Imagine if no child ever had to run a race in an empty stadium again….
Celebrate:TR was conceived after a team of leaders spent several months prayerfully listening to the young adults of Toms River. Through informal interviews and community mapping, we were inspired by the depth of spirituality among young adults in our community. Where we might have expected to discover apathy, we found a deep desire for belonging and purpose. In Toms River, there are young adults all around who are in need of meaningful community and purpose. The struggle to get by economically and to find fulfillment spiritually is an isolating struggle in the face of society’s many difficulties and our waning trust in religious institutions. This feeds a perception that young adults are self-absorbed and apathetic. The social pressure tells young adults that they should focus on their own survival—get the right grades, get the right job(s), pay the bills, and keep their head down. But despite all the pressure that weighs on young people to focus on the self and to move inward, we discovered that young adults have a stirring desire for connection with one another and connection to a greater purpose. We believe that their desire is for joy, not merely survival. Celebrate TR seeks to create outlets for belonging and purpose by mobilizing young adults to joyfully celebrate their community and discover God’s grace and presence throughout Toms River.
Whether it be at the local Freshman girls basketball game, the little league baseball field, or the community hospital, we will be a kind of pop-up cheer squad, lavishing celebration on those who too often get overlooked.
We’ll cheer, we’ll eat, and we’ll testify. In order to create a sense of belonging and purpose in our community with young adults, we are creating an outlet for them to gather in meaningful ways. Through community celebration gatherings young adults will have the opportunity to offer support and celebration for others.