Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Clothes (and food) Drive


This idea for serving the community came straight from our youth group girls. Here's the deal: 
  • Clear out your closets. Get rid of clothes that are still in nice condition but that you don't wear or don't like. This goes for shoes as well. (Ask your parents and siblings to do the same!)
  • For every new piece of clothing you get this Christmas, get rid of at least one item from your closet. 
  • Bring your clothes to Melanie so she can keep them sorted as they come in. 
  • After the first of the year, we will contact shelters and other services to spread the word to those in need that we are hosting a FREE shopping day.
  • In addition to clothing, please begin collecting pantry FOOD items--pasta, pasta sauce, boxed dinners, canned vegetables/meats/soups, snack foods, etc. This way, we can send people home with some food in addition to clothing--the two most basic needs. 
  • And by doing it after the holiday, we will spread out the blessing. (Most people give to charity around Christmas, but giving dies down afterwards.)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Thoughts.

Check out the pictures from our Christmas Shindig!  It was a great time!!

Bring your families to our church's Christmas Eve service on Friday @8pm.

Teens will be practicing for the skit on Wednesday evening at 7pm (following our Bible Quiz practice).

Those who are singing Ryan's arrangement of Angels We Have Heard On High will meet at 7:15pm Christmas Eve to rehearse.

All of your teens and your friends are to our New Year's Eve overnighter!

MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone!! And while you are celebrating, opening gifts, drinking eggs in nog form, and spending time with family, please keep Jesus close--giving Him the glory and honor He deserves for being the Gift we so desperately needed.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Hosting the Bible Quiz

Quizzers:
  1. STUDY!
    1. Know your quotes inside and out (review chapters 1-6 quotes!)
    2. Be able to quote information around the unique (bold) words
  2. BAKE! 
    1. We need baked goods (or other goodies) packaged to sell for $0.50 each. 
    2. Cookies, brownies, cupcakes, rice krispy treats, are welcome.
    3. Please NO PEANUT BUTTER.
  3. FRIDAY
    1. Come to Kevin and Mel's @ 7pm (bring overnight stuff if you want)
    2. (If you're not going to spend the night, still come at 7 to help set up)
    3. Make room Letter labels
    4. Make and copy map of the church
    5. Organize classrooms in the church 
    6. Set up quizzing chairs in each room
    7. Set up extra tables/chairs in the church
    8. Sleepover @ Kevin and Mel's
  4. SATURDAY
    1. Be at the church at 8am. 

Monday, December 6, 2010

MANDATORY YOUTH GROUP PARENTS MEETING!!!

Alright, so it isn't 'mandatory'...or even required...but here's the deal: Next Sunday is going to be a VERY IMPORTANT DAY for Sunday morning church! Not only are we having a POTLUCK DINNER, but there will be a society MEETING.

Why is this meeting so important? These meetings are where the church gets together to discuss IMPORTANT TOPICS. This meeting in particular will have some topics that are very relevant to the youth group and YOUR TEEN. So here's the lowdown on the whole thing:

WHO: You, your teen, and anyone else in your family that likes to eat!
WHAT: Bring yourself, your opinions, and a healthy appetite
WHEN: Next Sunday (December 12) After Church (12:00 to 2:00 or so)
WHERE: At the church, just follow your nose to the potluck dinner
WHY: So you can hear about the life of the church and make your voice heard!

A SOCIETY MEETING is a meeting with all the people connected to the church so we can talk about where the church is going and make IMPORTANT DECISIONS. You must be a member to vote, but you do NOT have to be a member to speak out! So if there's something YOU would like to see happen in our church, THIS IS THE TIME to talk about it!

These happen ONCE A YEAR or so, so if you're new and you want to check things out this will be great. If you've been around a while and it's 'old hat' to you, this is a great way to go and weigh in on the new things happening! Either way, you get a POTLUCK DINNER out of it! (bring a dish to pass if you can, and eat what everyone else brings!)

Hope to see you there!

Kevin and Melanie

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Ladies Christmas Tea

NOTE: the date of the tea has been changed to Wednesday, December 1st. 


Melanie has signed up to host a table for the tea
--meaning she gets to decorate it, set it with fine china, and invite girls to join her. 
She would LOVE to have a table filled with teens and their moms! 
If you would like to attend and join the table, please RSVP to monroespiritfire@gmail.com by November 24th (one week before the event.) 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Please take note of the following changes to the November calendar:

Click on the "Calendar and Newsletter" tab and check out the updated November calendar.
------

Bible Quizzing is now 6:00-7:00pm AT THE CHURCH.

There will be NO Youth Group November 21st (Kevin and Mel are going to be in Nashville at the National Youth Workers Convention)

There will be NO Bible Quizzing November 24th (night before Thanksgiving.)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Dare2Share Details


Click HERE for all the info on the Dare2Share Un Tour Conference

February 4th-5th, 2011
Ticket Cost: $54 

Cost $17.50 per person 

The FOUR STAR hotel was just booked for a great price and it's just a mile from the convention center! 
Please get your money to cover your ticket and your hotel to Kevin or Melanie asap. 

*if you need help covering the cost of your tickets, we have order forms available to sell Cottonwood Candles as a fundraiser for your trip. Candles are sold at $8 and you will get $4 profit. By selling 14 candles, your trip is covered and by selling 5 candles, your hotel will be covered. Now is a GREAT time to pursue orders as many family members, neighbors and teachers will be looking for Christmas gifts. Let us know if you want an order form! 

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Fall Retreat @Somerset Beach



Who? SpiritFire teens and leaders
When? 4:30pm Friday, November 5th  through 7:00pm Saturday, November 6th
(those driving in on their own should meet us at SBC @5:30pm and plan to pack up by 6pm Saturday)
Where? Somerset Beach Campground. One hour west on M50 and US-12.
What? A time to unplug from our noisy society to experience God in the beauty of fall, enjoy friendship and worship, take hikes,,build bonfires, and more.

The Details: Each attendee will need $10 and will be asked to sign up to bring food items to cover our meals. This will be a camping/rustic cabin experience so students will need sleeping bags, pillows, lots of layers to keep warm, good walking shoes, shower and toiletry items, towel and washcloth, etc. (Great bathhouse/shower facilities will be available.)

We are going to “unplug” by keeping cell phones, iPods, and other electronic devices  turned off for the duration of the retreat. (Don't freak out...it'll be great, we promise!) Leaders will have cell phones on if a parent or student has need.

Contact Kevin or Melanie to get a registration form!

Packing List
$10 Registration if you haven't paid yet
CAMP CHAIR
Sleeping bags, extra blankets, pillow (It will be cold!)
Warm pajamas
Lots of layers to keep warm during the day
Good walking shoes
Extra socks
Toiletries--especially deodorant please!
Shower items--shampoo, soap, etc
Shower shoes--flip flops!
Bath towel/washcloth
Flashlight
Water Bottle (w/ your name on it!)
Bible
Notebook/Journal
Pen
Recreational equipment of any sort (fishing, frisbee, football, volleyball, etc)
optional: extra snacks to share

Youth Membership and Baptism


Baptism

If you have received forgiveness for your sins by believing in Jesus--believing that He is God's son, was sent to earth as a human baby, born of virgin, that he lived a sinless life, that he was crucified and rose again and is now in Heaven with God--then the next step is to proclaim your faith to all by participating in baptism.  

Baptism signifies dying to your old self--your old, sinful, selfish way of life
being cleansed by the blood of Jesus because He died to pay the penalty for our sins
and rising (up out of the water) and being reborn into a new life in Christ Jesus. 

Pastor Dale will be inviting people to publicly take this step of faith on Sunday, November 14th during the morning service. If you are interested in participating in the baptism then talk to use in the next week and Pastor Dale with meet with you briefly. On Sunday morning, you will asked a few questions in front of the church to ensure that you know Jesus as your Savior and that you want to live your life for Him (questions are listed below). Then you can have Pastor Dale or Kevin baptize you.  (Note: parents, friends or other family members are welcome to be baptized as well.)

We are so excited for this baptism Sunday and we pray many of our teens will take this next step in proclaiming their faith in Jesus.


Here are the questions you will be asked in front of the congregation:

1.  Do you believe that your sins are forgiven through faith in Jesus Christ our Lord?
2. Do you renounce the devil and his works, the lure of this ungodly world and the sinful desires of fallen humanity, so that you will not follow nor be led by them?

Let us repeat the words of the Apostles Creed together:
I believe in God the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth;
And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord:
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried;
the third day he rose from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.


3. Do you believe these things?
4. Is it your desire to be baptized into the Christian faith?
5. In the fellowship of the church, will you obediently do God's will and walk in His holy commandments all the days of your life?  

check out these passages for more on baptism:
Acts 2:38, 41; 8:12-17; 9:18; 16:33; 18:8; 19:5; 
John 3:5; 
1 Corinthians 12:13; 
Galatians 3:27-29; 
Colossians 2:11-12; 
Titus 3:5


Youth Membership in Monroe Free Methodist Church
On the same Sunday as the baptisms (November 14th), we would like to invite our teens to come into membership at our church. By becoming a member you will be identifying yourself with our church, you will be committing yourself to grow in your faith in God by participating in our church and its functions, and you will find a place of belonging--a home as a part of the Body of Christ. If you have received God's gift of eternal life by believing in His Son, Jesus Christ, if you know Jesus died for you sins and you desire to give Him control of your life, if you want to live for Him and tell all of your friends of God's greatness and of His forgiveness, then this is a great next step in your faith--identifying with a local church in membership.

Listed below are the questions Pastor Dale will be asking of those who decide they want to become youth members at Monroe Free Methodist Church. 

If you or your parents want to know more about our church, feel free to talk to us or Pastor Dale (dkaufman@monroe-fmc.org). OR check out our church website or the information about our denomination

1. Do you believe that Jesus Christ has forgiven your sins and is now your Savior?

2. Have you received Christian baptism? If not, are you willing to be baptized?

3. Will you attend church, Sunday School, and youth group to receive instruction on living the Christian life and serving God through your church?

4. Can the Free Methodist Church count on you? Will you pray for the church, attend regularly, give to your church and help wherever you can?

5. Will you show your friends by the way you life what it means to be a Christian and will you try to win them to Christ? 

Friday, October 29, 2010

GIRLS: plan ahead


Next year's Women's Retreat (for the southern Michigan FM churches) is still a year away, but we should start planning NOW! This is the first year some of the sessions are going to be specifically geared toward high school and college aged girls and the retreat committee is encouraging moms to come with daughters. (The speaker is Jennifer Beckham--learn more about her here)

I would LOVE to have a group of our teens come to next year's retreat along with their moms. This is wonderful weekend--so much fun! There's plenty of time to spend time with one another all while spending time with God and experiencing His work in your life.
pampering. delicious food. special sessions. awesome facilities. great worship. and more! 

Mark your calendars for September 30-October 1, 2011
Cost is $99 for adults and only $89 for teens (if you register by August 1, 2011)! This includes lodging, food, and sessions. 

The retreat is held at the beautiful Gull Lake Ministries. There are great hotel rooms or condo style housing we can stay in (if we have 8 people). The more women attending from Monroe FMC the better the experience is for everyone--and the higher our chances our of winning an amazing prize basket for our group. 

So start saving now! Put away $10 each month and when retreat rolls around, you'll be all set! 
I'll be there--I hope you'll join me!

(For more info, talk with me or Pam Kaufman!)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

quote-a-thon


Thank you for supporting the Monroe Free Methodist Church Bible Quizzing program. Our quizzers are raising money to cover the cost of Quiz Nationals in June 2011 (approximately $300). Every dollar you donate, helps us inch closer to that goal. If you have questions, please call Kevin or Melanie.

How the Quote-a-thon works: There are 40 Scripture verses from the book of John that quizzers are urged to memorize during the 2010-2011 quiz season. This is approximately 6 quotes per monthly quiz. If you sponsor a teen for $1.00 per quote and they memorize all 40 quotes, your total donation would be $40.00 (due in April). The goal is not only to raise money, but to give each quizzer an even greater incentive to memorize God's Word.


Operation Christmas Child

It's that time of year--already! 
Each year, our church partners with Samaritan's Purse to bless children around the world with a gift for Christmas that they wouldn't otherwise have. As a youth group, we're aiming to fill 20 shoeboxes!  So ave up some money, involve your family, share a box with a friend and change a child's life. (It costs approximately $10-15 to fill a shoebox plus the additional $7 for shipping costs.)

Shoeboxes are due November 7th.  Read on for all the details:




8 MILLION CHILDREN
received your shoe boxes last year

OVER 95 COUNTRIES
have received shoe boxes since 1993

ONE MISSION:
To demonstrate God's love in a tangible way to needy children around the world, and together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.




HOW TO PACK A SHOEBOX:

1. THE SHOEBOX:
Use an empty shoe box (standard size, please) or a small plastic container. You can wrap the box (lid separately), but wrapping is not required. Most importantly, pray for the child who will receive your gift.

2. BOY OR GIRL?
Determine whether your gift will be for a boy or a girl, and the child’s age category: 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14. Print out the appropriate boy/girl label by downloading the artwork to the right. Mark the correct age category on the label, and tape the label to the top of your box.

3. FILL WITH GIFTS
Fill the box with a variety of gifts that will bring delight to a child.  Use the gift ideas provided on the bottom of this page.

4. INCLUDE YOUR DONATION
Please donate $7 or more for each shoe box you prepare to help cover shipping and other project costs. You can give online by using our EZGIVE option, or you can write a check to Samaritan’s Purse (note “OCC” on memo line) and place it in an envelope on top of the gift items inside your box. If you or your family are preparing more than one shoe box, please make one combined donation.

5. DROP OFF
Place a rubber band around each closed shoe box and bring it to Youth Group with you on Sunday, November 7th

WHAT TO INCLUDE IN YOUR SHOEBOX:
GIFT IDEAS
TOYS 
small cars, balls, dolls, stuffed animals, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yos, jump ropes, small Etch A Sketch®, toys that light up or make noise (with extra batteries), Slinky®, etc. 

SCHOOL SUPPLIES 
pens, pencils and sharpener, crayons or markers, stamps and ink pad sets, writing pads or paper, solar calculators, coloring and picture books, etc. 

HYGIENE ITEMS 
toothbrush, toothpaste, mild bar soap (in a plastic bag), comb, washcloth, etc.

OTHER 
Hard candy and lollipops (please double bag all candy), mints, gum, T-shirts, socks, ball caps; sunglasses, hair clips, toy jewelry, watches, flashlights (with extra batteries) 

A PERSONAL NOTE 
In a separate envelope, you may enclose a note to the child and a photo of yourself or your family. (If you include your name and address, the child may write back.) 

DO NOT INCLUDE: 
Used or damaged items; war-related items such as toy guns, knives or military figures; chocolate or food; out-of-date candy; liquids or lotions; medications or vitamins; breakable items such as snowglobes or glass containers; aerosol cans

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

teens! Light the Night!

This is a super awesome event our church hosts each year for families and kids from all over! Members from our church decorate their vehicle trunks, get dressed up in a fun costume, fill their trunks with baskets of candy and the children and go car to car trick or treating! How fun!

This year, the teens are in charge of a car trunk! Kevin and Mel are out of town for the weekend but we're going to leave our car parked at the church and ready for it's trunk to be decorated by all of YOU! So brainstorm, collaborate with each other, and bring your plans together by 5:30pm Saturday the 30th! 

We'll supply the candy and the trunk!
You dress up in your best costume and come with fun themed props to decorate the trunk!

I'm thinking Katie could make a big poster with our Spiritifire logo on it--but other than that, it's a blank slate for your great ideas! We need one or two of you to volunteer to coordinate everything--any takers???

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

LAST 5th Qtr/FIRST Bible Quiz!!

Don't forget that THIS Friday is our LAST 5th Quarter Event!
It's the perfect chance to invite all of your friends and have them see a glimpse into your youth group.
The night is for fun!
Play air hockey, foosball, ping pong, Wii, ultimate frisbee!
Check out the large collection of games.
Meet new friends!
and don't forget a couple extra dollars if you'd like to buy something delicious from the snack bar.
See you Friday!


And if you're a Bible quizzer, don't forget to bring your overnight gear.
We're leaving our house at 6:00AM on Saturday morning to head up to West Branch, MI.
This is our first Bible Quiz of the season and we're so excited!
Registration starts at 9am and the first quiz round will begin around 10am--please be praying for our quizzers---that they might have peace, clarity of thought, and have fun along the way!
We should return around 7pm.

Students need $3 for lunch the church and additional cash for a dinner stop at McDonald's (etc).

Thanks to everyone's great selling skills and your friends and families' generosity we were able to purchase a BRAND NEW SET OF QUIZZING SEATs!!!
Come ready to practice "jumping" on these new seats tonight at our last quiz practice.

Work on polishing those quotes and learning unique words in your portions.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Meet Josh!

So you've already met Amanda--one of our amazing new youth workers!
Now it's time to meet Josh. He just so happens to be Amanda's boyfriend. He's super cool and ready to introduce himself to all of you!



Joshua Edward David Kraus' tale began just over 23 years ago, in the epic year of 1987. It is hard to believe that a year so awesome (U2’s famous album “The Joshua Tree”, the creation of “The Simpsons”, and the release of the very first “Final Fantasy” game,) was in fact about to get even better. It’s been said that Mr. Kraus was birthed during the heat of an epic battle. Although this has never been truly confirmed, many say this is true due to the fact that Sir Joshua Kraus is destined for heroic grandeur.

Since this time, Sir Kraus has tried to live a life that would please Jesus Christ. Ever since he was a young man, he had always had the feeling that he was supposed to work with youth in one way or another. Growing up in church, Joshua has always had a close relationship with God; however he never really got involved with any type of ministry at his own church. Fast forward to present day. Sir Kraus and his fair maiden of 3 and a half years (Miss Carter) have kindled a love that the stars sing of. But then through a chance of curious fate, Miss Carter is reintroduced to friends from Spring Arbor, the Eccles. Eventually, both Amanda and Joshua feel God leading them to helping out with the youth group that forerunners Kevin and Melanie lead. And since, the rest is history, so to speak.


When Mr. Kraus is not helping out at youth group, he can most likely be found spending time with his inamorata, toiling away at his job, Little Caesar’s, or blasting away enemy SPARTANs with his comrades on Halo: Reach. On a professional level, Joshua attends Eastern Michigan University where he studies English, Psychology, and education. It is his goal to one day teach English at a high school level, and then hopefully at a college level as well. Sir Kraus’ favorite hobbies include basketball (watching and playing), writing either blog entries or fictional stories, gaming with friends (and foes alike), partaking (watching and filming) in motion picture shows, and of course writing bios in a third person narrative.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Serving and 5th Quarter: Friday

This Friday is jam packed of awesomeness!

Come out to Prince of Peace Church (in Ida at Lewis Rd. and Dunbar Rd.) at 4:30pm!
Wear white shirt with black pants.
Be ready to serve the wonderful individuals who are developmentally disabled and served by the MonARC of Monroe.
This should last until 8pm.

After that, come over to our house for the best 5th Quarter yet!! In honor of Monroe HS homecoming, we are extending the hours of the event to midnight! Feel free come and go as you need to. Don't forget a few extra dollars to enjoy the awesome snack bar items!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Spiritfire Gear

This just in!!

Our newest order of Spiritfire gear is HERE and ready to be worn!  If you placed an order be sure to check your email and see how much you owe. Pick up your shirts/sweatpants/sweatshirts soon---it's the perfect season for sporting your SpiritFire clothing! 

Also--BRAND NEW items
*soffe brand girls SHORTS (writing on the front leg)--$10.00
*nylon drawstring bags (black bag with white writing)--$6.00 

If anyone is interested is purchasing an item let me know asap! I should be placing another order within a week. 

Tshirts: $7
Sweatshirts: $19
Sweatpants: $17
Zip Hoodies (writing on back): $21
Soffe brand shorts (girls): $10
Drawstring Bags: $6

Getting To Know You: Randomly

After having Amanda and Josh introduce themselves to all of you, we thought it'd be fun to have Josh, Amanda, Kevin, and Melanie answer some random questions about themselves. Here's what they said:
  1. If money were no object, where would you go on vacation?
    1. M: I would spend a couple weeks touring Italy, France, and the Swiss Alps. And maybe top it off with some time spent in Australia. 
    2. K: I would pay to have my computer moved to the Blue Mountains of Jamaica at Strawberry Hill, bring a pile of books, and play games and read up there with Mel...Strawberry Hill is probably the most fantastic vacation spot I've ever seen.
    3. A: If money were no object I would go on an extended vacation to Europe. I really want to visit Italy, France, England, and Ireland
    4. J: Assuming this question means anywhere in our nearest galaxy, I would have to say mars. If however for some reason though it simply means Earth, then I would say Pennsylvania.
  2. What's your favorite toothpaste?
    1. M: Aquafresh. Though I'm too cheap to actually buy it for myself.
    2. K: The kind that Melanie left in the drawer...preferably when she takes the time to screw on the cap all the way. On the other hand, I like new tubes, so you don't have all the crusty gunk on the ends...
    3. A: I like anything minty and whitening. I usually buy the one that I have the best coupon for! 
    4. J: Colgate… I like how old-school the logo is.
  3. If you had a surprise visit from friend one evening, what would they likely find you doing?
    1. M: I would be in my favorite sweatpants and over-sized sweatshirt, eating homemade popcorn, snuggling with my cat, and either reading or watching some tv. 
    2. K: Probably surfing the web or playing some computer games from my childhood...or reading...or watching TV with Mel. Or sleeping, since I go to bed at 10.
    3. A: Sitting on my laptop in my living room watching TV
    4. J: To my chagrin, most likely I would be wasting time on video games.
  4. What's your favorite tv show?
    1. M: Criminal Minds. And The Biggest Loser. And Gilmore Girls.
    2. K: At the moment, it's Bones...because I'm stoked about the new season started. But I'm also a sucker for Wipeout over the summer. =D
    3. A: Gilmore Girls!  
    4. J: Probably The Wire… it was Lost, but the series finale was so terrible it dropped down to the #2 favorite TV show spot.
  5. What fast food restaurant do you frequent?
    1. M: I'm a McDonald's girl through and through. Well, besides the Wendy's frosty. 
    2. K: If I could pick any one...it'd be either Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, or Panera Bread. Please don't make me pick just one.
    3. A: McDonald’s… it’s weird that their pop tastes WAY better than any other, and their fries are the best too. I think it’s a strange conspiracy. 
    4. J: Taco Bell
  6. If you could have one talent that you don't already have what would it be?
    1. M: I would love to have a natural athletic prowess. But I'd also love to be an awesome photographer--that one could actually happen. Pretty sure I could never pull off the athlete thing.
    2. K: hrm...probably Mel's talent for making everyone like her instantly. I have no idea how she does it.
    3. A: I wish I were better at math and manipulating numbers. I’m terrible at mental math 
    4. J: Serious answer: To play an instrument of some sort. Funny answer: Teleportation
  7. If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be? 
    1. M: Adorkable. Defined as: both dorky and adorable. The state of being all dorks strive towards.
    2. K: Volatile
    3. A: Autumnal – I think my personality could be described by a season. Fall is usually a pretty mellow time of the year. I’m pretty mellow, but the leaves of the trees are always bright and cheerful colors. I’m usually cheerful… even when I’m in a bad mood I poke fun at myself. Fall always provides tons of things to do from haunted houses to apple picking. I’m always up for trying new things like food and activities. 
    4. J: Theophlianthropist
  8. If you could have a superhuman power, what power would you possess?
    1. M: I wish I had superhuman reflexes--mostly because this would save me from repeatedly injuring myself. 
    2. K: Flying. Lets be honest...if you can fly, anything else is just gravy.
    3. A: I would like to read books really really fast – like John Travolta in Phenomenon, without the whole tumor thing. 
    4. J: Either the ability to create any power or the ability to steal other people’s powers (like Mega Man or Kirby)
  9. What are your food obsessions?
    1. M: peanut butter. chocolate. ice cream. popcorn. apples. 
    2. K: I have an obsession with food in general...I'll ask Mel to make me a different thing every day...from Jambalaya to "Something with cheese and pasta" to anything else...I'm a very mood-based eater, my favorite food changes by the minute.
    3. A: Oh man. Of course McD’s coke and fries, and anything with chocolate and peanut butter. Lately, I’ve really been loving greek yogurt—Mmm… blueberry. 
    4. J: Pizza!
  10. If you were an inanimate object, what would you be?
    1. M: a paperclip. I'm straight-laced, a little uptight, and function best in organized environments. 
    2. K: an espresso machine...because nobody can be sad while using an espresso machine.
    3. A: Umm.. a candle? Candles are relaxing and they make me happy. Haha
    4. J: a shelf.
  11. What's your favorite time of day and why?
    1. M: I'm one of those weird morning people. No, I don't get up as ridiculously early as my husband, but I do prefer to be up early--before the rest of my time zone. I get so much accomplished in the morning.
    2. K: About 7 AM on a day I'm not subbing...I've been up for a bit, showered, and I have time to relax before the day actually starts.
    3. A: Early evening – I’m most alert and productive. Usually my Mom is home – or Josh and I hang out like on the weekends. So usually early evening provides some fun. : )  
    4. J: Probably later at night, like after 9 PM
  12. What do you get teased about a lot?
    1. M: I get teased for being a "paperclip." Most people don't understand why organized, Type A girls like me get so easily frazzled. 
    2. K: When I play video games, I like to do crazy things...like make spreadsheets about all the possibilities so I can pick the best one.  Yes, that's right. While I'm relaxing and playing video games, I'm constantly doing mental math.  I am a geek at heart.
    3. A: Josh’s friends tease me about me a psychology nerd. : ( lol
    4. J: My accent/ diction when it comes to pronouncing words.
  13. What is something people would be surprised to know about you?   
    1. M: I have an alter ego. Early in our dating years, Kevin named her Maxine. She is sneaky. moody. ruthless. ridiculous. and even mean at times. Basically, she is everything the real Melanie is not. But she likes to rear her ugly head now and again.
    2. K: Depending on who it is...most people would be surprised that my life combines Music, Chemistry, and Youth work...any two is believable...but all three is just weird. =)
    3. A: People are usually surprised that I’m left handed. Also, people are surprised that I have super curly hair. That’s because I usually straighten it though.
    4. J: That I am very surprising… ha. Seriously though, probably that I actually do a fair amount of writing on the side.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dare2Share 2011

this just in! the lowest ticket price for D2S 2011 is $44 and that offer ends Friday!  Let us know by Friday morning if you want a ticket purchased for you at that price. Please get your money into us within a week, if possible. 


Dear Parents,

Teens today live in a challenging and oftentimes perplexing world, one where unprecedented opportunities and challenges await them at every turn. Still, this generation stands ready to change their world for the better. And as they step out to do just that, they need an unwavering, unstoppable faith in God that will help them live each day for Jesus.

Dare 2 Share’s weekend training conference is designed to help teens cultivate this kind of deep, immovable faith in Jesus that will last a lifetime. This year’s un. Tour is built around the powerful story of young David’s unwavering faith in God and his unstoppable determination to change his world by taking on Goliath (1 Samuel 17).  

Here are a few of the ways the Dare 2 Share (D2S) un. Tour weekend will impact your student:

Un.cool - Teens will catch a glimpse of how God chooses to use uncool people to accomplish His purposes.
Un.alone - Students will learn that they walk surrounded by the Trinity and are never alone.
Un.afraid - Students will learn how to face their own personal Goliaths.
Un.leashed - Teens will be motivated and mobilized to share the gospel with their lives and their lips. 

There is also a special youth leader breakout session, which is designed to help youth leaders like me learn how to mobilize teens to reach their generation for Christ. Dare 2 Share’s evangelism principles and strategies are built upon 19 years of experience working with youth ministries across the nation.

D2S is committed to providing youth leaders and students with resources to help them in their walk with Christ and in their efforts to share Christ with others. Check out the D2S website at dare2share.org. You will find tons of free, culturally relevant resources there, as well as a variety of resources available for purchase to help deepen your teen’s walk with God and help them reach their friends for Christ.

As our youth group prepares for this challenging training conference weekend, I am asking you to pray for us! Pray for the students to be prepared to take the message they will receive and use it to transform their lives through Christ. Pray for the impact on their schools and communities! Pray we, as a ministry, will be used mightily in advancing His kingdom here in our city and beyond. Below are the details for the weekend. 

Dates/Times:
February 4-5, 2011

Cost:  
$44 until September 24th. After that $54 and then up to $69. (please contact us if you are having trouble paying.)
Lodging and food cost information is forthcoming (approximately $15 for hotel and $20 for food.)
                                                 
Location:
Columbus, OH

Other:

Chaperones and Drivers needed! (These adults will need to purchase a ticket as well--OR volunteer for Dare2Share staff and get in for free.) Let us know ASAP!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Introducing....Amanda!

We are so excited to introduce to you our very first volunteer youth work--Amanda! She is a great friend of ours and we're so thrilled that she's decided to help out in any way she can with the youth group. We hope you get to know her and love her as much as we do. 

We asked Amanda to tell us all a little bit about herself. 
Here's what she had to say: 


Hey hey all! 

My name is Amanda Carter 

I’ve known Melanie and Kevin for a few years now. 
Our “it’s a small world” story begins at Spring Arbor University in Choir. 
I only was in choir for one semester, but during that semester I sat one seat away from Melanie. I was also only at Spring Arbor for a year, before I found out it wasn’t the place for me and I moved home to Monroe, MI. 
After being home for awhile I was wasting time on Facebook and I found Melanie again. I also noticed that she was employed at Monroe Free Methodist Church. Come to find out we only lived a few miles away. Since then we have kept in contact quite a bit, and more recently God has led me to their young adult group and he has been pushing me to ask Kevin and Melanie if they could use an extra “adult-like figure” (lol) around the teens. So I asked and they said yes! 

So that’s why I’m here now! 

Anyways… I’m a senior in college now, and I attend Siena Heights University through Monroe County Community College. I will graduate in May with my Bachelor’s in psychology. I was not brought up in the church. I became a Christian during my freshman year of high school. I used to work at the Monroe Family YMCA as a summer day camp counselor, but now I am starting to work as a substitute teacher. My plans currently for the future (though God might have different plans) are to work as a college counselor and eventually I would like to teach psychology at the college level. 

I enjoy spending time with my boyfriend of three and half years, Josh. 
I like being thrifty. I love watching many different types of movies. I watch way too much television. My favorite shows are 19 Kids and Counting, Gilmore Girls, and the Office. If I were not heading into a career involving psychology I would probably be an interior decorator/ personal organizer or a make up artist. I love reading magazines. I’m addicted to McDonald’s coke and fries. I am left-handed. 

If you have any questions for me or want to know anything else about me, ask away!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Corn Maze Fun!

Grab your friends and $6.00 and come on over to Heck of a Corn Maze.
Join us from 7:00pm-8:30pm on Sunday, October 10th for a night of fun--winding our way through 10 acres of twists and turns and confusion.
Have your rides drop you off and pick you up at  the Corn Maze--4309 W. Albain Rd.
This is one of the most popular events we do every year and you don't want to miss it!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Buy a Candle: Support Bible Quizzing




Our youth group is now selling Cottonwood Candles to raise money to buy a new set of Bible Quiz seats (which cost at least $200.) 


Candles are locally made (right on Monroe St.) and we are selling them for $8 each. Order your favorite scent or something perfect for fall. These will make great gifts (especially with Christmas on it's way!) and you're supporting a local business too!

Choose from:
Apple Cinnamon
Banana Nut Bread
Toasted Hazelnut
Vanilla
Spiced Pumpkin
Caramel Apple
White Cake
Orange Dreamsickle
Love Spell
Fruit Slices
Lime Cooler
Fresh Linen
Fudge Brownie

I am burning a Caramel Apple candle right now and I have to say the scent is amazing. Within minutes the delicious fragrance travels through the ENTIRE house. It's a better candle than I've ever burned--it burns evenly and for at least 50 hours. Contact me for more info! 

Thanks for your support!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

This Weekend's Exciting Activities!

Youth Group-led Worship Team and Drama practice tonight at 6pm! Be there if you want to be a part of our SpiritFire Sunday Service--THIS Sunday @11am. (but don't forget to come at 9:45am Sunday for a quick run-through!)

First EVER 5th Quarter::TOMORROW NIGHT! Friday 9-11pm! Be there (or here rather) and bring friends! And don't miss out on the great selection in the snack shop--items just $0.25 to $1.00!



Concert at Spring Arbor University! For just $5.00 you can here an awesome concert by Shawn McDonald as well as the local Kaleidescope: Brighter. THIS Saturday. September 11th. 8pm. (Unfortunately, Kevin and Mel can't make it because our small group is starting--but feel FREE to check it out with your friends and family! It's worth the hour and a half drive!)


Friday, September 3, 2010

National Christian College Fairs



Attention all those interested in attending a Christian college or university!
It's never too soon to start investigating where YOU want to spend the four formative post-high school years.

Check out the National Christian College Fair when it comes to our area!

Detroit (Metro South)
Tuesday September 21.
6:30-8:30pm.

Cross Pointe Community Church
36125 Glenwood Road
Wayne, MI 48184

Free Admission!
Financial Aid Workshop (the stuff parents like to know about!)

For more info check National Christian College Fairs:
online. www.nccf.us
phone. 888.423.2477
facebook. NCCF or for Detroit's event click here.
twitter. NACCAP
fax. 585.307.0594

Friday, August 6, 2010

To Save a Life MOVIE PREMIERE

To Save a Life Movie Marathon Overnighter. Boy, that's a long title. But very accurate. I just placed an order for this intense film centered on the lives of teenagers. Are you ready to be challenged to change the lives of those around you?  

when? Wednesday, August 18th (after quiz practice ends at 8pm)-Thursday, August 19th around noon.  
where? Kevin and Melanie's house.
what? Movie Night and more! Feature Presentation: To Save a Life. Followed by whatever movies you choose..not to mention food, games, friends, etc!  

what to bring? Snacks and Pop to share! Favorite movies or games. Annnnnnd.....The challenge begins here: INVITE at least one friend who doesn't come to youth group already. 


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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

VBS. Overnighters. Dare2Share '11.

Vacation Bible School. It's right around the corner! Sunday, August 8 - Friday, August 13 6:30-8:45pm each night. Pam will need ALL of the teens to help out with Crew Leading and more!

This Sunday we will start with youth group at our house at 5:30pm and then send you teens over to the church at 6:30 for the start of VBS.

End of Summer OVERNIGHTER. We are looking at Wednesday August 18th-19th for a last big overnight fling before school starts. Let me know RIGHT NOW if that date is terrible for you or if it works.

Also: We need YOUR opinion on which movie series to show (don't worry, you can hang out, play games, eat food and such--no movie watching requirements.)

Option 1. Back to the Future Trilogy
Option 2. Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Option 3. Toy Story 1 and 2 (because I LOVE these movies. Except we'd have to find someone who owns them or get them from the library.)
Option 4. The Mighty Ducks (yeah 1990s films!)

any other ideas???

Put in your vote NOW!

Dare2Share. Yes, it's not until February but it's already time to start planning!  We've challenged each of you to bring a friend with you--even if it's just your first time!

The UnTour will be held in Columbus, OH on February 4-5. Tickets are just $44 right now--though most of you fundraising kids only have to pay $35 (or even less!) Ten tickets have already been purchased at this low price so get your money to Melanie asap. If you need to know what you own, just ask! (Cost of hotel and food will be added at a later date.)  Click on the Conference Resources Tab for all the details.

The UnTour.
un.cool. un.afraid. un.leashed.
Thousands of teens.
Extraordinary Worship.
Intense Dramas.
Hilarious, intriguing, thought-provoking speakers.
Cell phone challenges.
A great hotel with our great youth group.
Learning to make your faith something REAL. 
It's going to be EPIC! Don't miss it!

To Save a Life. Coming soon to a theater church near you!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Spaghetti and VBS

Somerset Beach Family Camp:: Those of you who participated in the service experience at SBC's Family Camp did a FANTASTIC job and deserve a BIG thank you!  You made a huge impact on the kids you worked with and you carried a large burden of leadership that the adults normally have to struggle to find people to do. You were well behaved and respectful and independent and so much fun to be around!  Thanks to everyone who made for a great week at Camp. SBC thanks YOU. :) 

To check out all of the pictures Melanie was snapping during the week, click on here


Spaghetti Dinner:: Monroe FM needs your help!  Saturday, July 24th (THIS Saturday!) from 4-7pm the church is hosting a spaghetti dinner for the community. The teens have been asked to help serve and bus tables. Wear your SPIRITFIRE tshirts and come ready to help out! (and invite friends and family to enjoy the dinner--it's $8 for adults and $5 for kids)  

Let Melanie know ASAP if you're able to help! 


Vacation Bible School::  VBS is quickly approaching and guess what?? They need YOUR help too!  (You guys are such great helpers, after all!)  If you're willing to help out in any way for VBS come to the planning meeting THIS Sunday after church
VBS starts Sunday August 8 and goes through Friday August 13. Each night the programs run from 6:30-8:45pm 

If you're able to help and will be at the meeting, email Pam Kaufman at kaufcrew@sbcglobal.net

Friday, July 9, 2010

Schedule for Family Camp

Click HERE to view the week's detailed schedule. 


8-8:30  Breakfast (Cedar Center A-Frame)
9:30-12:00  Kids' Morning Programs (Fieldhouse)*
12:15  Lunch (Cedar Center)
1:00-5:00  Free Time OR Work Group Rotations** 
5:00  Dinner (Cedar Center)
6:45-9:00  Kids' Evening Service (Fieldhouse) 
9:30-10:45  Evening activities vary***




*Each morning from 9:30 to noon, the teens will divide and conquer--helping out in the kids' programs--nursery and elementary.  If their help is not needed during this time, they will head to the teen service which is from 10am-noon.

Division of leadership groups (morning and evening services): 
Nursery: Megan, Ashley, Brooke, Brittany and Michaela

Kids: Chris, Rob, Devan, Isaac, Harry, Katie

**Each afternoon, the teens will either be enjoying free time or they will be a part of the one group of 4 students "on call" if any need arises.  We will predetermine who will be in which work groups. Each group will be on call one afternoon for the week (either Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Friday).


***This is our tentative plan for late evening activities:
Monday @ 9:30 bonfire at Kevin and Melanie's site
Tuesday:  free time until curfew (to be determined)
Wednesday:  HUGE teen service!
Thursday @ 9:30 bonfire at Kevin and Melanie's site
Friday: head home after the evening service




And again, check the Packing List!  Don't forget your s'mores. :D
For all the info on Somerset check their website: somersetbeach.org


Saturday, July 3, 2010

Gearing up for Family Camp

Summer Servanthood Experience. Family Camp at Somerset Beach Campground is FAST approaching! We hope you're ready for a week of fun and service--experiencing God--meeting new friends--learning to lead--and more!  Come out with your families on Sunday, July 11th at 2pm for our church picnic (bring a dish to share!)  Then stay for the week in the tents on Kevin and Melanie's campsite. Parents are welcome to visit any day of the week (for free--if you mention you're from a Free Methodist Church.) Pick up will follow the Friday evening worship service which starts at 7pm and ends around 8:30-9:00. Parents, please join us for this Friday evening service!  


Don't forget to check the packing list!! (girls: take note of the clothing guidelines!)


Any questions, let us know!  


Youth Group TeeShirts:  They're IN! And they look totally awesome!!  You can pick up your tshirts when you come out to SBC Sunday July 11th for the church picnic!  If you need to know how much you owe, let Melanie know. 


Independence Day:  No Youth Group this Sunday, July 4th. 

Monday, June 7, 2010

Mini Golf Summer Celebration

Summer Celebration! To usher in the start of summer vacation, we're heading to Old Town Golf and Sportland in Monroe (6724 N Monroe Street, Monroe, MI 48162) THIS Sunday! Meet at our house at 5:00pm. We will need parent drivers to help us make the short trip. Parents and siblings are more than welcome to join us in a round of mini golf. 

Prices:
Mini Golf 
6-12 years $4
12 and older $5 

Ice Cream (Independent Dairy), nachos, lemonade and more are available if you desire. 
A single size ice cream is $1.95, double is $2.80 (lots of malts, shakes and sundaes too!)

Batting cages and a driving range are also available.

So grab your friends (and parents) and join us from 5-7:30 Sunday

Friday, May 28, 2010

Youth Group Tshirts

Super exciting news!!!


We officially have a Spiritfire design created by a Graphic Design Artist and we have receiving pricing information. I'm loving the design and I'm excited about the low prices offered! We have sizes and requests from a few of you already, but if you wouldn't mind please respond to this email (even if you've already signed up!!) Parents and anyone else interested are more than welcome to purchase Spiritfire gear as well!



So here's what we need you to do:

1. Check out the emblem that will be printed on black shirts/pants, etc.

2. Reply to me (by Wednesday) with the items you would like to puchase (tshirt/sweatshirt/sweatpants) and the sizes for each.

3. We will let you know when we need the money.

4. Wear your Spiritfire gear with pride. :D



T-shirts - $7.00 ea.

Hoodies - $19.00 ea.

Zip Hoodies - $21.00 ea.

Sweat Pants - $17.00 ea.



Pricing is for sizes Small – Extra Large add $1.00 for every x past xl

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Packing list for SBC Service Week

  • Bible
  • Sleeping bag/extra blankets
  • Pillow
  • Clothing changes for 5 days plus extra
    • note: girls must have bra straps covered by tshirt or thick shouldered tank tops
    • Shorts must be modest (fingertip length preferred.) 
    • If any item of clothing is not deemed modest by the youth leaders, the student will be asked to change
  • Sweatshirt
  • Jeans
  • Socks 
  • Tennis shoes
  • Sandals/flip flops
  • Pajamas--  warm and cold weather
  • Bathing suit (no two-pieces, no low cut--cover-ups may not be white)
  • Beach Towel
  • Sunglasses
  • Water bottle (labeled with your name!)
  • Bath towel & wash cloth
  • Personal medication—prescription or OTC (Please make Kevin or Melanie aware of these)
  • Cell phones & chargers 
  • Toiletries
    • Soap
    • Shampoo
    • Hair Brush/Comb
    • Deodorant
    • Sunscreen
    • Bug spray
  • For personal time (optional):
    • Journal/pens (for Bible/devos)
    • Books
    • iPods & chargers
  • For recreational time (all optional):
    • Spending money for the “Trading Post” (snack foods & SBC gear)
    • Frisbees
    • Baseballs/Softballs/Mitts/Bats
    • Tennis balls/rackets
    • Basketballs 
    • Footballs
    • Kickballs
  • Personal snacks or snacks to share (OPTIONAL)
    • Feel free to bring any additional food items you wish to have on hand for your own use or for sharing with the group--keeping in mind you will be getting three great meals a day from the camp!
    • S'mores stuff or other fire roasting items 
      • chocolate bars
      • marshmallows
      • graham crackers

----------------------------
*If an emergency arises, you have questions or concerns, or you need to contact your student for any reason, please don't hesitate to contact us.

*In addition, if any need or emergency occurs concerning your student, rest assured that you will be contacted immediately.
Contact Info: 
Melanie's Cell: 440.813.7025
Kevin's Cell: 440.813.5380

email: melanieeccles@gmail.com

Somerset Beach office: 517.688.3783

Directions and Contact info for SBC:
http://www.somersetbeach.org/index.php/contact/ 

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

SBC Details (and a little quizzing)

Kevin & Mel's Summer Plans. In case you missed the announcement this past Sunday, Kevin and Melanie are going to be working at Somerset Beach Campground for the duration of the summer. Since substitute teaching doesn't exactly pay during the summer months, we needed to find alternatives. This is the perfect one! We'll be back every Sunday for church and regularly scheduled youth group. During the week, Melanie will be working in the office at SBC and Kevin will be working with the youth programming staff. SBC is the camping ministry of our Southern Michigan Conference of Free Methodist Churches--so we hope to bring even more awareness to our teens and families about this great camp!

You will still be able to reach us at our cell phone numbers and our email addresses. Contact us if you need that info! 

Summer SERVANThood Experience. If you didn't read all the details about our summer service week at Somerset Beach click here.  To nail down our plans, we're going to need your registration forms asap. If possible, return your registration forms (signed by a parent) by this Sunday, May 30th. If you need more time to decide, please let us know.

  • Pick-Up Times. We had had questions concerning "pickup times" at the end of the week. We would like invite ALL our parents to attend the Friday evening service at 7pm and then take your students home after they finish their nursery/kids' church duties. If you would need to just pick them up at the end of the night, the service will be over around 8:30/9 or you can make arrangements with us to pick them up earlier in the day. 
  • COST.  The camp is generously going to cover the costs of each student's lunch and dinner meals!  How awesome is that?!  This will leave breakfast for us to supply.  Each individual will be responsible for packing desired breakfast items. (i.e. cereal, granola bars, fruit). There will be a small amount of refrigeration available for storing milk or yogurt, etc if needed. Any questions on food necessities, let us know!  THIS JUST IN: ALL of your meals will be covered for each day we're at camp. This includes those adult leaders who attend with us. Praise God for his provision. This means a week of service at SBC is FREE! 


  • Help NEEDED! Two full-time adult volunteers are still needed to attend this week of service at Somerset. Kevin and Melanie will oversee activities, but with their job responsibilities, the camp would also like 2 other adults on hand for the students to check in with during their free time, to spend the night in the gender-specific tents, as well as to work alongside the students on any given projects (i.e. assisting in morning VBS, working where needed in the afternoon, working in the nursery and children's service in the evening.) In addition, these adults will be a great help to have on hand as our teens process their service and leadership experience. 

    Please please consider working with our teens for the week of July 11-16. Anyone over the age of 19 is eligible to help.  Your meal costs will be covered by the camp as well and you would be staying in the tents with the teens. 

  • For a detailed packing list as well as some important notes about dress code and essential contact info be sure to check out the SBC Service Week Packing List.
  • Directions to the camp can be found on the website here


Bible Quizzing: Materials are IN!  We can get you hooked up with the listening cd as soon as you get us a blank cd or your person mp3 player. And be sure to get us your $5 if you haven't yet!

SpiritFire Tshirts: We are going to be ordered youth group shirts very soon. They should cost between $7-10.  A fantastic design was submitted by our graphic design friend and the students who came Sunday loved it!  They will be printed on black tshirts. Please get us your tshirt size asap if you'd like us to order you one of these great shirts!