First Presbyterian Church
Jamaica Queens, NY
What keeps me up at night?
As coordinator of Kid’s Church, I’ve been there long enough to be teaching second generation families. I have watched our children grow up, go to college and settle elsewhere. Very few return to church. What can the church do for the next generation? Why do our kids not return? Where do they go? How will the church be able to thrive if all our young people disappear? We looked at what was important to this generation, and their sense of community is strong and deep rooted. As a church, we embarked on a new initiative called the 20/30 Dream Hub. This was an opportunity for our young people to give back using their talents and entrepreneurial skills. What we discovered was that church isn’t about Sunday morning. Rather, it’s about activism.
What gets me up in the mornings?
I am the grandmother of eight and have mentored hundreds of children. The desire to leave them a legacy is what gets me up in the mornings. My church does an amazing job of capitalizing on the gifts of the next generation and also connecting people with their passion and sharing it toward the mission of the church. We intentionally create opportunities for children and youth to work alongside the older generation to serve in our weekly soup kitchen and food pantry. We intentionally plan our mission trips with the youth in mind so they can work alongside the adults to learn some of the life skills they would not receive otherwise. Our bi-monthly youth worship service is evidence of what intergenerational ministry is. The youth not only bring their gifts of drama, dance, and song, but they also bring out their families.
Dora Sawh was born in Guyana, South America and lives in Queens, New York. She has been serving at the First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica, New York in several roles for more than 34 years, including 10 years with their LOGOS ministry. She is an Ordained Elder, Kids Church Coordinator and Small Group Leader.