Breakfast in bed… Almost
Each fall, the Pearce high-school seniors pass on the tradition of the Senior Sneak Out. It is a rite of passage for incoming freshmen, and an excellent way for them to begin building relationships with some of the older teens. On a predetermined Saturday morning, the seniors meet at 6:30 am and, with some of our volunteer leaders, they sneak into the bedrooms of unknowing freshmen. The seniors then violently and rudely awaken the unsuspecting freshmen. After the sleeping students get their wits about them, we load them into a waiting vehicle and transport them to my home for a hot breakfast of eggs, sausage, pancakes, coffee etc. Typically, the freshmen arrive in their pajamas and are not completely sure what to expect, but by the end of the morning they are laughing about the various reactions and are saying “I can’t wait till I’m a senior!” While on the surface this may look like hazing, I assure you it is not. It is always fun for us as leaders to observe, in the weeks following the Senior Sneak Out, the bonds that are built between the freshmen and their kidnapers. It’s our own version of “Stockholm Syndrome.”
An Agent of Ministry
This month’s featured volunteer is Karen Hopkins; she is pictured on the far right. Karen has been volunteering with the Pearce teens since returning from Romania in 2008. Truth be told, she began volunteering in 2004 under Pearce youth pastor Greg Harp. Years ago, I was advised to hire for my weaknesses. For me, this meant that I needed someone who was detail-oriented and creative. Karen fills both of these needs. Karen has been the team’s go to person for organizing events, and for coming up with creative ideas. From the girls “Beautiful You” weekend, to various weekly activities, Karen is always coming up with something new. In recent years, her heart has beat for ways to connect kids with serving. The featured picture was taken at our “Out in the Cold” event, where Karen had us sleeping in cardboard boxes to raise money and awareness for our local homeless community. She has been vital in our teen mission trips and regularly takes teens to serve at the Open Door Mission and to read books to kids at First Genesis House. Karen is mother to Nolan and Liam and is married to Maurice, who works as a chaplain at Strong Hospital. If you see Karen, thank her for her faithful pursuit of our teens and the heart of Christ.
Clays and Clams Brings Families Together
On September 6, the silence around Jim Heeks’ home was shattered with the sound of shotguns. Pearce Men’s Ministry hosted our first annual “Clays and Clams” event and it went off with a bang! Over 60 people attended, ranging in age from 7-70. It was a night of food, laughter, and noise; but, most importantly it was a night that saw different generations coming together and enjoying each other’s company. Though intergenerational bonding was not the driving force behind planning this event, it became a noted theme throughout the night as many people commented how good it was to see the kids and adults enjoying the night’s activities together. At Pearce, we desire to be a place where families can worship and play together. We believe in the importance of fiving our young people opportunities to be encouraged and informed by adults of all ages. While Clays and Clams wasn’t specifically designed to be this type of event, it clearly was! Look for it to happen again next August and, in the meantime, be sure to ask the teens how their shoulders feel!
Continuing Education for Parents
September 15 was the first Sunday for our adult ABF’s at Pearce. The Pearce Teens, in conjunction with the Kids’ ministry and Pearce 4 Kids sponsored a seminar for parents on Social Media, presented by Agape Counseling Services. The seminar sparked some great questions and good discussion. Agape has provided the notes and slides from this class and they can be found here (411 On Social Media PDF | Spiritual Integration PowerPoint). In addition, Dr. Cheryl Repass and I will be hosting a video class and discussion based on the Youth Institute’s material “Sticky Faith.” We will be looking closely at how we can build a faith in our children that will stick with them through college and beyond. Come join us on Sunday mornings at 9:00 am