Okay, with all the snow coming, the answer could be nothing!
But here is what we are scheduled to teach this Sunday:
Too often we focus on all the things that make us different, an attitude that can cause us to forget all the things that we have in common and that unite us. But that attitude also can keep us from appreciating all the wonderfully unique things that each of us offers. As followers of Jesus, we can find a way to celebrate the ways we’re different and the ways we’re similar.
Our students focused this week on Galatians 3:23-28, which reveals that through Jesus, we are one. When you enter into relationship with Jesus, you enter into a family. And family is about what we have in common, not our differences. We need to reject any attitudes that fuel hatred, prejudice, or bias. And that’s why we need to celebrate ways we’re different and ways we’re similar.
I encourage you to keep the conversation going with your teenager this week. Here are some questions you might want to ask:
- Do you find it easier to focus on the things you have in common with others or the things that make you different from others? Why?
- As followers of Jesus, how do our differences make us stronger? make our church stronger? make the entire body of Christ stronger?
- What’s the long-term impact of an “us vs. them” mentality?
- If we are filled with hatred, prejudice, or bias, how does that keep us from experiencing true freedom in Christ?
Thanks for all your prayers for our students and our ministry. Have a spectacular week!
Youth and their families are invited to a great night of football, featuring great family time and tasty food. The ROC Foyer will be transformed into a giant living room, complete with couches!
Wings and hot dogs will be provided
- Last name A-L, please bring an appetizer to share
- Last name M-Z, please bring a side/salad/dessert to share
- Youth workers, please bring drinks to share
There will also be some fun contests. Feel free to bring some things to keep the little ones occupied (even sleeping bags and blankets if you want!), and stay as long as you like. We could use some setup helpers and some tear down helpers, especially for moving couches back.
Fuel resumes this Sunday with a really fun outreach night! We’re calling it Mini-Game Mayhem. This event is designed to bring friends to! Pick up an info flyer, or download this one: fuel-flyer-minigamemayhem
Here’s what’s in store for this Sunday:
Journey to Freedom: Secret scars of self-injury
Self-injury might sound like an unusual topic for a youth group to talk about, but research shows that self-injury rates for adolescents are around 20-23 percent (2 out of 10). That same research suggests the age of onset for self-injury is typically 13 to 14 years old, with increasing numbers among 18- and 19-year-old young adults.
This Sunday, our students will look to Scripture as we dig beneath the surface of self-injury into understanding our innate value, identity, and purpose. We’ll explore Psalm 139 to uncover important truths: God intimately knows everything about us, God will never abandon or forsake us, and God has rescued us and set us on a mission to help other people who are hurting.
We’ll also look at Mark 5, where Jesus encountered a man who experienced tremendous suffering. Jesus did not overreact to this man but instead entered into his suffering and offered healing. It can get messy when addressing complex problems like self-injury, but Jesus proved that he is more powerful than anything that ails us.
This week, I encourage you to spend a few minutes talking with your teenager about our lesson. Fuel your conversation with these questions:
- What causes behaviors like self-injury?
- What challenges do we face when the only voices we hear are filled with discouragement and negativity?
- What are the rewards of having another person truly know you—who you are, what motivates you, and what struggles you face?
- In light of your group discussion this week, what common lies do you hear from God’s enemy regarding your identity, value, and purpose?
- What’s the best way to help if you’re tempted to self-injury?
If your child has struggled with self-injury or if you want to know more about this behavior, you can read about it here: “A Parent’s Guide to Recognizing Self-Injury” (available for free at simplyyouthministrycontent.com/freebies/Parents_Guide.doc).
Please let me know if there is any way I can help you or your family this week. Thanks for all your prayers for our students and our ministry!
Your partner in ministry,
All ages are invited to a Winter Family Fun Event – Snow Tubing at AvalancheXpress in York, PA on January 18, 2016! The early bird cost is $16 per person, due by January 10; after that date, cost is $18 per person. Register by e-mailing or calling Bobby Cook at 301-977-1000 or (bobby at redlandbaptist dot org). On January 18, plan to meet Bobby Cook at 1:30pm at the location to get your tickets and snow tube until 8pm. You may stay for as long as is appropriate for your family. See below for more information and the required release form. We look forward to a fun day together! … (more)
OUR YOUTH REBOOT RETREAT HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED!
ReBoot Rescheduled: Due to circumstances outside our control, we learned this week that the original Dec. 4-6 retreat cannot happen. We are instead shifting to a new date: January 8-10, 2016.
The Bad News: No retreat this weekend (sniff, sniff)
The Good news:
- Some service opportunities are now available for this weekend (see other post)
- If you couldn’t go before, maybe you can go now! If the date now works for you, you can now register for the new retreat date.
Register here. Or view the retreat page (now updated).
Rescheduled Leaf Raking!
Arrive at the Young’s home from 9-11am this Saturday, Dec. 5! Address provided in a separate email. I am available until 11am, but youth with parents are welcome to stick around longer if the job requires it.
Serve at Prime Time banquet
Saturday, Dec. 5 – help serve at the banquet for Prime Time’s Christmas party. To get more details and serve contact: jane mitcham at redland baptist dot org (just squish all that together and change to symbols where appropriate).
Parents’ Night Out
Youth are invited to serve at Parents’ Night Out on December 11, from 6-9pm. Contact Peggy Peak to join in!
Based on a message I gave at the Community Thanksgiving Service this past Sunday, below is an acrostic that describes true thankfulness. Consider living out one or two of these on your own or as a family. True thankfulness is…
T – Thorough
Write out all the ways God has blessed you, consider making categories and/or going around the table tomorrow.
H – Heartfelt
No need to be over the top or fake – just honest. Start where you are and begin to share what you truly are thankful for.
A – Attributed
Give thanks not only to each other but also (and always) directly to God. Consider that Christians have the most to be thankful for (salvation) and therefore should be the most thankful.
N – Necessary
Without giving thanks regularly, life gets out of whack, just like our bodies do when we aren’t getting certain dietary needs met.
K – Kindled
It does take effort to give thanks often. We have to kindle and tend it like a real fire.
S – Shared
Thankfulness is richer when we share in it together, especially letting others know specifically how we thank God for them.
Youth, ages 13 and up are invited to help at the processing center on Friday, Dec. 4. Youth who help are still able to attend the ReBoot Retreat (they’ll just arrive a few hours late), and we’ll provide transportation. I expect that the available spots will be filled this coming Sunday. If you want to get a chance to go, sign up before Sunday!