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Pre-implementation teams include, front from left, Charlotte Skoviera, Gloria Meyer, Marina Tingblad, Brandon Perry, Kim Peters and Tanner Simmons; second row, Carol Smith, Louise Katner, Janelle Olson and Charlie Johnson; third row, Cody Smith, Matthew Yerry, Emily Wyland, Angela Leitzen, Katrina Anderson, Adrian Quilling, Andrew Hoffman and Larry Huiras.

R.E.S.C.U.E. in Christ Ministries share their vision

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Brandon Perry, the Director of the Youth Ministry at Trinity Lutheran Church in Hudson, together with Gloria Meyer have been two of the driving forces behind R.E.S.C.U.E. in Christ Ministries. The group has been gathering information, volunteers and creating a mission statement for the last year and a half.

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"R" is for Recreation, "E" for Education, "S" for Service, "C" for Community, "U" for Unity and "E" for Ecumenical.

The group's mission is "to create a safe, engaging, Christian based environment for youth in Hudson and the surrounding area, a place where people can come together to: learn, teach, play, pray and serve each other and the community. To provide an alternative space for people to experience and reflect on the virtues of a Christian lifestyle. To offer facilities for religious congregations and community organizations to focus, connect and bridge their ministries and outreach programs for and to youth and their families."

After months of study and outreach as well as presenting their vision, first to the Ecumenical Youth Council and then to the Hudson Area Ministerial Association, the board of directors decided it was time to roll out their concept to the public. They did so on Oct. 30, by inviting 300 people to attend an informational gathering held in the evening at Hudson High School.

"The purpose of the meeting was to inform and recruit people to help," said Perry, who has been in youth ministry for over 12 years. "We wanted to share what we are dreaming about. We call it a movement."

"We have set out the foundation, and from that meeting we now have 27 people serving on four teams," said Perry. The teams include ministry, facility, community and financial. "Each team is doing research. The goal is to come up with a phased development project."

For the youth of Hudson, according to Perry, there is a lot of poor decision making time where they can be influenced in a negative way. It is very real and it is happening in Hudson -- drugs, alcohol and sex.

The group is not intended to replace the existing youth ministries but to build a bridge between them.

"We want to create an environment that is centralizing," said Meyer. "We don't want to evangelize. We want to provide them with alternatives, such as community service activities or mission trips where they can share. We want to be the face, hands and feet (of Christ)."

"We want to provide them with a positive message," said Perry. "The goal is not to create a glorified 'baby' sitting place but a place for them to come and have fun and share."

The group is established as a 501(3)(C) organization. Serving on the board of directors are Jack Jorgensen, Pam Wirtz, Deb Hoople, Dee Tennant, Larry Huiras, Gloria Meyer and Brandon Perry. Four area churches are represented, St. Patrick Catholic Church, St. Francis Church, Trinity Lutheran and Shepherd of the Valley.

Gloria Meyer graduated from UW-RF in 2011 with a degree in psychology. As executive director of R.E.S.C.U.E in Christ Ministries, it was her experience on campus that reaffirmed her determination that she really wanted to help.

The response has been positive from the youth involved.

"One young person, came up to me and asked if he had to be Christian to be involved," said Meyer. "He was thrilled when I told him we are open to all. We are all different and that is okay."

For more information about R.E.S.C.U.E. in Christ Ministries you may call Gloria Meyer, executive director by phone at 612-867-7055 or by email at gloriakmeyer@yahoo.com.

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