Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Super Bowl Sunday

Just to clarify....THIS Sunday is the "souper bowl party"!!!  Come at 5:30pm and we'll start out meeting in small groups then by 6 we'll start the football game and baking sugar cookies.  Oh, and come hungry for chili and cornbread and bring your own snacks!  

Monday, January 26, 2009

This is the Plan

1.  ***super bowl party***.  Game starts at 6 but be here at 5:30 for small group stuff.  :)  Bring bags of snacks and/or pop to quench the football munchies.  We should have chili to offer everyone as well!  Everyone is welcome to come...and if you don't want to watch the game (like me!)  you can play any of our games or help me bake sugar cookies for our Valentine's gifts.  Leave whenever you need to.  

2.  Dare2Share Reservations are due by next weekend!!!!  So I need to know AS SOON AS POSSIBLE (like by Wednesday would be awesome!) if you are FOR SURE going to attend Dare2 Share.  You have Questions?  Your parents have questions?  Check out the website:  http://dare2share.org/chicago/  This site as answers to every possible question.  Remember $49. Let me know if you need financial help.  (I have applied for Dare2Share Scholarships for some of you who have indicated the need for funds.  I'll let you know what happens.)

call me:  734-384-0839
email me:  melanieeccles@gmail.com

3.  Small Groups:  Thanks, everyone for your input!  After talking things over with Pastor Dale and with Kevin this is what we've come up with for now:  nothing on Wed. nights.  Instead we will begin our Sunday evenings with Small Groups At 5:30pm.  So just come a half hour early and we'll start off in separate guy/girl groups for a bit.  Then we'll get together for the "usual" snack, session, game, etc.  Sweet?  sweet.  

4.  Bibles.  please please please start bringing your Bibles to Sunday school and youth group!!  That'd be a great way to really learn how to read and understand the Bible--if you can have it in front of you to read with me.  I know it's hard when you're not familiar with a book and I don't expect you to be a Bible Scholar or anything. :)  But you can't learn what it means or where things are in it unless you open it up regularly.  So this week, start spending about 10-20 minutes a day reading the Bible...anything of your chosing would work.  Or you can start reading in Matthew so you're "ahead" of the lessons for upcoming youth group nights. :)  Also, I know the guys small groups are supposed to be reading Ezekiel.  Cool!  Hope you're on top of that!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

important: Dare2Share info (and more!)

1.  First of all Small Group is tonight @ 7pm here at the parsonage.  Bring an open heart & mind.  We'll have plenty of time to talk and challenge each other and probably make time for some games & relaxation too!

2.  Dare2Share registration money is due in before February 4th.  It's $49 per person (the other costs such as hotel, food, and souvenirs will be due at a later date.) If you can ask friends and family to help you with that cost go out and do that right now!  (Remember:: I need your money in less than two weeks!)  If you do NOT have any way to raise that money, we have our youth group account from which I could draw some money to help you out.  No, there's unfortanately not enough to completely cover everyone's registration fee...let alone the additional amount for food & hotel...but we could help those who need it most.  Also I believe Dare2Share has some sort of scholarship fund for those who can't afford to come at all without financial help.  So talk to be BEFORE Sunday about your need and your plans.  

I need to know as soon as possible who is 100% sure they are going to Dare2Share!  Let me know BEFORE this Sunday!  (Make sure your parents are ok with you attending!)  

3.  You guys all did a great job filling out the Spiritual Gifts Tests.  Next Sunday, we will be spending time going over those results and what the point is of knowing your area of giftedness.  
4.  About the Valentine's gifts we would like to share with church members...I have already typed up a "love letter" if you will that we can all sign and then pass out to the recipients along with Heart Sugar cookies.  How does Wednesday night, February 11th sound for baking and/or frosting the cookies?  We could do it in place of small group.  

5.  A quick snack reminder goes out to Chris Kaufman.  Thanks, Chris for offering to feed us next Sunday! :)  

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sunday School & other Stuff

An overview of "stuff":
  • Really cool thing starting!  The new Teen Sunday School Class!  Now there is a place for YOU to go during that Sunday school time at church!  Starting THIS Sunday, January 18th we will start meeting every Sunday @ 9:50am (probably in the youth room) until 10:30am.  Then of course, church starts @ 11:00am.  I really, really, really, REALLY hope you can make it this first Sunday!!!  We're doing a cool assessment that will help us all discover what our Spiritual Gifts are.  Every one of us has a different area of giftedness that we can have a part in the work of God.  Some of you may discover you are an encourager, or have teaching skills, or show mercy, or offer extra service behind the scenes.  The lists of gifts goes on and this is REALLY important to discover!  bE tHERE!
  • Last Sunday I passed out letters to your parents about Dare2Share.  Did you actually give those letters to you parents???  I hope so.
  • Also, I gave you a list of upcoming activities.  I hope you remember to put that sheet of paper on your fridge or something.  Here it is:
  • á     Winter Retreat @ Somerset  

    Friday February 6th through Sunday February 8th


    á    David Crowder Band Concert @ Spring Arbor         

    Thursday February 19th @ 7pm


    á     SAU Men’s Basketball Game rescheduled @ Spring Arbor   

    Saturday March 28th @ 1pm


    á     Dare2Share Chicago

    Friday April 3rd through Saturday April 4th

  • In other news, Chris Fenrich has offered to bring the snack for Sunday.  

Friday, January 9, 2009

Basketball & Dare2Share

First, sad news....the approaching snow storm headed for lower Michigan has foiled our plans of checking out Spring Arbor campus and their Division 2 NAIA basketball team currently ranked THIRD in the nation!!!  But don't be too disappointed...because we plan on rescheduling the visit and hopefully more of you can attend!

Secondly, check out this promo video about Dare2Share.  Start thinking about it! Start talking to your parents about it.  Check out the website for details:  http://dare2share.org/chicago/  We'll talk lots about it soon!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Small Groups, College Ball, and a Baby

Hey, guys!  
  1.  Small Group!  Wednesday.  7pm.  Parsonage.  Be there.  It's up to you.  For you.  By you.
  2. SAU bball game!  Saturday.  3pm.  Drivers/rides to be announced soon.  Pay attention to updates!  Pizza.  Pop.  Free stuff.  A sweet tour.  

Just want to make sure you really get the point of our look into the birth of Jesus Christ last night.  I know I mentioned the need to study the life of Jesus as told in the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John) is because a Christian needs to know WHO they are following and WHY they are following that person and WHAT kind of life they need to start living.  All of those questions are answered in JESUS.  

Jesus' birth was super cool was it not?  I mean you start out with a prophecy that is thousands of years old.  Isaiah said that a baby would be born to a virgin and his name would be Immanuel which means "God is with us."  Well, can you imagine the people reading that prophecy?  They must have thought, "What??? a Virgin??  That's completely impossible!"  Ok true.  BUT God's story of salvation was in place wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy back then (and even before that!) so when we meet Mary and Joseph, we're coming into the story that is already in perfect progress.  

So Mary and Joseph are engaged to be married but their relationship could only be broken by a divorce.  Pretty serious stuff.  When Joseph finds out Mary is pregnant his first thought is to follow the Jewish law--she needed to be stoned in public for the disgraceful act she had committed (getting pregnant by another man while engaged to another.)  But being the kind, gentle, righteous man that he is, he decides to just divorce her in private and spare her life.  Nice, huh?  

Well, before he divorces her, an angel of the Lord comes to him in a dream and speaks very clearly.  Jospeh is to marry Mary just as planned for she has done nothing wrong.  In fact, this young girl (probably about 13 years old!!!) has become pregnant because of the Holy Spirit.  God was extra impressed with this young woman's life and decided she was a worthy womb for HIS son!  GIRLS!  can you imagine!!!!???

Joseph decides to obey the word of the Lord, and these two young adults (teenagers) are soon parents to the son of God.  

What's the point?  Well, there are many points.  

First of all, God can use anyone...and he chooses to use YOU.  Be ready.  Have the Mary or Joseph attitude--ready to do whatever the heck crazy thing God is calling you to do.  No matter how unprepared you feel.  

Secondly, the whole reason for this crazy plan of God's was to bring YOU salvation and a relationship with him.  Cool huh?  It started with the baby.  But really that baby's birth was in the works centuries before that!