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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Drawing on talent

What do youth like to do during worship?

You don't hear a peep from Justin Jabs. Instead of fidgeting and fussing during worship services at this 7-year-old is busy drawing pictures.

Justin's subjects include the pastor; organist; his brother, Jason, playing the violin; and other church-related activities. Even God has made an appearance, peeking out from behind the organ pipes.

After worship, Justin gives his signed artwork to his "models."

"We're impressed with the way Justin uses his God-given talents," organist Audrey Walsh says. "We hope this is only the beginning of the way he uses his drawing to glorify God and the church."

At Holy Cross Lutheran — a 60-member congregation in Rockport, Ind. — five girls like to use their talents as organists.

Carrye Troyer, 14, shares duties with head organist Mary Ann Howard. She also serves as an acolyte and leads the service when the pastor is away. Jenny and Julie Troyer, 12-year-old twins, assist with special music during the offertory and eucharist. Katie Grose, 12, and Mary Troyer, 7, can provide special music.

The youth at St. Mark Lutheran Church, Chula Vista, Calif., like to hear the children's sermons. Member Waver Campbell used his woodworking talent to develop five symbols highlighting celebrations and church seasons. During the year, each child received a cross (rally day), star (Epiphany), butterfly (Easter), dove (Pentecost) and little water jugs (Pentecost season) to hang on their bedroom walls.

Each symbol came with a narrative to reinforce its meaning. For example, the star's narration says: "The star guided the Wise Men in their search for the new king and represents Jesus' birth. Hang your glittered star in your room. With a small amount of light your star will sparkle to remind you of Jesus' birth. Jesus is the Son of God who gives light to all people living in darkness."

Jan Brosen, pastor of St. Mark, said of the project, "One member's talent was used in creating them, but [the symbols] in turn have created a positive stir within our congregation."


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