Voices of Youth tour to make Franklin stop

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 26, 2007

FRANKLIN—Sometimes, it’s good to hear voices — especially if they are producing the gospel.

&uot;The Voices of Youth — Awakening the UMC to Mission,&uot; is a Virginia-based choir of high school youth who are primarily focused on experiencing United Methodist missions and to share their experiences through music.

The group tours each year, alternating stops out of the country and within the United States. This year, the tour stays in the country, and Franklin will be the first stop for VOY members at High Street United Methodist Church on Friday.

According to Pastor Susan Reaves, the tour gives the youth the opportunity to sing and share what they have been doing in the mission and educate others about the things they have done.

&uot;They perform some traditional songs and other fun songs, but they all have a religious theme,&uot; she said.

Although the majority of the time, the tour is just for VOY members in the state, occasionally someone’s application gets accepted who falls outside of the district. Seventeen-year-old Elle Street of Ohio, the daughter of Brenda and Robert Street, formerly of Franklin, will be included on this tour. She was baptized at High Street UMC.

She said in a newsletter that this year, VOY would be working &uot;exclusively with immigrants in southern Florida, mainly Cuban and Creole, to spread the good news of Jesus Christ.&uot; Street is in her third year of Spanish and is excited to be able to use what she has learned in mission. The group will be in the Miami area and working with Kim King Torres of Branches Outreach Ministry in Florida City.

&uot;I feel that God is using my interest in languages and world cultures, as we will also visit a refugee resettlement facility, give a concert for a Korean congregation, perform at the Filipino Methodist Annual Conference and work with immigrants enrolled in an ESL program on the Eastern Shore of Virginia,&uot; she said.

Also joining the tour are two Floridians, one from Haiti and one from El Salvador.

&uot;Members of the church are going to put everyone up for the night and feed them breakfast,&uot; said Reaves.

&uot;I’m looking forward to them sharing what they did in Miami.&uot;

The theme of the 2007 Voices of Youth tour is &uot;Weaving a New Community.&uot; There are 41 youth from 14 of the 18 Virginia districts participating.

The group will be at High Street on July 27 at 7:30 p.m., and will then move on to Chesapeake. The tour winds down in Richmond on Aug. 5.

&uot;Anyone interested may attend,&uot; said Reaves. &uot;We’re hoping to fill the church.&uot;

For more information, contact High Street United Methodist, 562-3367.