

For younger kids, the church will also have an Easter Eggstravaganza Saturday, April 4 from 2-4 p.m.

It is aimed at kids ages 3-grade 5.

The activities will include an egg hunt, Easter Crafts, and a performance by the Chillicothe-based puppet ministry No Strings Attached.

One more change at the church: a new 14-passenger church bus was dedicated earlier this month and while it will be used for church outings there is some discussion of starting a bus ministry.

For more information call the church at 532-1196.

The church is located at Fifth and Center streets.