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Kids at Enumclaw's Calvary Presbyterian Church hope online video will net them $25K endowment

The youth at Calvary Presbyterian Church in Enumclaw are counting on online video viewers to help them earn a chance at $25,000.

Presbyterian youth groups from across the country were invited to participate in the online Youth Video Challenge as part of Youth Mission Initiative Live (ymiLIVE, pronounced why-em-eye LIVE).

Calvary Presbyterian is competing to win one of two $25,000 endowment funds established by the Foundation to benefit their church youth ministry programs.

For the contest, youth groups created a two- to four-minute video with their interpretation of John 7:38, “Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living waters,” which is the theme of the General Assembly – then posted their video to ymiLIVE.org.

Enumclaw residents will find familiar places in Calvary Presbyterian’s video. Calvary youth filmed along Cole Street and at Grocery Outlet. The Enumclaw High School video production classes helped out and the team set the video to the song “Chances” by Five For Fighting.

“I just think it’s cool that we had to get a lot of community support to make this happen,” said Ben Auger, Youth Director at Calvary Presbyterian. “As well, we’ll need community support for our video to win because people need to vote for the best video.”

Auger, who joined the staff in September, said he didn’t realize he had such a talented group on his hands. The video team, actors and supporting crew include Demetri Anderson, David Smith, Tyler Salsbury, Tyler McCarthy, Emily Gulan, Indigo Truitt, Shane Holte and Jeremy McCarthy.

The clock is counting down. On-line voting will continue through Tuesday, anyone can vote. To register, view and vote for the video go to http://www.ymilive.org, click on the videos tab and look for Calvary Presbyterian, Enumclaw.

On-line voters will narrow the field of video entries to 10 finalists. Selection of the two winning videos will be made by a vote of the 15-member General Assembly Task Force on Youth and announced during the Assembly in July.

The inaugural Youth Video Challenge in 2008 drew more than 100 submissions.

At last count, about 190 folks had voted for Calvary’s video, but Auger thinks they will need more to make the top 10. He’s confident once they get that far, they will win.

“Ours is definitely the best,” Auger said, noting some bias. “It’s as good as, if not better, than any of the others I’ve seen.”

Viewers seem to agree.

“Out of the multitudes of videos I watched, this one was by far the best interpretation,” wrote one viewer in the comment section. “I must say that I am proud that the youth of our country are not afraid to stand up and proclaim the love of God out loud! Well done everyone!”

“When we originally planned this initiative, I would never have dreamed of the far-reaching impact it would have on so many different groups,” said Colleen Hahn, the Foundation’s vice-president of marketing in a press release. “The youth group leaders told of how this project brought their group together and focused around their interpretation of scripture. Even if they were not chosen as finalists, it was still a great experience. People were talking about the videos — which ones made them laugh or cry, the ones that were their favorites. These videos connect people on whole new levels of spiritual life that words alone cannot.”

“This YouTube generation has such unbelievable creativity when it comes to saying what they believe through videos,” Presbyterian Foundation President Tom Taylor said. “Some of these kids’ video-statements of faith are funny, others are heart-wrenching. All of them are profoundly meaningful when one reflects that they are being created by our teens who our culture is pulling in so many other directions, many of which are destructive. I thank God for the ymiLive Challengeas a ministry to our youth and for their ministry to us in return.”

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