The following was submitted by Gladys Kadiri, a member at St. John Anglican Church in Sutton, MA, on the church’s baking ministry with their youth:
“How can we get our young people engaged in an activity that does not involve school work?” Our Pastor’s wife was wondering how to approach this issue when she came up with an idea. She thought of asking someone to come teach the young girls how to bake. One Sunday morning after church she shared the vision with me, and little did she know that cooking was my number one hobby. That includes baking. My mother was constantly catering for people, and she always had me help her bake and cook. I quickly jumped at the opportunity to share what l knew with young people who are at the age that l was when my mother taught me how to cook. We set the plans in motion and set a date for our first baking class.
The kids started off by decorating their own aprons and writing their names on them. I was amazed to see how engaged and creative they were. Each designed their aprons in their own unique ways, while helping each other glue on the decorations. By the end of the day we baked blueberry muffins, lemon cake, cranberry muffins, brownies, drop scones and a pound cake. All the pastry was served to church members the next day. We did have an issue regulating the temperature of the stove in the church’s kitchen, but once we perfect our skills as a team, we plan to sell some pastries to raise money for a new stove.
Our hope is that during our baking sessions adults will be given the opportunity to interact with each child individually to get to know them better and understand what they enjoy most by way of self-expression, art, and cooking. Our youth are the future of our church, and with many odds against them, adults must be more vigilant in knowing them, building relationships with them, and protecting them.