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In response to the ever growing need for extensive youth programs in the Wakulla and Franklin county area, the International Coalition For Youth Of Christ is asking local area churches, regardless of denomination, to open their doors to the ICYC ministry to allow them to organize weekly youth events geared toward 13-19 year olds.
ICYC is a non-denominational international Christian outreach ministry, organized in 1999 following the Columbine High School Shooting in Littleton, Colo.
Pastor Daniel Bodhi Chapin, who founded the program and is nationally been recognized in media and private circuits for his youth advocacy, recently relocated to Carrabelle.
“This is a family oriented community,” Chapin said. “This is a community which obviously is committed to encouraging its youth to engage in positive activities rather than simply roaming the streets or parks where they might become engaged with questionable behavior ultimately leading them to trouble.”
The challenge is that there are no real locations in the area which are open on a daily basis, specifically with activities which young people can enjoy and which ultimately can encourage them. Chapin said media attention will aid in spreading the word on this endeavor.
In addressing the call to area churches to open their doors on specific hours or the week, specifically over the weekends, Chapin said. “We’d like to show the kids and the community that there is a place for them to come into and play games, receive homework assistance, attend church services and outings.”
Chapin said he’d like to see Carrabelle serve as a beacon for other communities to follow.
Chapin hopes that local churches that typically are open a few hours per week, primarily on Sundays, will respond by opening their doors throughout the week to be there for the youth.
Chapin will oversee the collective program along with church leaders, parents and stated that he feels the community would support such a program financially and otherwise encourage youth oriented activities.
“There are Senior Centers – there should be a youth center.” Chapin said.
He called upon the community to create a collective of youth centers across the area.
Church groups or community building overseers who wish to dedicate their space for such programs are encouraged to contact Chapin at (850) 720-1061 or by email at email@example.com.