Youth Service Project (YSP)

January 2023:

We thank the Youth Group for an inspiring Youth Sunday worship on Sunday, January 8. Many of them mentioned the impact of the YSP service trips – an annual week of service for teens in 8th through 12th grade. The 2023 Youth Service Trip is opening soon for registration and this summer they will be serving with Appalachia Service Project. Tricia will be hosting an information meeting on Sunday, January 22, 5:15 p.m. in the Youth Lounge for youth and parents.

2023 Theme: Love Strong

Luke 10:27 says… 

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind and love your neighbor as yourself.” (NIV)

This verse is a call to action, urging us to live as people who love God with everything we have and who extend the love of God to all people in need, our neighbors. We love God when we live fully in relationship with God and our neighbor. We love our neighbor when we reach out with compassion to all in need.
This connects deeply with ASP’s core value of “accepting people right where they are, just the way they are.” When we accept all people, share God’s love with them, and embrace them as neighbors–we become those who Love Strong.

October 2, 2022: Youth Service Project Report Back

We were blessed with a full house on Sunday to support our Youth Service Project report back!

Our youth inspired us with their hard work, perseverance, maturity, and humor, working together and forging memorable bonds with the families whose homes they helped rebuild in the Louisiana heat.

If you’d like to see highlights from their trip this summer, check out this heartwarming video Adam put together!

Each summer, a team of youth and adult volunteers from First UMC Santa Monica take time out of their summer vacations to go on a week-long mission trip. During the trip, youth learn about themselves and build relationships with people from all over the U.S., they learn teamwork and how to use power tools, and they are given the opportunity to help people to gain a safe, warm, and dry home to live in through their work. This service leadership opportunity helps youth to grow in their faith through serving others. We collaborate with reputable youth-centered service organizations, and while the location of the trips varies each year, the mission remains the same: Be in community and of service to those in need.

Summer 2022: Youth Service Project (YSP) – New Orleans

A group of 22 youth and adult volunteers from First UMC Santa Monica will be spending a week this summer helping residents in New Orleans working with an organization called Epworth Recovery Project. They have been active in the area since Hurricane Katrina. We are looking forward to helping people gain a safe, warm and dry home to live in, and most of all, we are looking forward to growing in faith through this service leadership opportunity.

This is our first service trip since the pandemic began and we are excited to make this commitment. 

In our youth group we talk about how our faith relates to our everyday lives and how we have the power to make a difference for one another in our world. We are guided by Jesus’ words inviting us to love one another and help those in need. The youth who have worked on service projects come back from their experience transformed, as you can see from pictures and videos at the bottom of this page.  

Our work is to share God’s love by working together to restore homes, empower people and change lives.


A LOOK BACK: 2018 YSP Epworth Project

Video by Adam Guerrero

A LOOK BACK: YSP 2019 Sierra Service Project

Youth Service Project – Radio Feature
While the youth were on their trip, the local Smith River Community Radio station did a feature about the service project, and First UMC Youth Emily Plukas was part of the group that was interviewed. Listen Here

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