Serve Seattle

As some of you know Light Up the City is a sponsored program of Seattle's Union Gospel Mission. The Mission's "Mission Statement" is "To serve, rescue and transform those in greatest need the grace of Jesus Christ." And we have a unique way of doing that through extended community and through the Church. One creative way to build up young leaders and instill a sense of service and love for the city (to serve and transform) has been through a ministry the Mission launched about 5 years ago called Serve Seattle. Serve Seattle is an intern discipleship program aimed at placing young adults (18-25 year olds) in an urban environment though our internship placement program in social justice ministry opportunities throughout the city of Seattle. Serve Seattle teammates are committed to living intentionally, caring for the vulnerable, and living out the gospel for the glorious name of Jesus. One of the graduates of the program wrote about her experience below to encourage pastors, lay leaders and others to encourage folks of this age group in their communities to visit a "Preview Day" they have coming up in July.

A year ago today, I was walking off a flight from Arkansas to Washington, into the city of Seattle, knowing no one and not sure what to expect. Six weeks later, I had formed bonds within the Serve Seattle community that have lasted, and even strengthened, over the past year. I left after the Summer Intensive program a happier and healthier human; one who had felt the depth of my brokenness, but who had also experienced Jesus in a way that finally made sense. A Jesus who does not fit inside the clean lines of rules or norms. A Jesus who cannot so simply be defined by terms or conditions used by religiosity. A Jesus who loved me through the community I became a part of, a community who taught me that my voice is important. That I am enough. That I am loved and valued. That truth is worth seeking and living out. That questions and doubts do not express weakness; they express a desire for growth and curiosity. That vulnerability breeds authenticity, and that an authentic life is what Christ calls us into. And above all else, I can choose to put on love every single day. I can put on love in my interactions with myself and with others, through open conversation laced with grace and understanding.

Serve Seattle has been an incredibly transformative piece of my journey, and it’s difficult to pare down into a small blurb of words exactly how and why. I walked into 1808 18th Ave. (where we live on Capitol Hill) last summer seeking what God had been speaking into my life for months, ready to hear it, and I did. And I was changed in so many ways.

A year later, I have the opportunity to be a part of the summer program; however this time, I am acting as the Summer Intensive Coordinator. I have the honor to play a part in facilitating the experience I had at Serve Seattle for others, and I am filled with gratitude. Yet, the best part about it is knowing that I have nothing to do with what will actually happen. Sure, I make the plans and lay out programming, but the real, true, deep experiences that these interns will have this summer has nothing to do with my plans. I would not have picked a better program to work for than Serve Seattle. With an incredible staff, who loves well and seeks to pursue truth and vulnerability, I feel at home in this community. And having the ability to call a workplace community “home” is a unique opportunity for which I am thankful.

Elizabeth Tate

We invite you and your friends to come and join us for our first Preview Day of this calendar year!

Our Preview Day is an all-day event that exists to give the folks in our community a glimpse into the world of Serve Seattle; an urban ministry internship program for young folks between the ages of eighteen & twenty-five. For more on Serve Seattle, visit our website at:

Think of our Preview Day as a small conference or short term missions trip for people of all ages. We welcome youth pastors, church youth groups, parents, high school upperclassmen, homeschoolers, college students, post-college graduates, ministry leaders, non-profit leadership, school faculty & more! More information on our Preview Day is available from our event page on Facebook @Serve Seattle.

We are offering this learning experience free of charge. Your only job is to travel to our communal home! We hope that you will join us this summer for a day filled with worship, learning, community & fun!

Please email or call us with any questions you may have.

Ryan Walters


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