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Smithville United Methodist Church in Dunkirk has a newly formed youth group, and it plans to make an “impact.”

The youth group, led by the Rev. Allen Joseph Hemming, the church pastor, is going to be joining other area youth groups in March for a youth conference, “IMPACT 2013: Beneath the Surface.” The event, which is held in Ocean City every year, will be from March 22 to 24.

IMPACT is for high school students and, according to Hemming, this is the first year the Smithville UMC youth group will attend IMPACT. Hemming said he has purchased 15 tickets for the youth group.

One of those joining the group is high school student Bo Oliver, who has attended the conference in the past with another youth group. “It was put together really well,” he said of the conference.

Although the Smithville youth group has not attended the conference in the past, Hemming said he has been 15 times.

“I went when I was in high school,” he said.

Now, Hemming will share his experiences with another generation.

The youth conference features speakers and live music performances by Christian artists.

There will also be adult training. According to the website for the conference,, Youth for Christ Metro Maryland organizes the event every year.

Hemming, who joined the church in July as associate pastor, said the Smithville youth group also gets together once a week on Sunday to talk about “how God changed our lives.”

The group usually meets after the 11 a.m. church service. Hemming said that they get together, eat meals made by parents and talk. Sometimes they watch movies, too.

While the youth group members prepare to make the journey to Ocean City, they plan ways they can share their love.

“We like to do random acts of kindness,” Hemming said.

The Smithville UMC youth group also gives back to the community in the form of missions.

“We helped clean up the community after Hurricane Sandy,” Hemming said.

For now, the youth group waits and prepares to attend IMPACT, with 3,000 high school students, according to the website.

The Smithville youth group will join a high-energy group of teenagers and celebrate their Christian values.

“I really liked it; it had great bands,” Oliver said.

For more information about IMPACT, call 1-888-896-3802, or go to